meet maggie and nicole

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dog. actor. model. super hero. lover
best friend. therapist. activist.
I met Maggie 6 years ago at the North Central Animal Shelter in Los Angeles. She rescued me and furever changed my life that day.  Maggie is a bichon, mini poodle, golden retriever, border collie mix with a dash of shitzu. I may be a bit biased but I think she’s pretty great. Maggie poses for the camera, tells jokes, does cartwheels and updates her Facebook page. Okay, that’s not all true, but she really does have a fantastic personality and a Facebook page with more friends than me. I’ve trained everything form bears to whales but my favorite of all of them is Maggie. She believes she is a true super hero. She’s on a surf team, paddle boards, has ridden a bike and a horse and performed on many movie sets. 
Maggie is my superhero. She is also a therapy dog, working production dog, my best friend, heart and sole of Working Like A Dog – Coffee Table Book a multimedia project to educate people on dogs with jobs, and an inspiration for many, which is pretty amazing for a pup that was shaking and scared in the shelter. Maggie was trained with positive reinforcement methods, meaning it’s always fun. Maggie would rather work on a movie set or put on a show than play with other dogs, which seems to fit my lifestyle very well. 
My shelter dog has taught me about kindness, not judging people, giving everyone another chance and being happy. Together we have made some amazing friends and visited some great places. We are so thrilled to be working with Whistle to inspire more people to do more with their own dogs so they too can have their pets be more involved in their lives and hopefully in the end less animals end up in the shelter like the one I got Maggie in.
But every adventure that Maggie takes me on, it seems it’s the people that surprise me the most.  People who dedicate their lives to make sure animals have a comfortable place to sleep at night.  People who train service dogs and rehome war dogs.  People who take their unique skills and apply them to showcasing the unique bonds between people and their pets. 
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But our favorite use of her tricks is performing to educate others on dog training and pet ownership. We have a very unique bond which has brought us across the United States to perform at hospitals and children’s camps. Because of Maggie’s trust in me and our bond we are able to teach almost anything, from playing the piano to skateboarding. Imagine if we could educate more people on the amazing things animals could do and in the end hopefully less dogs end up in shelters like the one I got Maggie from. Join Maggie and I on our adventures from Paddle boarding in the ocean to hiking and I hope we can share in some of your adventures with your furry friends too.


I love this doodle from the tufts of fur between her toes to her ever-changing pink nose. I can’t bear to think that she won’t always be here, but in the meantime, this kiddo and I have a lot more places to go, smiles to bring, flights to catch, books to put out and families to educate about dogs and pets. At the end of the day she loves to skateboard and give high 5’s, like a lot of dogs she can’t wait to go hiking, chase birds, and bark at some bikes. 

My dog surely may not be the world’s greatest, but she has forever changed my world many ways for the greater.


model. traveler. doggy mum.
animal trainer. behaviorist. totoro fan.



Nicole Ellis is a celebrity dog trainer based in Los Angeles.  Nicole has trained everything from bears to tigers to leopards as well as household dogs and cats.  Her dog, Maggie, was adopted from a city shelter and now appears in films and commercials, works at hospitals, nursing homes, knows over 100 commands, has her own fan club, is a therapy dog, has a book coming out soon, and a hero to many.

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Nicole is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), American Kennel Club CGC evaluator and APDT trainer. Using positive reinforcement methods Nicole has trained hundreds of animals from basic behavior and puppy manors, to trick training, therapy work, and service dog training. Nicole believes with love and positive reinforcement we can train any dog. 

Nicole and Maggie have been seen on such shows as The Today Show, ABC, NBC, Nightline, and more.

Growing up while training animals, Nicole also her own modeling career that’s taken her all over the world and introduced her to many interesting people.  Nicole stared in Ayumi Hamaski’s recent video, Last Angel, topping charts across the world. 

Nicole loves to travel, more than most, see new places, ride naughty ponies, and try to change the world with Maggie at her feet.


  4 Replies to “meet maggie and nicole”

  1. Mo, Momie, Mo Mo, Ho-Mo, Momie Bear etc.
    January 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I’m weird!!! I also like to eat lizards and wear santa hats.

    oh…..and i have owl eyes

  2. February 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    my dream would be to hold or pet a Big Cat cub!!!! What a GREAT photo! What does your mommy do?!

  3. Joy
    January 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    What a beautiful video, Nicole! I fell in love with Maggie all over again seeing you both interact … your bond is amazing!

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