Head Trainer and Founder
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all animals. I have been training my own dogs since the age of ten, and have been committed to using force free methods since 1998. When I discovered the thrill of teaching dogs and other creatures with the clicker, I became involved in dog rescue and then in teaching others how to develop harmonious relationships with their dogs through positive reinforcement training.
I began teaching dog training in 1999 as an apprentice, and started an independent training business in 2005. I have participated with my dogs in service and community education projects and group activities with Dog Scouts of America, and enjoyed making nursing home visits with a certified therapy dog. I have honed my training skills through workshops with Bob and Marian Bailey, Sue Ailsby, Steve White, Kathy Sdao, Turid Rugaas, and Dawn Jecs. I became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) in 2013. As part of this experience, I added cat training to my repertoire. I obtained my CPDT-KA certification (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge-Assessed)* in 2019. With a Ph.D. in biology, I am employed in biomedical research in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. I enjoy the synergy between my training in biological science and the science-based approach to pet training that I learned through my studies in Karen Pryor Academy.
I live in Lexington with Mystery, a Golden Retriever-Australian Shepherd mix, Juni, a (perhaps) hound-Blue Heeler mix, and three cats, all rescued from local shelters.
Learn more about why I train the way I do on the Training Style page.
*The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is the only independent certifying organization for the dog training profession.
2014: Puppy Start Right for Instructors - Kenneth Martin and Debbie Martin
Webinars: Improving behavior in the veterinary clinic - Melissa Spooner
Kitty Kindergarten: Creating the New Improved Cat with Early Socialization - Sophia Yin
2015: Clicker Expo - 3-day conference
IAABC 2-day National Conference
Webinars: Consulting and Teaching Skills - Ken Ramirez
Managing Dogs in a Group Setting - Kathy Sdao
The Biology of Socialization - Jessica Hekman
2016: Clicker Expo - 3-day Conference
Online course: How to Work Aggression Cases A-Z - Mike Shikasio
Webinars: Feline Destructive Scratching - Francine Miller
Quality of Life for Cats and Dogs - Patricia McConnell, Amy Marder and Stephen Zawitowski
Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive Approaches - Jean Donaldson
Training for Health Care - Laura Monaco Torelli
Complex Tools and Behavior Chains - Ken Ramirez
The Cat Behavior Continuum - Dr. Margaret Slater
2017: IAABC online course in Cat Behavior Consulting - Katenna Jones
Webinars: The Power of Choice - Irith Bloom
How to Organize a Kittengarten - Paula Garber
Trauma in animals - Patricia McConnell
Psychological Trauma and PTSD in Dogs - Dr. Franklin D McMillan
Cat Behavior & Cognition: Using science to increase cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond
- Kristyn Vitale Shreve
2018: Workshops: Shaping with PORTL - Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter
Your PORTL to Stimulus Control - Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter
Online course: Concept Training - Ken Ramirez
Webinars: Exploring Canine Attachment Behavior - Lauren Thielke MS
Advances in TAGTeach - Theresa McKeon
2019: Certification: Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed
Conference: Clicker Expo - 3-day Conference
Online course: Aggression in Dogs Master Course - Michael Shikasio
Webinars: "But my Dog is Not Food Motivated" - Kathy Sdao
Conversation on Sound-sensitivity - Jessica Hekman DVM Ph.D., Deb Jones, Ph.D., Amy Cook
Ph.D., Jennifer Summerfield DVM