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.
I wish there were more pictures of Trixie and me, but she was always camera shy
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?
Anticipated Spring 2023
Masters of Science
Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Applied Animal Behavior
University of Washington
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?
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
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?
Leash and Learn
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Tell Me More !
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.
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.
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.