Two certifications by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers
Behavior Consultant-Canine, Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Professional member of the Behavior Education Network
Certified Clicker Trainer by the Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Program
Masters of Education, University of Virginia
Bachelor of Science, College of William and Mary
Training tips featured in Dog Fancy magazine
I often hear dog trainers say they love working with dogs and are good at it. But they seldom if
ever mention that they love working with people. A love of dogs and good training skills are certainly necessary for this
profession, but a passion for teaching people is just as important, if not more. After all, both the dog and owner must learn
new skills in order to successfully resolve behavior problems.
A good trainer will have patience, understanding and flexibility to teach people and
dogs of varying abilities without pressure, judgment or criticism. That is the kind of challenge I live for. My aim is for
you and your dog to have as much fun as I do during our sessions. You will be amazed at how quickly your dog learns
(regardless of age) when everyone is relaxed. I love sharing laughs with owners during their dogs' humorous moments,
even with aggression cases. Every dog has sweet moments and I love witnessing them as much as you do.
I began my professional career in 2000 as a trainer for Susquehanna Service Dogs first as a volunteer, then as an employee. My job was to train dogs to do complex tasks so they could assist
people with disabilities. During that time, I became interested in the dogs that had behavior issues which prevented them
from becoming service dogs. Finding ways to help these dogs became a burning passion.
I started my business in 2004. I have provided behavior consulting services to several area shelters and rescue groups.
I hold a bachelor's degree in Biology from the College of William and Mary and a masters degree in Health Education from the
University of Virginia. My graduate studies focused on helping people change their behaviors to improve their lives. I
think we can all admit that changing ourselves is hard!
Fate also provided me with an intensive
course in behavior modification and extreme patience: I have an adult son with autism. The parenting challenges I faced and
continue to face deepened my passion for using patience, understanding and kindness to influence behavior in people as well
as animals. I would not be the person I am today without the lessons I learned raising a child with a disability.
My journey is not typical of many dog trainers. I was not interested in obedience competitions.
From a young age I liked figuring out how dogs learn and how to maximize their potential as family pets. I've owned 8 dogs
of various breeds and fostered several others. Some were easily trainable. Many tears were shed over a few. My experiences
training hundreds of dogs of many different breeds (from Yorkies to Pitbulls and Great Danes) have instilled in me a strong
sense of compassion for people living with challenging dogs.
I consider continuing
education to be a necessity for all professionals. I regularly attend conferences and seminars given by top experts in the
dog training and animal behavior fields to maintain both of my certifications. I keep up to date with the latest humane, science-based
training methods. I do not hesitate to consult with other respected force-free professionals and mentors nationwide
when the need arises. Like our dogs, I am always learning. And just like people, no two dogs are the same.
Difficult dogs are full of potential. All dogs regardless of age or breed will improve as long
as their owners are committed to training them without force or intimidation.