Word on the Street

Don't just take it from us. Listen to what our customers have to say.

It has been two years since my puppies went to you.  I did a board/train/sleep in the house… You transformed my furry children.  I love walking them, we are constantly stopped (even have people yelling out their car windows) saying how great their behavior is.  We can go into puppy approved stores with no worries on my part.  They, in fact, get a bit upset if people don’t care to talk to them, and give me the look of “why” – but keep on walking.  They are amazing with children, we have had every sort of situation, from children running up behind us to little ones randomly grabbing them.  They do not react, they do not jump, all behaviors I would do as a “human” if I was startled.  One of the important things they have done is help us educate both the adults and the children.  If a child just runs up to them, we discuss how this might scare other dogs, we talk about how to safely give a treat to puppies, and then the little ones practice this skill.  My puppies sit patiently as this happens.  To be honest, I could go on and on concerning the new behaviors they you gave them, and they still have in their skill set.

If I am ever in need of boarding you will be my first call.


There is such comfort in leaving a pet with people who really care about them!

Joan S.

I have never felt more comfortable leaving my dog for daycare or boarding as I have leaving her at Wind River. Ellie has certain characteristics that make her a bit more of a challenge than some more easy going dogs. I have come to learn that all of the employees at Wind River are completely in tune with each dog that stays there, and work hard to ensure that every detail of any special requirements are handled perfectly.

Ellie has stayed there for short visits as well as several weeks at a time, and she is always excited to go. If she hears “Do you want to go to the ranch?”, Ellie immediately starts wagging her tail and is eager to get to the car.

Leaving your dog behind while you have to travel can be really difficult, but knowing that they will be extremely well taken care of and happy makes a huge difference. You will most certainly get that if you leave you pet here.

Sarah W

Carrie did a very enlightening home visit and tooled the training to the needs of us and our dogs.  It was AWESOME!

Joan S.

What a Fabulous place to take your dog(s) and know that they will have fun and will be well cared for whether it is weekly daycare or boarding. Great people who love our dogs!!! Thank you. 🙂


I took my pup here for boarding for four days while moving to Missoula from Texas. We needed him out of the house during the craziness, but I had never left him with strangers before and was a little apprehensive. After researching many kennels in the area, I found the majority of them to either have wait lists up to a month in advance (I needed boarding with only two days advance), or to have sketchy reviews. Finally, I found Wind River Tails & Trails and thought they sounded promising. They were very welcoming on the phone, were very affordable, and worked with my short-notice demands. 

After meeting them in person and taking a little tour of the facilities, I found it to live up to all my expectations. The staff is very knowledgeable, friendly, caring, and seemingly invested in their work. I felt completely at ease leaving my dog there, and was very satisfied when I picked him up. They also offer training options and I’m planning on taking advantage of those offers very soon.

I will be returning with business for the Wind River boarding and would recommend it to anyone!

Katie W

We left our sweet Lab, Clover there over Christmas for 2 whole weeks! Its always hard leaving your pets behind in the care of others but, this time around, we felt really comfortable with "Wind River Tails and Trails". The staff truly cares about animals there and we knew that from the get-go. They had her do a test run where we dropped her off for a few hours one day before the big trip. I thought that was a great idea. They monitored how she interacted with other pups and I honestly think it was great because she could see that we would be back to get her(or we hoped she remembered that!). They watched to see what dogs they interact best with and then group them together to play. They have HUGE open, fenced in areas _to run around in. And I like the added security of the fence within the fence so you don’t have to worry about the dogs running out! If you call while you have your dog kenneled up, they will tell them you did (which i thought was super cute). I was all around impressed with this place.

Patty F.

We can’t say enough about the knowledge and care given our dog by Carrie and her Team!

We left our dog in her care for 6 weeks of ‘Board and Train’ to deal with a particularly bad dog aggression issue.  We were on our last straw when we heard about Carrie and took a chance.  We drove from Seattle to meet her and in 10 minutes we saw a change in our dog’s behavior.  It was amazing!  Carrie had her looking at dogs out the window without a peep instead of going ballistic at the mere sight of one.  We were blown away. We have had our crazy stray dog for 5 years and had tried everything we could to change her behavior with dogs.  In 6 weeks Carrie did the impossible and completely turned her around.  All by positive reinforcement, never the discipline or use of force tactics other trainers use.  It is not submission but partnership with your dog that works, and lasts.

