SF SPCA certified trainer working with dogs of all ages

This photo shows me with 3 daycare friends.

If you click on the photo, you'll be taken to the Reno News and Review page.

I love helping people and dogs understand each other. The way our learning environments are structured in most schools and life, is that we are punished for undesireable behavior.

Because we practice what we're taught, our dogs are often punished for their undesirable behavior or we live with behavior that we don't like because we don't know how to change it.

We can learn new ways of communicating if we're willing to try something different and have skilled guidance.

There is a way to teach that is based on reinforcing behavior we like. We first arrange the environment so that the right behavior is the easiest choice and then make sure that behavior provides the most reinforcement for our dogs.

If you'd like to learn how to be an effective teacher using positive reinforcement methods to teach your dog, I'd love to meet you. 


I graduated from the San Francisco SPCA's Academy for Dog Trainers in 2001. After graduation, I stayed at the SF SPCA for a 2-month internship.

I worked with trainers on their behavioral rehabilitation cases involving dog-dog reactivity and resource relinquishment before moving to Reno. 

In Reno, I worked as a trainer at the SPCA of Northern Nevada.

I worked with shelter dogs, taught dog training classes, provided assessments, new volunteer orientation, and recorded adoptable dog segments for the local news.  

I currently care for a few dogs at a time in my home. This gives me the opportunity to live with and observe different types of dog behavior first-hand. 

I am a lifelong learner and participate in continuing education in order to maintain and enhance my knowledge. 

I've audited Living and Learning with Animals professional course 

one to two times per year from 2014 through March 2022.

This is an 8-session course with live lectures and access to questions and answers from class participants and teaching assistants.

Natural Encounters, Inc. offers 1-week TEC talks -

2020 NEI TEC talks

2-3 sessions per topic: Least Intrusive Principle; Prompts; Shaping; FOCUS on Raptors; Trust; Control; Motivation 


How Research Works taught by Susan Friedman, PhD 

May 2022 

Living and Learning with Animals taught by Susan Friedman, PhD

November 2013   

Chicken Camp with Bob Bailey

Hot Springs, AR 2004

San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers with Jean Donaldson

Graduate May 2001 

BA Art History 1993

University of Massachusetts, Amherst 

Florence, Italy study abroad program with the University of Connecticut

Fall 1991 to Summer 1992