Meet Susan


Founder of Nu Paws Academy 

Susan Wu is a professional dog trainer catering to pet parents on the San Francisco Peninsula. She is passionate about helping families live better, happier lives with their canine companions. Through positive training methods, personalized attention and creative solutions, Susan is able to unlock a dog’s true potential so that they can become a better fit for their family’s home and lifestyle.

Credentials and Education

Because Susan is devoted to providing her clients with the most up-to-date dog training techniques and resources, she is committed to ongoing education and professional development. She has completed the SIRIUS® Dog Training Academy, a comprehensive study of science-based canine training methods. In addition, she is a graduate of Trish King's Canine Behavior Academy, which includes studies in canine ethology, social theory, body language, behavior evaluation, learning theory, and behavior modification techniques.

Each year, Susan attends numerous workshops and seminars to learn from leading experts in the field, including but not limited to:

  • Turid Rugaas – Internationally recognized expert on canine body language.
  • Nicole Wilde – Professional dog trainer, author and expert on behaviors such as fearfulness and separation anxiety.
  • Jean Donaldson – Award-winning author and founder of the Academy for Dog Trainers.
  • Suzanne Clothier – Internationally respected trainer and author
  • Dr. Ian Dunbar – Renowned veterinarian, trainer and animal behaviorist.
  • Ken Ramirez – Executive Vice President and Chief Training Officer for Karen Pryor Clicker Academy.

Expertise and Experience

Susan’s positive reinforcement approach to training puts both dogs and their owners at ease, making the process simple, effective and fun! Because every dog – and every human – learns differently, each training session is personalized to the dog’s specific abilities and needs. With her years of education and experience, Susan is able to achieve real results by determining which techniques work best for each dog. At every step of the way, she offers encouragement and celebrates each success – whether big and small.

While Susan works with all manner of obedience cases, her specialty is family pet dog training, particularly in the areas of puppy training and reactive, shy or fearful dogs. Along with her experience and education as a professional dog trainer, her undergraduate study in early childhood education, Susan has worked with families for over 20 years. This gives her an unique perspective on the power of the human-animal bond, and nothing makes her happier than seeing dogs and their humans make progress together.

The Pup Behind Nu Paws Academy

Nu Paws Academy is named after Susan’s late Bichon Frise, NuNu. Although still in college, Susan began training NuNu from the time she was a puppy, starting with basic obedience and then progressing to more advanced skills like agility. After moving to the West Coast, Susan began volunteering at the humane society, helping others train their own dogs. Soon, she realized that she had found her calling, and Nu Paws Academy was born.

Dog with fluffy hair looking happy during training.

Anything Else?

When not training dogs and puppies or caring for them in her home-based daycare, Susan enjoys spending time with her own dogs, a 13-year-old miniature Schnauzer mix named BoBo and two recently adopted 5-year-old Formosan Mountain Dog (Taiwan Dog) named Chloe and MayMay. Susan also helps other dogs by regularly volunteering her time as a foster dog parent for various organizations and helping to fundraise for rescue groups in the area, such as Muttville. Muttville is a dog rescue organization based in San Francisco that focuses on saving the lives of the older dogs that are considered “unadoptable” and routinely euthanized in shelters. Susan was part of the Muttville Hospice Care Program family. She adopted Viggo (pictured here with BoBo) who was almost 12 years old and had many serious health issues such as cataract, luxation of patella and carcinoma. Viggo lived for another 3+ years under Susan's care.

Fun fact: Susan reads, writes and speaks fluent Mandarin!

Two white dogs looking up towards the person with the camera.

Positive Training for Positive Results

Susan uses only scientifically proven, gentle training methods, which employ positive reinforcement to achieve positive results. These techniques tap into a dog’s natural motivators like food, play and praise, and use them to change behavior without punishment or physical force.

Because behavior is often reflective of the dog as a whole, Susan goes further than many trainers by looking at all aspects of a dog’s life. She helps pet parents incorporate an all-inclusive approach to training including:

  • Physical exercise to help relax and calm the dog.
  • Enrichment activities to engage and challenge the brain.
  • Nutrition to nourish the body and keep the mind sharp.

When a dog is feeling his best, he’s happier, more energetic and more eager and willing to learn. And that means training is more effective and more fun for both the dog and the trainer.

Dog owner and dog touching hand to paw