The level of care at Tails and Trails is without peer.  Everyone who works there is dedicated to the animals they care for and the facility is wonderful.  We could never board our dog since she could not be kenneled within sight of another dog.  During her training she slept in Carrie’s home, and with other Team members in their homes.  Everyone goes above and beyond to ensure the best for your dog.  We received frequent updates and photos of her progress and are thrilled with the result.

If you are anywhere near Missoula I encourage you to take your dog there for training, boarding, or day care.  Truly the BEST.  Your canine will not receive better care anywhere and will have so much fun that (sorry to say) you won’t be missed.

If we go on a long trip, we will be driving 10 hours to T&T to make sure she is well cared for while we are away.  It’s worth the drive.

Denise Olivier

CPA, Olivier Associates, Inc.

This place saved my dog. I have had people tell me my dog was untrainable. She did the board and train lessons for 3 months I could not ask for a more well trained dog. I never even thought to worry about her this is an amazing place where you get more then you expect.

Tiffany Woldstad

Ally and her team have been great with my puppy Riggs, I have done the puppy play dates a group training class with them, as well as a private lesson in the beginning. When we adopted our puppy he was painfully shy/timid due to lack of exposure to anything, while he was sweet I was nervous his timid behavior could develop into a reactive aggressive behavior if not dealt with. I am positive the puppy play day yard made him well socialized with other dogs and the training classes helped with his people social skills and gave him some much needed confidence. For the puppy yard, I no longer have to worry about him being becoming dog aggressive. They watched over him carefully and made sure he was having fun and interacting appropriately. Now, he loves meeting new dogs and doesn’t cower/hide/growl if a dog walks by – he just wants to play! As far as the group class, I highly recommend it. I already knew going in my training style and Wind River’s were very compatible, that’s why I chose it, however I was very impressed with how far Riggs came in the 8 weeks. Best group class I have attended by far, and I have done several. Ally works closely with each pair and makes sure you are confident in your abilities to carry on without her in the future. I now have a well adjusted dog, who will make a great therapy dog in the future. Thank-you everyone at Wind River for helping Riggs (and me).

Julia Riggs

My Pomeranian, Kinsey, and I have received a wealth of information through the House & Field Manners training with Ally Cowan. Kinsey and I have bonded even more since her training. She is eager to learn and I appreciate how Ally introduces her to new challenges that she can achieve. This has been the most positive choice I’ve made so far for Kinsey. And I look forward to future fun classes that we can do together. Thanks a lot!

Holly Hafner

The best dog daycare and boarding in Montana hands down. My dog loves it there and always comes home happy, healthy, and tuckered out. Great caring staff and wonderful outdoor facilities, no cement and crate link kind of place. Wouldn’t go anywhere else without a doubt!

John P.

I have ONLY good things to say about Wind River. The smallest member of our family, Daisy, LOVES going to play with her friends – 2 legged and 4 legged at Wind River.

The compassion, expertise and energy of Carrie and her staff is amazing. It’s a joy to board our sweet dog when we leave town now, unlike the dread we used to feel boarding our other dogs, at other kennels. Highly recommend Wind River!

Joan H.

Midnight is becoming more loveable and sweet by the day.  Am I ever a lucky lady.  I am glad I found you folks.


Wind River is the most incredible facility for dog day care and boarding. They care so much for each and every animal! The care they take to introduce dogs into day care is amazing!

My boys LOVE it here, they have been going to day care several times a month since they were young and the socialization they get has made it so easy to take them anywhere. Another benefit is how tired they are at days end, they run and play all day and come home and crash out for the rest of the evening.

I also highly recommend Carrie for training! She has an amazing way with dogs and people. My two dogs and I worked with Carrie and we were able to move from tugging unruly walks to having each dog off leash in 10 sessions. Her techniques have your dogs wanting to work, and they love it!! She takes the time to find out what works for each individual dog, no cookie cutter training here.

Thanks to everyone at Wind River, it is a quality facility with an amazing staff!!


I can’t thank you enough for my Dog training: Fred is a New Dog, going from Knowing commands and not caring, to a dog that wants to do everything…. he has learned to love being with me and working with me as partner. I have a dog that Plays ball and comes, he No longer Pulls on his leash and loves life. No longer scared of men in hats…. your Program is amazing and IS amazing. Thank you for my New Partner.

