Loading... Please wait...

Advanced Search | Search Tips

Join Our Mailing List

Paws 4 Abilities




Deborah’s Specialities 

She specializes in Service Dog or Assistance Dog Training, Therapy Dog Training, and obedience & manners for your beloved household pets. Her passion is to enhance the quality of life of disabled people, through helping them train their own service dogs. And equally important to her is volunteer work of bringing therapy dogs to visits veterans hospitals, retirement homes, children’s library reading programs and many other special events, and helping other compassionate people train and certify their own pet dogs as volunteer therapy dogs.

Deborah’s Background

Deborah Van Gelder has over 30 years experience training all breeds of dogs. Over the years she has worked with everything from basic obedience and puppy training to severe behavioral modification of fearful or aggressive dogs, as well as guide dogs for the blind. Her specialty is with training Service Dogs or Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs.

With a Native American background, as a child she was raised with dozens of Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Wolf Hybrids. Feeding the pack at 5 years old, started her love and passion for working with dogs.


About Denver

Ambassador Denver Smalley is a true working Service Dog for his handler Deborah. He has on more then one occasion, saved the life of his handler who has MS. He enjoys being around and taking care of not only his handler but others as well. He likes going to the Veterans Hospital in Loma Linda California where he is a favorite among the Veterans and Staff. All was well until August of 2011, Denver had suffered an “intestional shutdown” and had to be on bedrest untill he could recover. He almost lost his life! Had it not been for Dr.Gary Smalley, he would have gone to Rainbow Bridge! Now, at this time Denver is healthy, happy and thriving on love from his family. He also loves his other job as a therapy dog and visits the Veterans, and to the children at the Libraries, and Kids Kamp! Denver LOVES going to Disneyland where he is able to go on some of the rides with his handler. The Rocket Ride, Pirates, smallworld, and the Trains are his favorite rides! He even got the honor of meeting the President of Disneyland and was told he was more then welcome to be there to ride his favorite rides. Denver is also a proud member of International Association of Assistance Dog Partners along with his handler Deborah Van Gelder.

Nala Rates Paws 4 Abilities with Five Paws paw.pngpaw.pngpaw.pngpaw.pngpaw.png