My love for animals began in my childhood and has grown into a passion. I started training my first dog, Cubby, an All-American, as my medical assistance dog in 2013, under the guidance of a certified behaviorist, who also taught Assistance Dog Training. I enjoyed seeing Cubby’s progress, and successwith every test that he was given, I wanted to see what else I could teach him. I got involved with agility because it seemed fun and a really good way for me to bond with Cub and increase his confidence level. From there, my passion spiraled, and I started assisting in teaching classes, and I adopted a high-drive, very excited, anxious, and nervous All-American dog named, Bear. Bear has challenged me and prompted me to explore more on learning dog behavior. I have completed a dog-training and behavior program, and am CPDT-KA certified (Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed). I am a professional member of APDT, and I am an AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Trick Dog evaluator. I continue to expand my knowledge through attending behavior seminars, conferences, online classes, and continuing education work.
While I do have several titles on my dogs in trick training and agility, my main focus is on having fun and building confidence as a team. I believe in teaching dogs what they are doing correctly, instead of telling them what they are doing wrong. I believe in rewarding behaviors that I would like to see repeatedin the future, and ignoring the behaviors that I want to go away. I do not believe in aversive methods or correction-based training methods. My wish is for all dogs to be treated with love and care, and to show others that you don’t have to use force to get your dog to happily do what you want. I am a proud follower of LIMA, which means I use the Least intrusive minimally aversive methods possible. I believe the life of every dog matters because they are living beings, have intrinsic value, and feel emotions.
Along with Cubby and Bear, I also have a Cardigan Corgi named Polly, a 3-year-old Border Collie from Branchwater, named Floyd, who I am just beginning a new agility adventure with, 2 wonderful cats named Astro, my love bug, and Bea, my little spit-fire, who also came from Branchwater, and 3 geriatric chinchillas, all of whom live harmoniously. I enjoy teaching my own dogs new tricks to keep their minds busy, and provide enrichment and physical activity on rainy days. When I am not teaching lessons, you can usually find me in Branchwater’soffice, or in the kennel working. On the weekends, I am usually found working with dogs who are fearful, anxious, and lacking confidence, by teaching them how to build confidence and I have the goals of eventually becoming a Certified Animal Behaviorist. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and pets, exploring the outdoors, taking a ride with my boyfriend in our 1970’s VW Beetle, and relaxing at home. In my spare time, I make fleece tug toys, beds, paracord leashes/harnesses, and collars. Feel free to ask me about it!!