Hi! I’m Debbie. Lifelong animal lover, college psych major, mother of two, and human treat dispenser to rescue dogs Gizmo and Rocky. Gizmo is a no-nonsense Chihuahua mix who helped me assess dogs for years thanks to his awesome body language. He’s nearing 20 with the utmost grace. Rocky is my 15-year-old pit bull. He is such a happy goof who just wants people to love him. My husband, kids and I do, of course, and he is great with the kids!
Rocky gave me that a-ha moment that led me to dog training. When he joined the family, I knew it was important to train him well because of the stigma surrounding pit bulls. In college, I had done my senior internship at an animal shelter, working hands on with dogs and cats and answering questions for the pet-behavior help line. As I was training Rocky, it clicked—I wanted to fuse my degree in psychology with my love of working with animals to become a dog trainer. In 2010, I graduated from Animal Behavior College with honors, and I’ve been helping dogs and their families enjoy happier lives ever since. I love my job!
My techniques are all positive and based on the most current behavioral and animal psychology. Dogs love to think, so I find out what motivates them—treats, toys, attention—and use those motivators as a training tool. As your dog learns what you expect of her, she can think about how to take action rather than reacting to a situation. Every dog learns differently, so we try different approaches to fit your dog’s learning style. I make training fun, simple and stress-free for you and your dog.
From my years of working with shelters, I know that working through behavior issues is the most effective way to keep pets in happy, healthy homes. As a mom, I’m passionate about making sure families with kids and dogs have safe, fun interactions. Dogs are part of the family, and it’s great to watch kids playing with their dogs. Teaching a kid how to teach their dog tricks? So fun! Knowing that everyone can play safe? So rewarding!
When I see happy guardians and happy dogs after a session, that’s how I know I’m where I should be.