My first experience with the dog training industry was in 2016 with my rescue pup, Opie. I had worked on basic manners with both of my dogs, but Opie needed some extra help with his behavior from a professional trainer. At that time I lived in North Carolina and started my search for a dog trainer. Every single one I found used a shock collar as their primary training tool. I knew this wasn’t the way I wanted to help my dog, so I decided against using any of the trainers I found and continued attempting to work through Opie’s behavioral concerns on my own. I learned a lot, but ultimately Opie went to live with some family members where the issues we were having weren’t a concern.
It was a happy ending for Opie, but so sad for me. I knew I didn’t want anyone else to have to make the choice between using a shock collar or rehoming their dog. I continued doing positive reinforcement training with Jax, and eventually adopted another dog after moving back to Cleveland. This time, when I needed a professional dog trainer for Tara, I found Sits n Wiggles and was thrilled with the methods Valarie used and the progress we made. That’s when I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up!
In 2020, I decided to pursue formal education in dog training at Catch Canine Trainers Academy, and am now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. I started working with Sits ‘n Wiggles in October 2020. I am also a Certified Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer and have really enjoyed helping dogs and their families overcome separation anxiety.
My Work Philosophy
Coaching people on how to help their dogs be their best selves is my passion! I always strive to be the trainer I needed when I was first looking for help with my own pup. That means loving and advocating for dogs and all animals, but also being supportive and empathizing with my human clients. Dog training has been a wonderful way to combine my love for animals with my life long interest in psychology.
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