Tiffany Shields (she/her)
I have been a Service Dog handler for 9 years. Zoey was trained using purely positive reinforcement. I have mentored under an amazing trainer for 10 years, helping her train pets needing basic obedience and many other things while training my own dogs. Zoey has been trained to mitigate my disabilities in quite a few ways. There are many tasks a service dog can do for you, if you and your doctor feel it would be beneficial. Service dogs are not just for the blind. They can also help people with PTSD, Psychiatric Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Mobility assistance, as well as blind and deaf individuals. There is a lot of training that goes into Service Dogs. Training a dog specifically for Service work can be very different from training a pet as special skills are required for public access rights.
Jessica Fatkins (she/her)
Jessica unknowingly adopted a dog with behavioral issues from the county shelter several years ago. Her dog, Ruby, would fuel her passion to learn more about reward-based dog training and spark her career to become a certified dog trainer. She expanded her knowledge of animal behavior after interning and assisting in dog training classes at a local Akron company. Jessica is a certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Fear Free certified dog trainer. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kent State University and a minor in Psychology. Her psychology background provided her with a scientific foundation of how animals learn. Jessica loves working with puppies and adolescent dogs and helping clients with their pups! She has taught puppy and basic manners classes in the local area for a few years now. When Jessica is not training, she is hanging out with her senior dog Ruby and plays Stardew Valley and Zelda with her friends.
Michelle Brown (she/they)
Michelle has been involved with animals and rescue starting from early childhood watching her aunt work with cats, dogs, and horses. She has been rescuing animals of all varieties ever since. Michelle has been an active member of local rescues for 9 years working with cats and dogs. She has fostered over 40 dogs and 50 cats. Her focus has been working to socialize feral or shy cats and dogs from puppy mills or under-socialized environments. She also has a love of working with deaf dogs and teaching them signs. Experiences with several fosters with reactivity led her to learn more about canine behavior, it has become a mission and personal journey to learn as much as she can to help work with behavioral issues. She spends time weekly working with dogs at the Parma Animal Shelter helping them learn the skills they need to help get them adopted. Michelle has 2 dogs: a beagle named Ellis that was rescued from a laboratory and a City Dog bully mix named Tyson. She also has 4 cats that can from rescue. She is working towards being a Certified Dog Trainer with CATCH! Dog Training.
KJ Hurlbert (she/her)
KJ has loved animals her entire life. Some of her earliest memories are of watching a friend's grandmother train service dogs and thinking that had to be the coolest job ever. This set in motion a quest to study and learn as much about dogs as possible. As well as taking every opportunity to be around dogs. KJ has two dogs at home, a Beagle Mix named Charlie and a Labrador Retriever named Taako. For the past five years, KJ has been working at a doggy daycare, growing her knowledge and experience with dogs. When her dog Taako became reactive, KJ took a deep dive into training techniques, canine behavior, and psychology to help Taako overcome his fear. This passion, coupled with the encouragement of several key people in her life led to her pursuing a Fear Free Certification as well as working to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
Tracy Wrobbel (she/her)
Tracy has been an animal lover all of her life, even as a toddler, her favorite toy was a toy dog and she was always found petting any dog that was nearby. Family and friends agree, things have not changes much, she still needs to meet EVERY dog she comes across. Once Tracy began fostering, she realized that she needed the help of professional dog trainers to help her make her fosters adoptable. Learning about dog behavior and seeing the success the training had on dogs inspired Tracy to pursue dog training. Tracy has become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and is working towards her CCPDT-KA. When Tracy is not training dogs, she works as a Registered Corporate Coach and Training Manager at her Full Time job. When she has spare time, she enjoys spending time with her dogs Tucker, Riley, Carrie and Yoshi and her cat Louie. Her hobbies include gardening, genealogy, spending time in nature and working on crafts (Pysanky, Drawing, Embroidery, Beading).
Valarie Ross-Smith (she/her)Co-Owner
Valarie has been working with and training animals for as long as she can remember. After fostering a dog named Mitchell, she was inspired by another dog trainer to change career paths. Since that time she has become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, and a Dog Bite Prevention Educator. She is also working towards becoming a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor. Valarie finds working with dog that struggle with anxiety, fear, reactivity, and aggression very rewarding. She enjoys working one on one with dedicated guardians. When not training she enjoys reading, traveling with her wife Hannah, watching Schitt’s Creek on repeat, kayaking, hiking with her dogs Gracie Bean and Phoenix, and spending time with her horse, Anja.