—Equus & Paws,L.L.C

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.” –Eleanor Roosevelt


I have been so thankful for and all you have created at Wind River. It is hard to believe it has been 2.5 years that I have been the fortunate recipient of your grace and talent.
Speaking of talent- you are gifted…
-You know what your life focus is but are not afraid to adapt to new needs and challenged. GIFT!!
-You can see into the souls of dogs- their pain and potential. How many trainers can say that? GIFT!! GIFT!!
-You are devoted- putting animals above everything when you need to in a selfless spirit. GIFT.
-You are bold and a natural business woman- a leader. You introduce yourself and market your talents in ways only successful people do…
Paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt- “you left paw prints on my heart.”

Jeanne, 'Becker' & 'Tessa'

Thank you so much, Carrie and Renee, for a great summer with Max and Bella.  We hiked and camped across Montana and Idaho, and had a ball.  Much of what we did this summer would not have been possible without your guidance and understanding of canine behavior.   You gave us the tools we needed to fully enjoy our exuberant companions.  We were able to have them off-leash, when appropriate, knowing we still had control of their actions.  A great time was had by all, thanks to your ability and willingness to share your love and knowledge of dogs.  I can honestly say you have given us a gift! It is hard to believe Max and Bella are the same dogs we came to you for help with, less than a year ago.  Our companionship continues to grow as we use what you have taught us to bring out their very best behavior.  We continue to see positive growth and a willingness to please us.  We are well on our way to having the dogs we had hoped for and I have no doubt they will continue to afford us the delights only a dog can provide the human soul. Their few “off days” only serve to remind us how far we have all come on this journey.

You should be very proud of your facility and the outstanding staff that provide a safe and loving haven for our dogs.  Max and Bella get quite excited when we pull into the driveway of Wind River, knowing that fun and loving attention awaits them.  We are so grateful to have you guys located near us.  We have no qualms, what so ever, about leaving our friends in your care when it is necessary or just when they need a little “meet and greet” play time.  That is another gift you have given us……peace of mind.  I do not hesitate to tell people that I meet what great work you all do and your bear dog mission.

Again, our heartfelt THANK YOU for all that you have done and to let you know we always look forward to seeing and talking with you.  We love sharing our successes with you!

Marty & Jan

Last year I adopted an adolescent Bernese Mountain Dog who had come from a bad situation. I needed help working through his issues and had already seen trainers in Seattle and LA. They were all great in helping us get from day to day, but we weren’t really making any progress. In fact, some of Henry’s issues were getting worse as I trusted him less and less.

I knew about the Wind River Institute because of their work with wildlife service dogs. One day I was looking at their website and saw that they had a separate service for pet owners, Wind River Tails and Trails. Specifically, they had a Board and Train program that rehabilitated aggressive dogs. I was on the phone the next second.

Henry was at Wind River for seven weeks working with Carrie, Ally, and the rest of their wonderful staff. When I arrived for the final week of training with me, the Berner I got back was social, playful, happy, confident, and loved doing his new “job” of house and field commands. He was almost unrecognizable.

Our work was not done with the Board and Train program. I spent a week at the ranch learning all of the training Henry already knew. When we got home we had to work hard to make sure Henry knew all of his new frameworks applied at home as well as at Wind River. This is the best part of the Wind River philosophy. It’s not about “fixing” dogs and giving them back to owners. It’s about providing dogs with a passion for a “job” and owners with a way to better communicate with their dogs. It’s about creating lasting partnerships. There’s nothing else like it.

I can’t recommend Wind River highly enough. We go back for advanced lessons and boarding and it is like visiting family (in a good way). They saved us and brought an amazing dog out of his shell. We are so lucky to have found them!

Kelsey Grode

We’ve been trying to find a good fit for Charlie for several years, having tried most kennels in Missoula, and I regret not having given Wind River a chance sooner. Charlie is an anxious pup, and can be a bit of extra work sometimes to win over. Other kenneling settings have been overwhelming and unsuccessful. The staff here never treated her as an inconvenience, and went above and beyond to help her gain confidence and comfort while away from home. Thank you all so much for being so caring! We can finally leave Charlie behind knowing she’s in good hands.

Kristine Schoen

Ally has been an absolutely amazing asset with my [Service Dog In Training]. Super friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and always available. I cannot recommend them enough. Thanks to Ally and her team I continue to get compliments about my dogs manners and training everywhere I go.

Shayna Chupein

Words cannot describe the peace of mind that Ally and the rest of the crew has brought to our family by training Charlie [Diabetic Alert Dog] for us. I wish I could give them a 10 star rating!

Katie (and Trent) Burden

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