I began training dogs when I was just a little girl. I fell in love with the sport of dog agility and was willing to do anything to get my dog running in the ring. As time progressed, I became the proud owner of an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie. Over the past ten years with these dogs, I have obtained over 30 titles on them in competitions. I continue to compete in agility with my dogs and am exploring other fun ways to train with dogs including herding, freestyle, rally obedience, and nosework.
As I learned more about dog training, I developed my own training style and methods that I have found to work for most dogs and provides the dog with optimal understanding. I opened a dog training business in 2010 and began teaching mostly agility lessons as a contractor. As time progressed, I decided to earn a certification in obedience training at the Animal Behavior College (ABC) in order to continue my dog training career with certification. During my time at ABC, I was introduced to Cheryl Kresge at Tailwaggers. She offered me a position as a Dog Trainer and I have been happily training there since 2013.
My training philosophy is based on positive reinforcement and minimal correction use. I believe in helping the dog understand what we are looking for by rewarding the good behaviors and ignoring the bad. Dogs will use common sense and engage in those very rewarding behaviors and begin to engage less in unrewarding behaviors. We need to teach our dogs exactly what we want them to do before we can ever correct a behavior. It is our job to give our dogs a reason to behave in a way more suitable for us – and with that comes many treats!
I believe dog training should be fun for both the owner and the dog. I have knowledge of many training styles from positive reinforcement and shaping to more “traditional” methods. Through my continued research and experience – I have found that dogs respond best to positive reinforcement methods. All dogs and owners are different and I prefer to work on an individual level, finding what works best for each team. Dog training is not cookie cutter and everyone is different.