PLEASE NOTE: I just moved to Northeastern Ohio and will be setting up shop here. Cities will include: Warren, Youngstaown, Cortland and surrounding areas!
FOUNDER OF THANK DOG! and THANK DOG! BOOTCAMP: Hi! I grew up in rural Ohio surrounded by horses, pot belly pigs, goats and most importantly, dogs. Although I had spent my life caring for animals, it wasn't until I moved to Los Angeles in 2000 that I became a dog trainer and behavior specialist.
It was then that I met John Van Olden, a military trained, police dog handler , founder of Pawsitive Solutions, a dog training company serving the state of California. Despite the fact that 500 applied for only nineteen positions, I was lucky enough to be chosen for the $10,000 education. The training consisted of a month of classroom behavior courses including hands-on training of several dogs of differing temperaments.
During my time with Pawsitive Solutions (PS), I became the head dog trainer for the Southern California region. My responsibilities included visiting local veterinarians to establish relationships and to give presentations about the PS philosophy and methods, along with conducting my private in-home lessons.
After my contract expired with PS, I decided to strike out on my own and formed Thank Dog Training. Since then, I have continued my education by attending seminars and conferences while I also continue to learn from my mentor, John Van Olden.
Although I excelled in the dog training world and definitely knew quite a bit. I wanted to learn more. In 2007, I attended another extensive dog training course for 2 months, in Colorado, because I wanted to add to my "tool belt of methods". This course was more of a refresher and involved remote collar training, clicker training, communicating with body language, tracking, bite work, etc. During that time, we lived with the wolves for a week researching pack behavior, while also learning more techniques and theories of dog training. I have trained several 100s of dogs, all of different temperaments and situations and have been very successful.
I am a member of both the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) . I am highly recommended by many local vets and shelters.
I was just featured on Dog's 101 on Animal Planet and also on the Dog Whisperer (both can be seen on www.thankdogbootcamp.com). I appeared as an expert trainer of German Shepherds in, "Life After People" which entailed military dogs. July, 2010 I was one of 2 trainers chosen to participate in Cesar Millans event where 50 fans paid to spend the weekend with him and their dogs. I am also in his newest dog training book, Cesar's Rules, that was just released. I've been on the Today Show, Access Hollywood, MSN, Good Morning America, etc. I have also been in several popular pet magazines like Dog Sport magazine, Dog aficionado, Animal Fair, Pet Age, Tails, etc. I was given the S.A.F.E. award for my dedication to the Burbank Animal Shelter, specifically, for writing the training section of the pet guide given to each person who adopts a pet from the shelter.
CO-OWNER OF THANK DOG! and THANK DOG! BOOTCAMP: In 2009, while looking for a way to spice up my personal training business, I came across an ad looking for fitness professionals who were also dog lovers. That’s me so I had to respond. This innovative company had come up with the concept of merging human fitness with dog obedience and fitness in an outdoor bootcamp-style class. Little did I know, my response to that ad started a chain of events that would lead me to spending my days doing the things that I love most.
I started my dog training career under the tutelage of Jill Bowers running Thank Dog! Bootcamp classes in Burbank. Jill is an amazing dog trainer and behaviorist as well as a patient teacher. She served as a great role model in the field and led me to completing a formal dog training education with her mentor, John Van Olden.
John and Jill reinforced the philosophy that I had been operating under when it came to training my own dogs – dogs are individuals as much as humans are and there is no cookie cutter approach that works for all dogs. The keys to successfully reaching your training goals start with that understanding. I approach each dog and owner as an individual pair and address their challenges in whatever manner best works for that duo.