StLHuggs is a Saint Louis, Missouri based owner trained service dog program and a social group for Service Dog Teams. StLHuggs operates as a program under Furry Inc, a 501c3 not-for-profit

Mission Statement

The mission of Stl Huggs is to provide owners with opportunities to use reward based training methods while preparing their companion dogs for service dog work. The group also promotes awareness of the benefits of proper dog training and ownership.

Goals and Objectives

  • To provide members with an ongoing, rewards-based service dog training program.
  • To provide a source of support for those in our community who would benefit from the services of a service dog.
  • To promote the spirit of responsible and loving pet ownership among all participants throughout the community.
  • To foster and encourage the development and improvement of rewards-based dog training and owner-trained service dogs throughout our community.


Liz Johnston

Liz has over 40 years of experience in training, grooming, and showing dogs. She has learned from some of the best trainers in the country, including Gary Wilks, Karen Pryor, Terry Long, and Ian Dunbar. As an Area Trainer for PetSmart for 16 years, Liz was instrumental in their change to clicker training. In 2002, she started the Orange County HUGGS service and therapy dog program. Liz relocated to St. Louis in 2008 and started the St. Louis HUGGS chapter that same year.