About Denise Holmes
Over the course of 25 years Northwest Arkansas based pet trainer, Denise Holmes, has seen it all. From aggressive dogs that others recommended for euthanasia to dogs that owners didn’t realize were deaf, she rarely finds people with pet problems. Instead, she usually discovers pets with people problems. In these situations, successful communication is key; she helps pets and people understand each others’ language. Her education and experience reflect her passion for socialization and effective communication, and contribute greatly to her abilities to help people get the most out of their relationships with their pets.
Denise has a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Arkansas and a minor in psychology. She has actively applied this knowledge to furthering the health and well being of both people and animals through her work to establish successful animal-assisted therapy programs and train volunteers throughout the state.
As a consultant for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, in 2001 Denise helped bring about their very first animal-assisted therapy visits and develop the TAILS (Therapeutic Animals Interventions Lift Spirits) program. Her work has been published by the Child Life Council in Bulletin, and she was a contributor to Pet Partners first book educating visiting animal teams on interactions with hospitalized children. (She became a Pet Partner visiting animal team with her St. Bernard in 1994 and is a trained team evaluator.)
In addition to being a professional pet trainer, Denise has served the Northwest Arkansas community by helping to develop visiting animal programs at many facilities. In 2002, she developed Sit. Stay. Read!, the first animal-enhanced reading program at the Fayetteville Public Library, and BARK (Behavior and Respect through K-9’s) at the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center; for her work on the BARK project, she was awarded the Arkansas Juvenile Detention Center Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
She served over 5 years on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team as both a dog handler and a field searcher, and for two years was the training specialist on the area’s first pet program, All Pet’s Considered, aired on Jones Television Network.
After witnessing her clients’ needs for more advanced ‘family planning’, in 2009 Denise produced a CD of baby sounds entitled My New Best Friend to help pet parents prepare and introduce their pets to a human newborn. Her most recent project, Travel Tails, was launched in 2015. Travel Tails is a unique blog detailing travel adventures with her terrier mix, Henri. Together they encourage readers to hit the road with their own dogs, championing the slogan ‘Adventure is Everywhere!”
Whether you’re training, traveling, volunteering, or just hanging out in your own back yard, Denise can help families and individuals make the most of their relationships with their pets. She offers both problem-solving and basic to advanced training for dogs and other animals.