I and my husband Peter relocated to the Maryland area in 1989 from upstate New York. We now reside in Westminster, Maryland with our teen-age son, Conor.
My foray into dog training started in 1972 with the gift of an Irish Setter from Hugh and Virginia Rumbaugh’s Fleetwood Farms Irish Setters in Bath, Ohio. My father remanded that I train the dog or give him away, so I promptly found an obedience instructor so I could keep my dog. The Rumbaughs introduced me to the world of dog shows very early, and I showed and finished that dog and several others by the time I turned 18.
After I left home, it was pretty clear to me that dogs would figure prominently in my future, as every job I ever enjoyed centered around dogs, their care and training. I studied under and subsequently worked for Andy Luper of A Greater Phoenix Dog Training Academy in Phoenix Arizona, and a series of other notables throughout time and across the nation. I worked as a veterinary technician in New Jersey, whelped litters and trained dogs for Nether-lair Kennels in Wrentham Massachusetts and apprenticed under professional handlers Eliot and Linda More in Pomfret Center, Connecticut, as well as others. I interned under a variety of upland bird dog trainers and retriever trainers over the years, and dabbled in protection sports as both a handler and decoy when I was still young and daring.
Since moving to Maryland, I have held positions with the Humane Society of Harford County in Fallston as the behavior counselor and temperament evaluator, the Baltimore Humane Society and the Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue as well as a plethora of breed specific and all-breed rescues in the area.
I am fascinated with puppies and how quickly they learn. The focus of my most recent research over the last decade has been with the development and early learning of puppies. I firmly believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and continue to create programs for new puppy owners that enable them to reduce the stress of owning a very young puppy. Using ideas from many of the working and performance dog cultures, I have developed and streamlined a concise program exclusively for puppies that defies the current beliefs about training puppies and truly prepares puppies for a lifetime of problem-free learning.
I have also provided testimony as a Subject Matter Expert in court cases involving dog-related disputes, and have provided consultations for retail merchants, homeowners associations and restaurateurs, on the content of the Department of Justice’ Americans with Disabilities Act. In an effort to improve relations between merchants and the service dog community, I have helped clarify the ADA law and define the “right to privacy”. Being both a Service Dog provider and trainer as well as an individual impacted by dogs being represented as service dogs deceptively, I feel it is essential for this information to be understood and used effectively to protect the interests of business owners as well as people who benefit from the aid of a fully trained service dog.
I have been featured in articles about dogs and training in Carroll Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, The York Daily Record and WITF’s Central Pennsylvania Magazine.