Credentials, Training, Education & Experience

1983-1989: Sgt., US Army Military Police Corp West Germany & NJ

1989-2001: Police Officer/Sergeant, NJ Transit PD

2001-2006: Certified Explosive Detection K9 Handler; Sergeant, NCOIC Explosive Detection K9 Unit; Unit trainer

2006-2007: Petsmart Dog Trainer: Taught Puppy Basics, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Obedience courses to over 400 dogs & owners

2007- 2010: Purr’n Pooch Pet Resort (NJ). Trainer and behavior consultant. Taught Puppy, Beginner and Adult Basic Life Skills classes, Advanced classes, Canine Good Citizenship and Out'n About courses but most of my work was with behaviorally challenged dogs. Also spent many hours in day care groups assessing dogs' temperament and observing and educating myself and staff on good canine play skills, body language and behavior. I worked with over 1000 dogs and provide training to staff as well as seminars to dog owners.

2008- 2015: Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). This organization seeks to educate and promote the benefits of positive reinforcement training among dog trainers and dog owners alike. 

2008- present: Certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator. This title indicates to dog owners and the general public that the dog has excellent obedience and social skills and is a welcome part of any community. My Evaluator # is 34321.

2008-2014: Attended the annual 5 day Association of Pet Dog Trainers national conferences, earning 160+ continuing education credits in areas of canine behavior, cognition, ethology, learning theory, communication etc. 

2009-2010: Provided four information seminars to public users of of the Monmouth County (NJ) Parks and Recreation System titled ‘How to Safely Enjoy the Dog Park’. This seminar was provided as a community service so that more dog owners and their dogs would enjoy the two county dog parks and in hopes that this information would help to stem the number of unacceptable incidents at the parks.

2009- 2012: Selected as the first Best Friends Animal Society Community Training Partner. I established canine enrichment and rehabilitation programs at the Monmouth County (NJ) SPCA and taught Canine Behavior and Communication to staff and volunteers. I worked with local rescue groups teaching the Canine Behavior and Communication course to area volunteers and kennel facility staffs. At Best Friends' request, I traveled each year to various shelters and animal rescue organizations throughout the United States presenting workshops on canine behavior, language, shelter enrichment programs, shelter play groups, pre and post adoption support programs and how to keep our pets in their homes. 

2009- present: Became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) after successfully completing the extensive test administered by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). The CCPDT is a national/international third party certification body for professional dog trainers. I continue to accrue more than the minimum required CEUs to maintain my certification. My certification # is 2081699.

2010: Attended 3 day seminar conducted by Dr. Nick Dodman, Program Director of Animal Behavior, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. Dr. Dodman is considered one of the five foremost researchers in Animal Behavior as well as the leading researcher in the use of pharmacological intervention in dogs with behavioral issues. Subjects presented on included Fear and Aggression, Separation Anxiety, Ethology of the Domestic Dog, Canine Cognitive Disorder and Psychopharmacology. CEUs earned

2010- present: Became a licensed and endorsed member of the Victoria Stilwell Positive Dog Trainers team (VSPDT)

2010- present: Member of the Behavior Education Network (BEN). This is a professionals only organization that provides weekly webinars concentrating on such areas as behavior modification techniques, dog to dog and dog to human reactivity, working with fearful dogs, recognizing and designing rehabilitation protocols for various ‘aggression/reactivity’ issues, etc. CEUs earned

2012- present: Applied and accepted as a member of the Pet Professional Guild, an organization of pet professionals who practice only force free, fear free, pain free, science based, positive reinforcement methods of training and behavior modification. I'm also a Summit Planning Committee member.

2013- present: Trained service dogs in a variety of roles through and for the Best Friends Animal Society Canines with Careers Program under the direction of BFAS Trainer/Behavior Consultant Sherry Woodard

2013- 2016: Co-presenter with Best Friends Animal Society Trainer/Behavior Consultant Sherry Woodard at seminars in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New York and New Jersey for shelter and rescue groups as well as dog owners, vets and vet techs on recognizing, understanding and working with dogs that have multiple medical and behavioral issues.

2013: Attended seminar conducted by Dr. Siracusa, PENNVET Director of Behavior Dept. This seminar dealt specifically with behavioral issues found in shelter dogs and also included 3 hours of actual assessments. CEUs earned

2014: Attended 2 day seminar presented by Dr. Nick Dodman, Program Director of Animal Behavior, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Dr. Ray Coppinger and others focusing on Canine Genetics and Behavior. This seminar also focused on specific fears and phobias as well as a presentation by Dr. Marty Becker which focused on creating Fear Free Vet Visits. CEUs earned

2014: Spent 5 days at the Rochester Animal Shelter in Rochester, NY providing shelter assessment, staff and volunteer workshops, canine assessments, enrichment programs and adoption support programs on behalf of the Best Friends Animal Society.

2014- 2015: Training & Behavior Consultant for Marty's Place, a senior dog sanctuary. Evaluated dogs for admission and implemented behavior and enrichment programs for resident dogs

2015: Attended 2 day symposium at Cornell Univ. titled Animal Behavior Symposium. Lectures and Labs covered: Canine Cognition and Behavior, Advanced Learning Theory, Diets and Supplements as Behavior Modification Adjuncts, Impulsivity, Reactive Dogs, Anxious and Aggressive Animals and case studies. CEUs earned

2015: Attended Pet Professional Guild Educational Summit in Tampa, FL. Presentations attended: Assessing Behavior; Breed Specific Behavior; Relationship Essentials; Working Professionally with Animal Shelters & Rescue Groups; Emotion & Behavior Change; Breed Bias; Pharmacologic Intervention; Aggression; Canine Cognition. CEUs earned. 

​2017: Attended the Pet Professional Guild Educational Summit in Orlando, FL. Presentations and workshops attended: Evolution of Science Based Training; Canine Stereotypic Behavior; Behavior Principles; Canine Cognition; Ethical Dilemmas; Psychological Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress in Canines; Canine Sense and Scent Ability; Dog Bites and Children; Low Stress Handling Techniques for Canines; Positive Psychology for Behavioral Change in Canines; The Art and Science of Non-Auditory Communication; Threshold Learning. CEUs earned.

2017- 2018: Behavior Consultant to the Monmouth County SPCA Buddy Program. I developed, designed, implemented and taught selected volunteers and the Behavior Department behavior modification protocols for designated dogs that had challenging behaviors in order to help them become more adoptable. We met twice weekly where I worked with specific handlers assigned to specific dogs in one-on-one settings. Challenges included resource guarding, fear of people, dog-dog reactivity, body handling, over-stimulation, mouthing, impulse control, etc. As of December 20, 2017, 40% of the dogs in the program had been successfully adopted without any returns. 

2018: Attended the Pet Professional Guild 5 day Animal Behavior Workshop at the Best Friends Animal Society in UT. Topics presented were Confirmation Bias, Psychological Trauma and PTSD in Dogs, Building Foundation Skills to Prepare Dogs for Adoption, Building Trust, Working at or Near Threshold for results in Shelter Dogs, Target Training for Parrots, Teaching Through Protected Contact, Separating Triggers- Counter Conditioning to Achievable Steps, Science at Best Friends, Common Ideas for Dog Training, Creating a Peaceful Multi-Dog Household, Stranger Fear Workshop, Rescue Dog Fundamentals, Using Touch and Movement to Build Calmness and Confidence, Exploring Reinforcement. We spent four afternoons conducting hands-on training with dogs, cats, horses, pigs, tortoises, parrots, and bunnies. CEUs earned

2018: Achieved certification as a Pet Professional Guild Pet Dog Ambassador Program Instructor and Assessor