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I probably shouldn't like dogs

At 18 months old I was bitten in the face by our family dog, Luke (left). The scar on my face is still easy to spot. 

At 10, I was chased down the street by a friend's dog.

Then at 14, I was bitten by another dog while babysitting their two kids. 

So unlike a lot of animal professionals I haven't "always liked dogs."

Then came Trixie

Trixie was the best!

She joined our family when I was in 7th grade and showed me that I wanted to become a dog trainer. She was my best friend and taught me so many lessons throughout her life. 

It was at her puppy classes that I knew dog training was what I wanted to do with my life. It was so fun, so freeing, and so relaxing. 

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I wish there were more pictures of Trixie and me, but she was always camera shy

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High School and College

In my senior year of high school, I made it very clear to all my teachers and advisors I wanted to become a dog trainer. I was told to go to school, get a degree, and find a real job. 

That is exactly what I did... well, kind of. 

I moved to NYC to pursue my undergraduate degree at The City College of New York (CCNY). But, while in school full time I also worked full time in various dog related positions. First at a dog daycare, then as a dog walker, then an apprentice for a dog trainer. 

Where did I learn to do this? 

Education

Anticipated Spring 2023

Masters of Science 

Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Virginia Tech

2017

Certificate

Applied Animal Behavior

University of Washington

2015 

Bachelor of Arts

Double Major: Digital Design; Advertising and Public Relations

The City College of New York

In 2015 I graduated CCNY and also recieved my CPDT - KA certification

Who decided I was quialified for this?

Credentials

Certified Professional Dog Trainer - KA

Family Paws Family Educator

Fear Free Certified Professional

Certified Trick Dog Instructor

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

American Safety and Health Institute, Pet First Aid Certified

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I knew this is what I was meant to do

I graduated from undergrad and (much to the dismay of several professors) ignored the degrees I had just received. I jumped right into dog training full time. 

What do I actually do on a daily basis?

Experience

Leash and Learn
Founder, Owner

2012 - Present

  • Accomplished dog trainer and small business owner

  • Communicates with clients and their dogs kindly, respectfully, and professionally

  • Creates and implements training plans through the use of positive reinforcement and LIMA-based training

  • Works with dogs who show aggression towards dogs, aggression towards people, handling issues, resource guarding, and/or separation anxiety

  • Trains new puppies and their owners in proper care to promote appropriate behavioral development and growth

  • Writes informative blog posts bi-weekly on common behavioral issues facing

    dog owners

  • Designed, wrote, illustrated, and published dog training informational posters that have been distributed for free across the world and are also sold on Dogwise.com

  • Expert source referenced by BuzzFeed, Pet Professionals Guild, Manhattan Profiles, and others, for various published articles

Bully Project
Volunteer

2013 - Present 

  • Analyzes a dog’s behavior to see if it is a good fit for Bully Project and to determine the type of home that will fit its needs

  • Cares for and trains dogs from city shelters to prepare them for permanent homes

  • Prepares new dog parents for transitioning their adopted dog into their home

  • Performs follow-up visits to monitor transition and help with set backs, and provides detailed notes of the dog’s progress

The Good Dog Foundation
Instructor

2019 - 2022

  • Assesses dog’s and owner’s suitability for therapy dog work

  • Responsible for certifying new dog-owner teams for therapy dog work

  • Creates a safe classroom setting for dogs and owners

  • Teaches weekly classes in an engaging and informative manner

Sit Stay Dog Training
Assistant Trainer

Positively Love
Supervisor

2011 - 2013

  • Designed and implemented training programs

2010 - 2012

  • Provide safe and compassionate care for dogs in a daycare, walking, boarding environments

  • Oversee handling and care of dogs by other employees 

  • Assemble and then supervise playgroups based on the size, play style, ages, and needs of various dogs playgroups 

Virginia Tech

I fell in love with research while completing the coursework for Virginia Tech's Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare online masters degree program. 

Under the mentorship of Drs. Erica N. Feuerbacher and Lisa Gunter,
I carried out research examining puppy owners’ perceptions of puppy socialization and their ability to interpret canine body language.

 

I never had considered that I could be someone who did research,
I'm not a science person! But, I guess it turns out I am. 

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Tell Me More ! 

Fun Facts 

Ice Cream

My favorite flavor of ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Phish Food, and there is never a time its too cold to enjoy a bowl. 

Color

My favorite color is green (I guess that's obivous now). It always has been and I don't really see that changing anytime soon. 

Where I've Lived

This answer is pretty boring, I grew up in Massachusetts and moved to NYC when I was 18 for college. 

Movies

My favorite movie, by far, is the original karate kid. It's the only movie I never get tired of watching. I might know all the words by now. 

Shoot me an Email!

Let me know why you do or do not agree with my favorite ice cream flavor, color, or movie. I would love to debate, and I would be impressed if you can prove to me why my favorites are inferior. 

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