I have been training dogs since 1997, when I took my Australian Shepherd puppy to a Beginner Obedience class at All Dogs Gym in Manchester, that used positive reinforcement and Clicker Training. Shortly after, I moved to Maine. From that foundation, I joined an Agility class taught by USDAA judge Paul Stolzenburg, who asked me if I would consider becoming a trainer. I job shadowed with him for several months before teaching a Beginner Agility class.
From there, I began teaching the next 2 levels of agility (Upper Beginner and Pre Intermediate) It is very rewarding to see a dog and handler team grow from that very first agility class, to being able to do a full course, and eventually move on to compete. I really enjoy working with students for months and even years, watching their relationship with their dog grow and evolve.
I have taught Beginner Agility, Upper Beginner Agility, Pre Intermediate Agility, Basic Manners, Beyond Basic, Canine Good Citizen preparation classes (I am also a CGC Evaluator), private lessons that focus on specific client needs, a Kids Camp for kids 8-12 and their dogs (no parents!) and K9 Nose Work(TM). I became a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI)(™) in 2013 and teach all levels of Nose Work, from Intro to Trial Preparation.
My philosophy and outlook on training dogs focuses on the relationship between dog and human. I coach people on how to listen to their dog, and how to adjust their training to bring out the best in him. Trust & communication, combined with play and consistency, lead to well behaved, fun to be around dogs.
Over the years, I have attended many workshops and seminars, from respected trainers Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Bob Bailey, Karen London, Myrna Milani and others, as well as many seminars and workshops with NACSW founders and trainers for K9 Nose Work(™), including the California Narcotic Canine Association / K9 Nose Work Symposium in San Diego, CA.
I have participated with my dogs in Therapy dog work through Delta Society, competed in USDAA and NADAC agility trials, performed at a child’s birthday party with my dogs, and achieved several Nose Work titles with my dogs. I enjoy the partnership and teamwork I have with my dogs, as well as our time just playing in the yard and hiking. The more you do with your dogs, the more they will amaze you! And I love the journey.