I'm glad you're here.
MJ, Owner/Head Trainer
To me, dog training isn't just teaching our dogs to sit and walk nicely on a leash. Our dog's are our best friends, or at least they should be. If you're frustrated, embarrassed, or at your wits end.... I can assure you, I've been there. Being in that spot is what pushed me to become a dog trainer. And now I can't imagine doing anything else.
Training shouldn't just be about teaching a command, it should be about building trust, understanding and providing our dogs with the tools they need to thrive in our increasingly modern world.
LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF
This isn't exactly what I had planned for my life. I got married young, and right away moved to a state I had never been to, 1300 miles from home, to live near the military base my husband was stationed at. One day I was invited by some co-workers to stop by the local shelter after work. I wandered around a little, and then I saw Max. I can't describe it, but he was my dog. I had never been more sure of anything. I had to have him. Max walked into my life and changed it forever.
Max is a good dog (still my best friend). But, boy, did he pull on the leash. Oh, and the shelter failed to tell me about how he'd lunge ferociously at any dog he passed. Or the barking. I didn't know much about dogs at the time, but I knew this was NOT how we were going to live our life. So, I immersed myself in books and videos, and I still remember the day I took an OFF-LEASH walk through the woods with him for the first time without him ever leaving my side. I was so proud of both of us for what we had done. Not even a few months later, we found some abandoned puppies. We kept one, I worked with her on potty training and house manners, and found her a home. And then along came Gunner. A shy, timid, slightly fear aggressive dog who came from the same shelter Max did. I mean this in the best way possible, but he was a mess. And I loved him more than I ever thought possible. He taught me patience, empathy, and that sometimes the best thing we can do is not the easiest.
These dogs won my heart and introduced me to the most amazing and unexpected path for my life. I was hooked, I wanted to know everything about their behavior, instincts, and why they do what they do. I wanted to know how to understand them on a deeper level. Because of them I took courses on dog obedience and behavior, volunteered with local shelters, and did internships with other trainers before finally landing a job as a trainer with a local company. I've become an AKC CGC Evaluator and therapy dog instructor, and I couldn't be happier with where my life has gone.
I'm so excited to be living my dream. I can't wait to help you establish the same amazing, unique, and evolutionary relationship with your dog that I've been so lucky to have with mine. With a little patience, leadership, structure and hard work, together we can make sure you and your dog are living the best possible life together.
While I've loved all the dogs in my life, Grimm holds a special place in my heart. He's the first dog I've raised from puppyhood and his personality counters mine perfectly. He's a 2 year old German Shepherd who's enthusiasm for life is unmatched. He forces me to venture outside of my comfort zone and is constantly reminding me of how to be grateful for the small things when life gets tough. His trust and unconditional loyalty are something I'll forever be grateful for.
Aside from just being a family pet, Grimm is also my co-worker, my teacher and my best friend. He's my shadow who goes almost everywhere with me. While chasing a frisbee is his ultimate goal in life he also enjoys hiking, splashing in rivers, and shoving his soccer ball into your legs to get attention. We're always trying to learn new things together. We've tried our hand at Barn Hunt, Sheep Herding and will soon be learning about Tracking!
Max is the dog who started it all. I got Max from a shelter in Savannah, GA when he was about 5 years old. He was my inspiration for becoming a dog trainer and he's taught me more than I would have ever expected.
When Max first came into my life he had some bad habits. He liked to howl all day while I was at work, chase rabbits, yank your shoulder out of the socket on a walk and he really did not like other dogs. Slowly but surely he taught me all of the right things to do and now he enjoys the freedom of 0ff-leash hikes and meeting new friends.
Max is slowing down slightly in his old age but still hikes mountains faster than I do and loves playing "keep away" with his toys. His favorite pastimes include napping in the sun and driving down the road with his head out the window.