Small girl with dog and graduation certificate Best Friend Academy Premium Dog Training and Boarding Heather with large outdoor group of dogs

Meet Heather, West Michigan Dog Whisperer

Sharing many aspects of the well-known Cesar Millan's dog training philosophy, Heather Van Kalker-Sherwood is pleased to be able to offer a similarly effective, balance-oriented approach to working with dogs (and their people).

Working with dogs either in the dog's home or at her spacious Gobles facility, individually or in group sessions, she is able to offer a high level of training and behavior modification. Your dog can have the one-on-one, consistent attention only a small independent operation can provide. Followup is important; Heather works with a dog and owner until each understands what needs to be done to accomplish the desired goals or changes.

Dogs coming to the Academy for boarding get lots of exercise, and can benefit from training if desired. Heather lives on the grounds and can even offer boarding space in her home when space permits. A veterinarian is available on call at all times.

Heather with 3 dogs

A Dog-Centered Life

Heather started in 4-H at age 8, progressing to showing dogs through the American Kennel Club. During 4-H she was Kent County's Obedience and Showmanship champion for 7 out of the 10 years she competed. During that time she benefitted from teaching by the best dog handlers in Kent County. During college, she was hired as the head Pet Trainer at PetsMart, where she went through a training program, and for years now has run her own business as a dog trainer.

Heather has also worked with dogs through the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue to help rehabilitate dogs so they may be placed in a new home.

Heather with her dog Miles winning Best of Breed

What do you and
your dog need?

In-Home Training

Boarding Training

Behavior Modification

Group Classes

Private Classes

Competition Dogs

Trick Training



Ultimate Air Dog winners

Heather is a certified
Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator

She is also certified in Canine First Aid and CPR