Chickens and guinea fowl free roam the ranch, please keep dogs on leash when not in a rented area. Be aware of your surroundings as the fowl may be in any area and can fly into any area. Please promptly recall your dog should this training distraction present itself.

About the Ranch

About the Ranch

“The FDSA ranch” is a 100-acre property located in the heart of Petaluma.  While only 7 minutes from the 101 freeway, you’ll feel miles away as you explore the rolling terrain, with fantastic views of Petaluma, the mountains and, if you’re lucky, the San Francisco Bay!

The ranch is home to grazing cows and their calves who will grow up to provide milk, cheese, and meat for the local community via local farmers markets up and down the California coast. 

Dawn Kovell,

Ranch Caretaker

Dawn will be your first point of contact for FSDA Ranch!

Denise was one of her first training mentors almost twenty years ago. Her passion is doing all the things with her dogs from hiking at Graeagle to training for dog sports. A lot of dog sports! She has experience in flyball, agility, mondio, lure racing, dock diving, herding, nosework, conformation, and obedience.

Her current competitive focus is on mondio, flyball, and nosework. She is the Director of Behavior & Training at Marin Humane in Novato, CA where their vision is a humane world for every animal. She shares her dog training enthusiasm with two Border Whippets, a Belgian Tervuren, and two cats, who think dog treats are just fine!

Denise Fenzi, Owner

Denise Fenzi (she/her) has titled dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She has two AKC obedience champions, perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience, and is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work.

While a successful competitor, Denise’s real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her students’ dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no-force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm.

In addition to training and speaking, Denise is a prolific writer.  You can find her at where she maintains an active blog on all things related to dog training.  She is also an active writer on facebook; follow her there to learn more about her range of interests in addition to dog training. Denise and Deb Jones have recently finished a four book series, “Dog Sports Skills,” which has recieved widespread acclain in the dog sports community.  In addition, she has written additional books on her own, including “Train the Dog in Front of You,” “Beyond the Back Yard; Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!” and, for the younger audience, “Blogger Dog, Brito!”  Several of these books have won Maxwell awards for Best Training and Behavior Book from the Dog Writers of America.

Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs.  Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts as a forward step in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn.

Pronouns: Denise goes by she/her.

Arby, Ranch Hand

Arby Cuevas grew up in a very small town in Mexico. He has lived in Petaluma for 16 years and has worked on what is now FDSA Ranch for the past 11 years. Arby feels that ranching is freedom and working outdoors is the best feeling in the world!

What else might you expect when you visit the FDSA Ranch?


The ranch is home to cows and sheep who provide milk, cheese, and meat for the local community via local farmers markets up and down the California coast.

We also have an eclectic collection of highly entertaining guinea fowl and free range chickens who are happy to test out the dog treats.

Dog Training!

The ranch will support the students of the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy – folks who are actively engaged in training dogs “with a purpose”.  That purpose might be to protect or control a flock of sheep or cows, a hunting retriever or spaniel, a ratter to control vermin in the barn, or a dog working towards dog sport goals.

Education opportunities!

Fascinated by dog behavior? Want to spend a weekend with a world-class educator from the dog world? We’ll offer educational opportunities with influential instructors across a range of applied dog fields — from abnormal behavior to intensive working clinics! The FDSA ranch will be your place to learn from the best that the dog world has to offer!

Test and Trials!

While not suited to large events, our long-term goal is to work with the county to be allowed to offer small events such as scent work trials, barn hunt, herding instinct tests, AKC farm dog certifications and more!

About Fenzi Dog Sports Academy (FDSA)

The Fenzi Dog Sports Academy is an online school dedicated to providing high-quality instruction for competitive dog sports and working dogs using only the most current and progressive training methods.

Training dogs to high levels for dog sports and working allows us to form special relationships that many of us never dreamed possible. FDSA strives to help you develop the flexible, warm, supportive partnership with your dog that we are so excited to have found with our own! 

FDSA Supports:



Provide clear and concrete information that will help you and your pup meet your goals, using proven instructors who excel in their field.



Instruct in a warm and supportive manner that respects the dog and the handler equally.



Reach as many individuals as possible by offering reasonably priced courses across a broad range of topics in a supportive, inclusive learning environment.

Our Philosophy

Our courses are taught in a manner that respects the physical and emotional well-being of both the dog and handler. Our philosophy is to be kind, always.

We meet our students where they are…you don’t have to sign a pledge and we don’t specify how students should or should not train.  We provide you with effective and dog-friendly options; what you do with that information is up to you.

If you’d like to explore more, check out our website at  Overwhelmed by the wide variety of options?  No worries!  Send a note to and tell them what you’re looking for.