Growing up, I was always interested in working with animals of all shapes and sizes. I started out riding horses; with learning about their behavior, and how to best care for them. I then went on to compete in “Hunter and Jumper” shows and volunteered at the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center. During this time I learned the body language, care, and communication that you have to have with a horse while you compete. After riding horses, I became part of the Buffalo Zoo team. While there, continued to learn more about animal body language, psychology, and behavior with a large variety of animals. The zoo also allowed me the opportunity to work with the public, educating them about certain animals, and teaching me how to best communicate complex animal topics to people of all ages. For college, I attended the University of Vermont and earned a Bachelor's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology with a concentration in Wildlife. During my four years, even though I was learning about the environment and wildlife, I worked with dogs most often. From just walking dogs or being an attendant at a doggy daycare, I learned more about dog psychology, behavior, and handling, every chance I got. While I was a kennel attendant, I would spend many hours watching dogs of different ages, energy, breed, and size; observing and learning from them.
My senior year of college, I acquired my first dog, a Husky named Harley. I knew that having a Husky would mean that he would require a large amount of structure and training. As time went on, I continued to train Harley and research different training techniques to best fit his needs. Even though we went through at least 4 harnesses and a handful of sleepless nights, Harley taught me so much just in the first few months of having him. After Harley, I adopted Roxy (Shepherd mix) who was the complete opposite of Harley. Roxy was completely shut down and lost when she came home. I knew that working with her the same way I worked with Harley was not the way to go. After never giving up with earning her trust and showing her that the world isn't so scary, she slowly started coming out of her shell. My last pack member, Zuke (Coonhound/Lab mix), was a bit in between Roxy and Harley when it came to energy level and outgoing nature, but he still made me really work to figure out the best way we can communicate with him. With such different personalities and needs in my home, I became a balanced trainer, because after using balanced training techniques with each of my dogs, they all excelled!
For about 6 years now, I have been training dogs using the balanced method all around Buffalo. I have shadowed well known trainers, attended many seminars, and a Solid K9 Training program. During that program, I had a chance to learn all kinds of behavior modification, trick training, obedience training, and off leash manners. I also had the chance to work with The Good Dog Trainer, Sean O'Shea. In the week that I spent there, I learned more skills including behavioral modification training, ecollar training, business tips and tricks, and much more. Every day I continue to read training books, learn from different trainers, and continue to better hone my skills with every lesson that I have.