About the Owner, Lead Trainer

Ruth Haugan, Certified Professional Trainer (CPT), is a dedicated, experienced canine professional having trained over a thousand dogs and their owners.   Ruth moved to Lebanon, Ohio at the end of 2016 from the Tupelo, Mississippi area where Whole Dog University, LLC was founded and successfully operated since 2011. In the 6 years that Ruth operated her dog training business there, she worked with over 800 puppies and adult dogs of all breeds and their owners to achieve their training or behavioral goals.  A Minnesota native, her career fields have led her to live in the Ohio Valley and  SE United States since completing her undergraduate degree in 1987.  Her career had kept her from living near family during her entire professional life, so she decided it was time to move closer to family who now live in SW Ohio.  She reluctantly closed her Mississippi location to do that, but with great anticipation moved to historic Lebanon with the goal of re-opening WDU here and Ruth is now once again doing what she loves; serving pet-parents and their dogs living in the SW Ohio area.

Professional Preparation and Affiliations

Prior to pursuing a career as a Certified Professional (dog) Trainer, Ruth had a successful 23-year career in the sports medicine field as a NATABOC Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). She retired from the Athletic Training /Sports Medicine field in 2010.  Ruth grew up around dogs and has been around them in some capacity nearly all her life. The love and respect that she has for these wonderful, intelligent animals, made a second career in dog training a natural fit. She took that passion and love of dogs, coupled with the strong desire to help others, and raised it to a professional level upon completing an in-residence education and training program for dog trainers at the nationally and internationally recognized National K-9 School for Dog Trainers in Columbus, Ohio. Earning her professional certification in 2010, Ruth has specialized training and endorsements in the following areas:

  • Basic obedience
  • Advanced obedience
  • Behavior modification
  • Puppy development
  • Tracking
  • Scent detection
  • Retrieval (soft mouth)
  • Assistance (service) dog training

She is also a Professional Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and is a member of the National K9 Dog Trainers Association.


Ruth has 4 dogs currently, Laddie (a senior Australian Shepherd mix), Skip (a shy middle-aged Rat Terrier mix), Kiki (a Beagle X Shepherd Mix) and Madison Chloe (a spunky, young “Heinz 57” mix), as well as an orange tabby cat named Milo who all often assists her with her business.   In her free time, Ruth enjoys helping and spending time with her 4-legged and 2-legged family, extended family members and friends.  She enjoys spending one-on-one time with her dogs whenever she can on walks or hikes. She also appreciates having quiet time listening to Christian praise & worship music and pursuing a deeper  relationship the Lord, Jesus.

Ruth Haugan – CPT, Owner Whole Dog University and her sister’s dog, Kiki