Winchester's Premium Professional Pet Training
Born in France, I spent my first 18 years moving an average of every 2 years and travelling around the world. With that life style, my family and I didn’t get to know my relatives really well but I did relate to Uncle Mo. He and I shared a love for animals!! I always asked to play with his hunting dogs. I would spend hours sitting in their kennels petting and loving them.
My husband and I got our first dog shortly after we got married. Neither one of us had a clue of what to do with a dog, except love it. That was not enough!! Although we did everything wrong initially, we got one thing right. We quickly enlisted the services of a trainer and embarked on a journey that continues today.
I have been training dogs now for over 20 years. We have had 7 of our own wonderful dogs including 2 Standard Schnauzers, a German Shepherd, a Miniature Schnauzer, a Doberman, a Miniature Poodle and our current dog, “Raggs”, a Poodle mix. Three of our dogs were rescued or adopted. In addition, I raised and trained 3 puppies, each for 1 year, for family members. Then I trained them how to work with their dogs.
My dogs and I have enjoyed competing in the sports of Obedience, Agility and Rally and have earned 22 titles along the way. I have also been involved in therapy work and have had 2 certified therapy dogs; my Standard Schnauzer, “Bandit” and my Doberman, “Ready”.
Virginia has been our home now for almost 10 years and I am happy to be working with Lisa. She is a phenomenal instructor and so knowledgeable. I met Lisa in 2012 when I took “Raggs” to two of her classes.
Positive training with your dog builds a bond between you and your dog that is unbreakable. It makes your life together more enjoyable and fulfilling and gives your dog confidence. It provides an outlet for his energy by exercising his body and mind, which is essential for a healthy dog.
I strive to make training a fun and positive experience for both you and your dog. Perhaps you want to provide your puppy with the skills he needs to be welcomed during family outings and make living with him a pleasure or perhaps you want to explore fun activities with your dog or teach him tricks to entertain your guests. Whether your aspiration is to have a wonderful family pet, a therapy dog, or one who can be your partner in the fun sport of competition, I look forward to helping you attain your goals with your best pal.
Credentials and Experience:
Instructor – Orlando Dog Training Club, Orlando, FL – 7 years
Certified Instructor – Florida Guide Dogs for the Deaf, Orlando, FL – 2 years
Instructor & Assistant – Riley’s Dog Training School, Longwood, FL – 6 years
Instructor – Puppy Class at local vet clinic, Flower Mound, FL – 1 year
Instructor – Head of the Class Dog Training, LLC, Winchester, VA – Since August 2016
Because of the importance of keeping up with the latest training techniques in the industry, I continue to focus on my education by taking workshops and training classes offered by the best trainers in their fields of behavior, obedience and agility. I have learned, and continue to learn, under great names such as Karen Pryor, Pat Miller, Susan Garrett, Linda Mecklenburg, Denise Fenzi, and Daisy Peel.
Pat Miller L1 Intern: Canine Behavior and Training; Graduated October 2016
Karen Pryor – Dog Training Foundations; August, 2016
B.S. in Business Administration, Colorado State University
One thing I have found through teaching all of these diverse areas is that it isn’t about the books, or the exercises, or even the dogs. It IS about empowering the PERSON, (YOU) to love and appreciate and understand the books, the exercise, and the dogs. After all, when I am not there, will the student still want to read the book, or do the exercise? Will you understand how to train your dog in a way that fits your family?I make it my goal to make my classes entertaining and engaging, so you can learn in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. As a middle school teacher working with a wide variety of abilities, I have learned to successfully adapt to the style of the learner, and explain things so it is easy to understand and implement. This carries over to all my classes in all areas. As a teacher, I value education very highly and strive to bring you, my learners, the most up to date information and skills in an original and innovative way to help achieve your goals with your dog.
In my spare time, I stay connected with the schools even though I am not teaching officially. My four therapy dogs and I make several visits every week to schools, assisted living facilities, kids’ camps, or wherever we are needed. I enjoy reading suspense novels when I am not reading training books, going to more training workshops and continuing to let my own dogs try out lots of new things, such as sheep herding, scootering, tricks, and agility, and inventing new classes for fun!
Of course, I am always looking to expand my knowledge base in new areas, like feline behavior as well as continue taking workshops and trainings with the best minds in the field of dog training, so I can share that with you.
Credentials and Experience:
CSAT - Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer
CPDT-KA - Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed
PMCT 2 -Pat Miller Certified Trainer
KPA-CTP - Karen Pryor Academy – Certified Training Partner
FP-MT - FitPaws Master Trainer
CTDI - Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Owner / Trainer at Head of the Class Dog Training LLC, Winchester, VA
Trainer / Lead Instructor at Best Paw Forward, Hartland, WI (4 yrs)
ACE Fitness Group Exercise Instructor - Certified since 1997
YogaFit Level 4 Certification
M.A.T. – Masters of Teaching – Aurora University, Aurora, Il
B.S. – Sed- Spanish Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Spanish – UW- Madison, Madison, WI
I have always loved the companionship of animals, from dogs, to cats, to bunnies, parakeets and gerbils; and have had one or more at any given time since childhood. Pets can teach us so much about helping others, seeing humor in situations, and teach responsibility and compassion. Even though I have always had a menagerie of some sort, and loved my pets, I had never planned to be a dog trainer. What I did know, however, from a very young age, was that I would be a teacher.
From playing school to teaching middle school Spanish and English for 20+ years, my mission has always been to help others learn. When I first started teaching middle school Spanish at age 21, my principal said to me, “A great teacher can teach anything”, and while at the moment I was dubious, (particularly in the area of Math….) it turns out he was quite accurate. My calling is to teach, as every hobby I ever had resulted in my teaching the topic to share that knowledge with others. I have gone from teaching foreign language and English to kids and teens, to teaching aerobics, martial arts, yoga, and other fitness classes to teens and adults, and now to teaching dogs; and more specifically to teaching PEOPLE to teach their dogs.