Here’s what you should know about me and how I work
Dog training is an unregulated industry, in which anyone can claim to be a dog trainer, with or without formal education, training or experience. Consequently, choosing a dog trainer can be fraught with confusion and risk.
Throughout my over 15-year career, I have dedicated myself to providing the best training results possible for my clients. Toward that goal, I have committed myself to ongoing professional education, seeking the highest credentials and affiliations available to professional dog trainers.
My commitment to force-free, scientific training methods
The science of animal training has come a long way in past decades, providing professional dog trainers the ability to achieve effective, lasting training results without the use of the training methods my generation grew up with.
Previous approaches using fear, pain, and intimidation, including leash corrections, choke and prong collars, spray bottles and shake cans, and swatting and yelling are now discouraged by professional dog training schools and associations around the world, having been shown in study after study to risk unwanted side effects while often producing only limited or short-term results.
For your peace of mind and your dog’s enjoyment I rely solely on force-free, science-based training. My training methods are chosen to bring you the best possible training results while also promoting the deepest possible bond of trust and understanding between you and your best friend.
Credentials & Affiliations
CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
Fear Free Certified Professional
IABBC: International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Supporting Member
Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner 1
PPG: Pet Professional Guild Full Member
APDT: Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Professional Member
IAABC: International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Supporting Member
ISCP: International School of Canine Psychology, Affiliate Member
ICAN: International Companion Animal Network, Affiliate Member
Former National Program Educator Emeritus and licensed Evaluator for Pet Partners
Funded research and presentations on animal-assisted interventions
Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference speaker
Pet Partners therapy dog speaker
Guest Lecturer on ethology for E-Training.com
TEDx talk speaker
Duke University Medical Center Pets At Duke Program
Current President of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Foundation
Past Vice-President of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Foundation
Past Chair of the Working Animal Division for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants journal
A Dog’s Life, The Confident Dog blog
I am the founder and administrator of Books, Barks, and Banter, an online book club whose mission is to read and discuss books about animal behavior and training with the goal to gain a better understanding to apply the material to our work and lives with dogs.
Formerly I co-moderated DogRead, the largest online book club dedicated to dog-related reads.
I am a Certified Research Administrator (CRA), with a particular interest in animal welfare, animal-assisted interventions, and the human-animal bond.
I have been honored to work with Triangle Beagle Rescue as an emeritus trustee and foster care specialist, to walk dogs for seniors via Mansfield Animal Care & Control, and with Portuguese Water Dogs rescue as a foster parent.
What kind of dog lover would I be if I didn’t share a bit about my own dogs?
Portuguese Water Dog
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Charlie was a rescue found on the side of the road. Though he lost his sight (and his eyes) by 4 months old, he never let that slow him down. Charlie has twice been nominated for the American Kennel Club’s Award in Canine Excellence, and with good reason. As a Pet Partners therapy animal Charlie has visited with thousands (yes, thousands!) of clients at hospitals, in hospice, and in prison. Charlie loves to bark (he is a Beagle, after all), and is proud of his work as a model for Lili Chin’s famous dog behavior and body language infographics.
Jade’s primary job is to serve as her brother Charlie’s guide dog. She keeps him from getting lost in the yard, let’s me know when Charlie is on the move, and finds all sorts of clever ways to keep him safe and out of trouble throughout the day. In order to keep tabs, Jade makes sure they are always touching when they sleep—just in case Charlie tries to give her the slip. Following in her brother’s pawsteps, Jade also models for Lili Chin.
Ella tried therapy dog work, but she just wasn’t inspired by it, so her primary job these days is Chief Snuggle Bug. She’s quite talented at it, using her considerable skills with brother Charlie as well as any and all visitors. Thanks to the training talent of Duke University students during a midterm stress-relief break, Ella also enjoys twirling. (Sit? Sure, just let me twirl first! Down? You bet, I’ll just throw in a quick twirl for good measure!) Ella is hoping one day to secure her own modeling gig with Lili Chin.