Meet the FYZ Team
Obedience for puppies and dogs of all levels
Recall and E-collar work
Creating neutrality around dogs and people
A Bit About Me
I've always had a love for dogs and training! It started as a young girl when I rescued my first dog, Nicki, who was an older bully mix. Sadly, I only had her for a few years before cancer took her away from me. In the time I did have with her, my 10 year old self taught her a few different tricks and how to walk nicely without pulling. After she passed, my parents allowed me to get my second dog, Velvis, a one year old Australian Cattle Dog. I was about 12 years old at this point, and that is when I really began to delve into training. Velvis was a very smart dog who picked up on tricks and behaviors very quickly; I was able to get her to be off-leash reliable in both recalls and heeling. She knew so many tricks, but most importantly I was able to build her confidence and help her move on from her abusive past. We knew where she came from and she was never going back. She taught me so very much and I will forever be grateful to her.
Over the years my love for dogs has grown, along with the amount I share my life with. I currently have seven dogs, after sadly losing my little white Chihuahua, Chloe, in November 2021. I now have Jayde the Alaskan Husky, Baloo the Lab mix, Zender the German Shepherd, Copper the red Chihuahua, Zyko the German Shepherd, Perro the Alaskan Husky/Bully mix, and my newest and youngest, and Zeno a longcoat German Shepherd.
In 2015 I started competing in different sports, including Agility with Copper and Zender. With Zender I have also competed in two different bite sports, AKC Obedience, Rally, Lure coursing, NADAC, and Dock diving. Zen and I have received multiple High in Trial awards in several venues, and I love to encourage new people to get out there and do a sport with their dog!
As much as I love the sports and competition side of things, I also completely understand the pet side of things; wanting a great off leash hiking buddy, a dog that walks nicely with you and is easy to live with, as I have that with all of my dogs. By having the breeds and sizes of dogs that I do, it makes me a very versatile trainer and I understand what works for one dog may not work for the next.
My favorite thing about being a trainer is creating a lasting bond between human and dog by teaching you how to communicate effectively with your dog, forming a fun working relationship and setting everyone up for success.
A Bit About Me
Training has been my passion since I was a child. I started with trick and obedience training my little dog, Hope, around 10 years old. I would spend hours researching, watching videos, asking questions, and trying new things with my pup.
From the time I was 5 years old, I was adamant I wanted to help animals; taking care of the neighborhood strays, and bringing home every lost or injured animal I could find. With the support of my mom, I moved into rescue as I became a teenager. We fostered, I learned to groom, and helped rescues and people struggling to maintain their pets due to disability or hard times. I started working with and fostering dogs who needed a little extra trust, care, structure, and training; injured and disabled dogs; dogs with behavioral issues stemming from neglect or abuse; or village dogs adjusting to their new life.
Eventually I adopted a village dog conveniently named Faith, who turned out to have some pretty severe aggression and reactivity we didn't anticipate. I was in over my head. We didn't want to give up on her, but she just wasn't safe and we felt like we'd tried everything, and nothing was working. This is when I found my mentors and started getting involved in balanced training and behavioral rehabilitation. My mentors gave her a new chance at life, shared their experience, and fostered my confidence as a handler. I instantly knew I wanted to learn all I could to help dogs and owners who were in the same position I once was. From there, I learned more about sports and started competing with my mixed breed, Leks, in Rally, IGP, WDA, dock diving, as well as other sports. Leah was a huge support to me as I worked to overcome my own anxieties and struggles. She pushed me to work hard and gain the confidence to get Leks out there. She encouraged me through everything over the years, and with the help of her and many amazing people, I've gotten to where I am today. I wouldn't be here without mentors, fellow handlers, a supportive family, and amazing friends. Leah is both my best friend and the trainer I admire most, and I am so excited to be in this together.
A few years after I got Leks, I got my heart dog, Omega, a German Shepherd. He has his Dock Masters and qualified for the National in the sport. We train in Rally, AKC Obedience, and IGP along with my other Shepherd, Showtime. Omega is training to be a Personal Protection Dog, and showing a lot of promise. He also helps me out as a demo dog, and enjoys his days hanging out with me at work. He has an amazing temperament and is everything I could want in a dog. He takes everything in stride, from helping me socialize fearful dogs to being lunged at by a reactive dog, without batting an eye. He's just happy to do anything as long as it's with me. If you've seen us together, you can see the bond and trust between us. He is truly a once in a lifetime dog.
While I love training in general, my true passion is in rehabilitating behavioral cases. Aggression, fearfulness, and reactivity. These dogs need a little extra help and patience to build a trusting relationship with their owners and trainer to learn to navigate the world around them more easily.
A Bit About Me
We'd always had pets growing up, but I don't think I was ever truly serious or gave training much thought until I got Rueben. He was the very first pet I had saved up and paid for myself. After always watching the dog shows and related sports on TV I was really inspired to have a dog I could do that with. He was my first serious attempt at training a dog, and he learned anything I set before him. He had really intense herding instincts, but seeing as we couldn't have sheep, we settled for herding ducks instead. He and I worked all the time on transporting them to different areas of the property and training together. It worked in our favor because when I went off to college, he got to come work with me on the campus farm. Tragically I lost Rueben when he was 3 years old, and I couldn't bear to own another dog.
It was another 5 years before I’d own another dog.
A co-worker ended up gifting me with a lab/gsd mix puppy. Aspen was an adorable little teddy bear of a pup that was 4 weeks old when I got her. I know that this was way too young, but the person of the litter was going to get rid of them one way or another. She took me on the wildest ride I've ever been on with a puppy. Being so young, having every bad trait from the parent breeds, and me being out of practice with pups definitely gave us our struggles. I did the best I could, but around the time she was 8 months old I thought it best if I meet with local trainers to try and do better. We were doing great with training, and eventually I met Leah a couple years later when she first started teaching classes with baby Zender.
Being in classes introduced me to so many likeminded people, and they were involved in a lot of dog sports! I was glad to be exposed to everything and wanted to pursue these things with Aspen. Watching everyone do IPG training made me want to attempt it. She wasn't the typical breed for it, but it never hurts to try! We worked hard and did our homework, but it eventually became apparent that Aspen didn’t have the drives to continue pursuing the sport. She was happy to be a pet and to go hiking, which was totally fine! She is a great hiking buddy unless you are near a cliff, then her happy labness might try to push you over the edge.
I still went to all the training and meet ups I could to watch everyone who could participate. It might not have been in the cards at that moment, but I wanted to still watch and learn. I was allowed to work dogs for people during some of the training sessions which was awesome! I wanted to compete, but to do that I knew I would have to get a more suitable breed. Eventually Tenno, my spicy little heart dog, entered my life! I knew a Belgian Malinois would be a breed that never said no and was always up for a challenge. Tenno is true to form! I have fallen in love with the breed, and I am super proud of the team Tenno and I have become. She's allowed me to delve into so many sports and opportunities to become a better trainer and work on my dog handling skills. We have dabbled in dock diving, fast cats, and barn hunt. We have competed in AKC Rally and Obedience, earning first place in both. We have earned two titles in IGP so far with ambitious plans to continue forward in competing in it next year!
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