My journey with dogs started in 2011, when I acquired an extremely fearful German Shepherd named Jojo. If you guessed that she's the beautiful black shepherd on my site, you'd be right!
Jojo was terrified when we brought her home, and spent most of her first days home trembling in a corner of the bathroom. I knew I had to help her somehow, and discovered positive reinforcement dog training. I read everything I could get my hands on about animal behavior, went to seminars, and knew that this was the right path to pursue as a career.
My journey led me to the animal shelter. I thought I'd only work at the shelter for a year or two to get some hands on experience, but helping shelter animals turned out to be a highly fulfilling career that I enjoyed for years. I worked in many positions across 3 different shelters throughout my sheltering career, but the majority was spent working in a behavioral capacity. I wrote and executed training plans for at risk dogs, taught classes for inmates at a county jail, led volunteer classes, ran large scale play groups, and helped people keep pets in their home with behavior advice.
I met and worked with thousands of dogs of all shapes, sizes, and personalities while working in animal shelters. I met dogs with bite histories, who needed serious behavior modification programs in order to be safely adopted into homes, dogs with severe anxiety, dogs who were completely shut down due to fear, and dogs who were aroused and difficult to handle. I am eternally grateful for the lessons they taught me.
I absolutely loved working with the animals in shelters, but I also realized that working with people made a huge impact in their lives, and the lives of their pets. I was able to keep many dogs out of the shelter, by teaching their owners or adopters about positive reinforcement training. I realized that teaching people about dog behavior was what I was meant to do in life.
Since then, I've thoroughly enjoyed starting my business and helping my clients. My favorite part of being a dog trainer is seeing all the "ah-ha" moments of both the dogs and the people, and helping people and dogs reach their full potential in their relationship.
I earned my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed) from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in Fall 2017, and formed Train Your Dog LLC in June of 2018.
When I'm not training dogs, you can usually find me in my garden, kayaking, or spending time with my family.