My passion is to teach trainers and others about service dogs. I developed a certificate program for professional dog trainers in service dog coaching and am the author of Service Dog Coaching: A Guide for Pet Dog Trainers, to be published in 2019. I also offer webinars and articles through professional organizations including the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild.
My credentials include a Masters in education and a Bachelors in psychology from George Mason University. Additionally, I have a certificate in Brain Research in Education from a Washington University program sponsored by the NIH. My certifications in dog training and behavior consulting include the CPDT-KA and the CABC. Previously, I served as a Vice President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and founded the Working Animal Division.
My hands-on experience includes training service dogs to help people with wide range of needs including mobility, hearing, neurological problems and a dual guide-mobility dog. I started training dogs professionally in the 1990’s and have also helped thousands of pet owners with everything from basic manners to serious behavior problems. As well as working with owner-trainers, I have experience working with non-profit service dog programs.
My interest in service work is both personal and professional. I have a progressive neurological movement disorder called dystonia and trained my own dogs as service dogs. I also enjoy training my dogs in various activities and have titled several of my dogs in Rally Obedience. My husband and I live with our collies just outside of Washington DC in Northern Virginia.
Additional Professional Achievements
- Curriculum contributor for CATCH Canine Trainers Academy
- Speaker at conferences including Mid Atlantic Positive Dog Trainers (2018), IAABC (2006), PAWS Service dogs (2004).
- Invited Speaker for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (2010) – Front Royal Canine Training Center
- Managing editor of an internationally distributed newsletter for a non-profit service dog program, A Pawsitive Canine Experience. The newsletter won the Dog Writers of America Award in 2006.
Certifications and Memberships
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA)
- Certified Dog and Cat Behavior Consultant
- Association of Pet Dog Trainers
- Animal-Assisted Intervention International
- Pet Professional Guild
- AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator