Dawn: I became interested in becoming a trainer after I worked in the Canine Company customer center for a year. I’ve always had a love for dogs and wanted more of a hands-on experience. My favorite training moment is the owner’s expression when their dog has listened to them for the first time!
Pro Tip: Be patient. All people and dogs learn at a different pace. Eventually you will see learning happen. Good things take some time.
Kristina: I worked at veterinary offices for a total of 8 years, worked at a doggy daycare, I’ve been pet sitting for 14 years, have a small business management degree and attend multiple dog events every year to support shelters. Dog training was something I always wanted to do that I hadn’t done yet. My favorite training moment was when a client had a breakthrough in teaching her dog a behavior and not only did the dog get so excited, but my client was ecstatic as well!
Pro Tip: Be happy and positive when training your dog. They pick up on our tone and body language, so if you're anxious... they'll be anxious, if you're happy... they'll be happy.
Rachel: I graduated from UConn with a B.S. in Animal Science where I worked closely with cattle and horses and interned at a zoo. At the zoo, I was a keeper in the Hoofstock department caring for a wide range of animals from wolves, to prairie dogs, and even a llama! Volunteering at an animal shelter where I was able to bond with all of the cats and dogs is where my desire to work with and save dogs all started! My favorite training moment was at the conclusion of a Manners lesson with one of my very first clients. We had just finished teaching the challenging behavior of "sit stay" and the dog was doing extremely well. The client looked to me with the happiest expression and tears in her eyes, and gave me a huge hug. It was in that moment that I knew I had the ability to change the lives of my clients for the better.
Pro Tip: Dog training takes patience and determination. Don’t be afraid of new challenges - welcome them.
Jessica: In all of my years as a dog trainer, my favorite training moment has to have been when a Canine Company training client of mine cried on the last session because her dog had come so far with training. This is the most rewarding job, I can't imagine doing anything else.
Pro Tip: Consistency is the key to success.
Kelly: I became a dog trainer because I love to build healthier relationships between dogs and their owners. Through training, I have learned how to be more patient, joyful and to always pay attention to detail through training dogs. My favorite training moments happen all the time, mostly when a dog has accomplished something new and their owner realizes they have the ability to teach.
Pro Tip: Training your dog is a great way to strengthen your bond.
Peter: At the age of six I met Taco, my friend’s Golden Retriever, and from that day forward I always loved dogs. One of the first books I ever read was a dog training book. After I graduated college I found the Canine Company, studied dogs more, and I found the last ten years to be a great long-term fit for my career.
Psychology and associative theories that I have studied play a role in my approach to dog training. My years of skill came from taking courses, reading books, and hands on practice through the leash. When I get a phone call or email telling me how well one of my canine students is doing it’s all worth it.
Pro Tip: I love teaching and the learning process. In regard to animals, teach and learn as much as you can, the rewards are immeasurable.
Diana: I became interested in becoming a dog trainer in 1997 when I got my first dog, a Rottweiler. I wanted to prove stereotypes wrong and succeed. In 2002, I joined Canine Company and became proficient in Manners obedience and Invisible Fence® Brand training.
I’ve learned so much about myself by training dogs. They have inspired me and taught me resilience. I want dogs to live better and happier lives. My favorite training moment is always when the owners tell me how beneficial and rewarding our time together has been.
Pro Tip: Don’t judge a dog by his or her reputation.
Jessica: I went into college with a Pre-Vet major in mind but my love for animal psychology pulled me in the direction of Animal Behavior/Psychology. I also have a minor in Ethology and Evolutionary Biology. I've been interested in becoming a dog trainer for as long as I can remember! My passion for animals grew stronger during my time at UConn where I worked as a pet sitter and dog walker in addition to being a full time student.
I joined Canine Company in 2007. I understand the challenges dogs and their parents may face. Helping them overcome obstacles they face together has played a substantial role in my life and, for that, I am very grateful. My favorite training moment is when the dogs and their family members come to this "Ah ha!" moment of understanding a new behavior. Or when a challenge is overcome between the dog and his family and the joy and happiness for everyone is an amazing thing to witness.
Pro Tip: Be a confident and happy dog owner! It goes a long way.
Stephanie: I earned my Masters Degree in mental health counseling and started dog walking and pet sitting to relax when I wasn't working. Working with dog behavior became a rewarding passion for me that I wanted to further understand and to develop training skills for. I switched to working with animals full time, spending time developing my animal experience at a pet daycare, boarding and veterinary facility. Canine Company trained me in dog obedience and I've been able to utilize both Psychology and animal behavior skills to improve the lives of animals and everyone in their lives.
Pro Tip: With structure, patience and dedication a pet can live a life with less anxiety, less destructive behaviors and respect for it's handler.
Ashley: Before I was a dog trainer, I devoted many years of my life helping animals at shelters and vet hospitals. I discovered my passion for dog training when I was receiving my Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior. Dog training interests me because of the feeling it evokes. The true reward is watching a dog grow through training and seeing the emotion and joy on the face of their owners when their dogs have accomplished their goals. The best part is, these pets teach me just as much as I teach them.
Pro Tip: Patience is key and rewarding is essential.
Brad: I love working with dogs. Teaching obedience training enables me to do what I love everyday. My favorite training moments come when I have helped a client with a particular training issue, such as a jumping problem.
Pro Tip: Dogs enjoy learning so have fun with the training. You will both reap the rewards.
Christina: I’ve always loved dogs. While away at college I worked at an animal shelter where I saw the need to help dogs become more adoptable. Training has helped me learn how to be confident and calm in many situations which allows for progress to be made with pets and their families.
Pro Tip: Patience, patience, patience and have fun.
Nicole: I had become interested in dog training back in 2010 when I had the opportunity to speak to a dog trainer. From that point on, something clicked and I knew I wanted to train dogs. Being a trainer, I've learned to be patient with both people and dogs. The best training moment is the "ah-ha" moment between owner and dog. To watch an owner and dog succeed at a task that seemed impossible to them, makes being a trainer worthwhile.
I have certificates in Recall work, Puppy Basics, and a few others of that nature. I'm also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and an AKC CGC Evaluator. I’m currently enrolled in Animal Behavior College for their Dog Training program as well. I'm about to start their Students Save Lives program where trainers volunteer at shelters to help make dogs more adoptable.
Pro Tip: Training can become frustrating at times, but learning to breathe and think with a clear head (like I've told people in the past) can make it easier and fun for both the owner and dog.
Michelle: After spending several years training and working with horses at UConn, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. Post-graduation I worked as a veterinary technician, mainly caring for dogs at a local practice. I missed the training, but loved working with dogs, so Manners Training with Canine Company was the perfect combination! Being persistent and confident when training is essential. Patience is key and something that I always have to keep in the back of my mind. My favorite training moment was when my dog finally learned to “come.” It was such a rewarding experience and I love that I can teach other pet parents the same feeling of success after their dog learns a challenging command.
Pro Tip: A tired dog is a happy dog! Don’t underestimate how much exercising your dog can aid in the training process.
Dave: I’ve been training dogs for over 10 years and have loved the experience. Throughout my trainings, I’ve realized how much I love helping people. Whenever I see my work help make a person, family or dog’s life better it fills me with a sense of pride. Although it takes determination, patience and persistence, the best moment is when I notice a “lightbulb” go off in the dog I’m working with. Seeing the hard work payoff is awesome, but on top of that knowing that better behavior will make the dog’s and pet parent’s life better is very rewarding.
Pro Tip: Do your homework! A behavior that goes unexercised will diminish over time.
Julia: My family breeds Boxers, so I’ve been around puppies my entire life. Watching them grow those first few weeks and teaching them the basics was always my favorite activity. My mom also brings them to dog shows, so I got into that at a pretty young age too. I have a degree in Animal Science and have learned so much about patience through training dogs. You have to be willing to wait for your results, no matter how long it takes; this can be applied to anything! I love seeing the light finally click with a dog. They get so excited and proud when you give them a command and they know how to do it.
Pro Tip: Structured exercise is the key to your dog’s success.
Sara: After getting my B.S. in Animal Behavior, I decided I wanted to turn my love for dogs into a career. While I’m excited about training different breeds and temperaments, the dogs are also teaching me how to be patient and determined to follow through. When a breakthrough is made during training, it is as fulfilling for me as it is for the pet parent and their pup. Seeing the dog succeed and make their pet parent happy and proud makes my job amazing!
Pro Tip: Consistency is key, everyone should be involved in the training process!
Jessica: I became interested in dog training when I worked at a pet retailer. Although I wasn’t a trainer there, it made me interested in going to school for dog training and learn more about dogs. I got my first dog Mia a few years ago, an 8 week old Belgian Malinois Labrador mix, and the interaction she had with my brothers who both have autism made me want to help people with dogs. Mia and I have been doing pet therapy for kids and adults with disabilities for about two years now. I have a certification for dog training from Animal Behavior College and am Pet First Aid and CPR certified. The best moment as a dog trainer is when a pet parent does their homework and actually sees a difference in the dog’s behavior. It completely changes their perspective and gives them hope.
Pro Tip: Be patient! Getting frustrated only hurts the process.
Michelle: I became interested in dog training because so many families get rid of their dogs because of training or behavioral issues. Knowing the career path I wanted, I attended UConn and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science, with a minor in Behavior. After graduating I worked at a holistic pet store centered around pet nutrition and learned that it’s not only a dog’s physical health that’s important, but also their mental health. Being a dog trainer allows me to get the family and dog on the same page so they can live together comfortably. Since I began training dogs, I’ve realized that I really love to teach. Passing on my knowledge and tools to pet parent is not only empowering for me, but for them as well. Seeing the dog finally get that “aha!” moment is beyond gratifying.
Pro Tip: Learn to be patient and just have fun!