I was raised in Panorama City, California until the age of eleven. At eleven years old my family and I moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I was fortunate to grow up in a very pet friendly household. My sister and I were encouraged to rescue and save nearly every domestic animal that crossed our paths. In my family, we have had a sum total of thirteen dogs, with breeds ranging from a mixed maltese terrier to various German shepherd dogs.
When I was nineteen-years-old, I purchased a two-month-old Australian Shepherd from a sheep farm. Since then, my beloved Karma and I have spent nearly every day together. Although Karma is getting older, she still possesses a remarkable ability to motivate me to enjoy each day to its fullest.
From Wisconsin, my husband Saurabh and I moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. Prior to our move, I decided not to continue my career in customer service. After a fair amount of soul searching, I realized what truly fulfills me is to work as a canine obedience trainer. I recognized the value of Karma's metamorphosis from being a terror in my home to being a calm family dog and I wanted to find a way to share my skills with struggling dog owners.
During the summer of 2010, I began volunteering as a dog walker and cleaner of kennels at Liberty Humane Society. Thereafter, I attended Anthony Jerone’s School of Dog Training and Career Inc. and obtained my New York State license of Master Dog Training.
I realized my need for more experience and knowledge of canine behavior modification, so I began volunteering as an intern for Raja Shah of The Dog Guru, located in Woodside Queens. The Dog Guru was a rehabilitation and rescue for dogs with moderate to severe behavioral issues such as dog aggression, and human aggression. In most cases, rehabilitation was achieved through a calm consistent obedience-training program. Unfortunately, in 2012 the organization closed due to a lack of funding. Raja Shah remains a close friend of mine.
One enchanting weekend in May 2011, I studied with protection trainer and breeder David Pappalardo of K9 Unlimited. I scratched the surface of protection training by suiting up as a decoy. While I decided the protection style of training is not my cup of tea, I maintain an incredible respect for the intensity of both the protection dogs and trainers involved. I highly recommend this organization if you are looking for a trained protection dog.
In March of 2012, I gave birth to my son Kai. Frequently I rely my son Kai, to work as an awesome real world distraction around my client's dogs. