In 1993, I received a B.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, and earned a Masters Degree in Animal Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis in 1995, both from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. After receiving my Master’s Degree, I began working with Dr. R.K. Anderson and Ruth Foster, co-inventors of the Gentle Leader through Alpha Academy in Minneapolis. Dr. Anderson designed a ‘new’ style of Gentle Leader and tested the prototype in my Level 1 class during my last year with Alpha Academy. In 2001, I moved to Denver, Colorado and created Wag & Train because there were no reward-based trainers there at the time. In 2017, I expanded Wag & Train to Minneapolis after I moved back… I wanted to be near lots of water again! I continue to volunteer my time with Big Dogs Huge Paws and Safe Harbor Lab Rescue in Denver, and I started working with SaveaBullMN, so I can help the pit bulls in need in the Twin Cities.
My goal is to provide pet parents an alternative to punishment-based behavior modification, while educating and building an unbreakable human-dog bond. I have 30 years of experience working with anxious, fearful, and aggressive dogs, and am very proud to say I don’t use any choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars. I use my knowledge from my Animal Behavior degrees, my experience working with thousands of stressed dogs, and my passion for creating a safe space for both dogs and humans to help change emotions and behavior.
I have two dogs, Paisley and Turtle. Paisley is an 11-year old Chocolate Lab, whom I call my ‘dessert dog’. She is perfect in every way. In August of 2019, I adopted a little brindle puppy from SaveaBullMN and named her Turtle. She and I are working towards becoming a finished service dog team with Luna Service Dogs. She will (hopefully) be my Medical Alert/Gluten Detection Dog, as I have severe Celiac Disease. Fingers crossed! Follow us on Instagram @glutensniffingturtle. The 3 of us live near Lake Minnetonka.