Cold Nose College Founders
Lisa and Brad Waggoner are the founders of Cold Nose College, a labor of love that has blossomed into a world-renowned center of education for both dog owners and professional trainers. The mission of Cold Nose College is keeping dogs in their forever homes through training and education.
Lisa and Brad are well-known for their clear, compassionate, and engaging communication skills. They are dedicated to helping dogs and their owners form a strong bond and enjoy their lives together. “Where cold noses meet warm hearts,” is an exact description of their approach. You will see Brad and Lisa’s warmth and care in their interactions with both species.
Lisa Waggoner founded Cold Nose College in 2003. She provided dog training group classes and private, in-home training and behavior modification services to clients in the tri-state area of North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. She gradually grew the business into her full-time job in 2008. Her husband Brad—who had been assisting and learning all along—gained credentials and joined her.
Brad and Lisa are both Certified Professional Dog Trainers—Knowledge Assessed, both faculty members of the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Dog Training and Behavior Academy, and both Certified Dog Walkers through dog∗biz Dog Walking Academy. In addition, Lisa is a Certified Trainer of the Pat Miller Dog Training and Behavior Academy and a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, also co-instructing that program with founder Malena DeMartini in its early years. Brad is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, a Fear Free Certified Trainer, and has TAGteach primary certification through TAGteach International. TAGteach is an innovative, positive program for teaching humans. Training dogs means teaching people as well, and Lisa and Brad are exemplary in both their credentials and their devotion to helping both the dog and human end of the leash.
Before they entered the dog training and consulting field, Brad and Lisa were trained American Canoe Association Whitewater Kayaking Instructors. They carry over not only their enthusiasm and love for fun but their attention to detail and safety.
Cold Nose College has added many services over the years. After expanding their original training center, Lisa and Brad added a Day School and started presenting their own weekend workshops. In 2011, Lisa started offering the Pat Miller Dog Training and Behavior Academy, a six-day learning experience for aspiring dog trainers. Lisa was the only person credentialed to offer that curriculum besides Pat Miller. Students traveled from around the U.S. to attend. In 2013, Brad and Lisa started teaching the five-day dog*biz Dog Walking Academy, a national course for dog walkers.
In keeping with their commitment to education and community service, they have hosted workshops by many renowned trainers. These have included Pat Miller, Nicole Wilde, Terry Ryan, and Hannah Branigan. They have made frequent television appearances on WRCB-TV’s 3 Plus You Show, and work as the professional dog trainers in the Rescued Program at the Colwell Probation Detention Center. They received top awards for this service from the Georgia Department of Corrections: Volunteer of the Year (2012 and 2014) and Volunteer Partner Agency of the Year (2018). Lisa writes a monthly dog training column in The Cherokee Scout and has written for the Whole Dog Journal.
In 2014, Cold Nose College took on the task of hosting Terry Ryan’s Chicken Camp, a chicken training workshop that helps trainer hone their mechanical skills. Chickens move very fast and are much less forgiving than dogs! Hosting this workshop meant providing, pre-training, and housing chickens, which they did with the help of a client who had the requisite experience. Hosting such a workshop was a testament to the intensive preparation and focus Lisa and Brad bring to every project and highlights their dedication to creating the best experience possible for the animal and the client. Not to mention the willingness of these trailblazers to take on a project with so many unusual requirements!
Lisa and Brad have filmed four educational training videos that were produced by and distributed through the DVD and streaming media company Tawzer Dog, including the highly regarded Rocket Recall method, which has been widely adopted by dog owners and professional trainers alike.
In 2015, Lisa and Brad closed the physical training center in order to focus on in-home training. They also began virtual training for separation anxiety and other dog behavior issues. They work with pet owners, hobby and sports trainers, and other professionals. They provide virtual mentoring and coaching of aspiring trainers and other professionals to help them with serious dog behavior problems.
They have worked remotely with clients from all across the U.S., in Europe, and in Australia. In these days of the pandemic when so many service providers have been forced to switch to online services, it’s important to note that this innovative pair has already been doing virtual training successfully for five years.
Starting in 2016, the thriving business began adding locations through a licensee agreement. Lisa and Brad found trainers who shared the same ethics, high standards, and values they have always held for their company. As of 2021, they have three additional locations in Florida, Mississippi, and South Dakota.
Cold Nose College focuses on using positive reinforcement and building strong relationships with both their four-legged and two-legged clients. No matter who you work with through Cold Nose College, you will receive the same level of empathy, understanding, professionalism, problem-solving and training excellence the organization has always provided. Cold Nose College has a rare combination of rock-solid methods, openness to innovation, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. And don’t forget, best of all, Cold Nose College makes training fun.