My Training Philosophy
My training philosophy starts here: do no harm. Training should not cause fear or pain or make any behavior problems worse. Using positive reinforcement and training games, I help my clients teach their dogs to live in a human-centered world. I aim to enhance the partnership between dogs and their people by educating people about dog behavior and dog body language, and by using the most effective, science-based training methods.
My Professional Associations & Certifications
Before becoming a dog trainer, I had several different careers. I began my professional life as a dancer in the Boston area where I performed with two small modern dance companies. After I retired from dance in 1993, I attended graduate school in Boston, London, and California, studying English and earning a PhD. I left academia in 2006 to pursue an acting career in the San Francisco Bay Area. After six years of playing roles ranging from Hermione in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Mae Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I stepped back from performing to focus on writing. At the same time, I became a Pilates instructor and worked for a studio in northern California.
In 2016 my husband Dave and I moved with our dog Ralphie to Portland, and I began volunteering for the Oregon Humane Society. I walked dogs, assisted the behavior modification team, and participated in outreach events in the community. For three and a half years I also worked at OHS as an adoption counselor, matching people with pets and helping adopters ease their new pets’ transitions into their homes.
Through my volunteering and work at the Oregon Humane Society, I developed a fascination with canine behavior and training, which led me to take courses about dog training and behavior consulting. In 2021 I finished my three hundred hours of hands-on training as part of my certification as a professional dog trainer. In 2021 I became a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) after finishing three hundred hours of hands-on training and passing a rigorous exam.