How long have you been involved in dog training?
I studied Animal Science and Behavior and completed my Bachelor’s Degree at Virginia Tech, and I’ve been training professionally for over 8 years now.
What is your favorite aspect of dog training?
My favorite aspect of dog training is helping people and their dogs better understand each other! I believe that a Dog Trainer’s job is to strengthen the relationship between people and their dogs. You could say we teach dogs to behave, or you could say we teach people how to better handle their dog’s behavior. But what we really do is help people and their dogs speak the same language.
Why is dog training important to you?
According to the ASPCA, US animal shelters take in around 3.3 million dogs every year. I believe educational dog training is essential to bringing that number down. I encourage my classes to take what they’ve learned here and share it with the world! Many of our graduates go on to great things, such as volunteer therapy work, or assisting in foster programs. Dog training is important to me because it helps us save the animals we love.
Do you have your own personal philosophy in regards to dog training?
“You could love your dog today and train her for the rest of her life, or you could train your dog today and love her the rest of her life.”
We all love our dogs, and our dogs love us, but a great relationship takes more than just love. With knowledge, positive reinforcement, and a little practice, I can help you build good habits that will last a lifetime.
Do you own any dogs of your own? Tell me about them.
My dog Molly is a Golden Retriever, and she is going to be 16 years old this year (in case you’re wondering…yes, we did throw her a Quinceañera last year, and we’re currently planning her “Sweet 16”!) Molly and I have been together over half my life and she even went to college with me. Molly has always been my inspiration and it’s because of her that I found my dream job of being a Dog Trainer.
My dog Indy (as in “Indiana Jones”) is a Yellow Lab/Great Pyrenees mix, and he’s nearly 6 years old. Indy often assists me during my training sessions, whether it’s being a distraction dog, practice greeter, or even helping me with behavior analysis. Most often, he’s just the official treat inspector, but I’m truly lucky to have such a great canine partner!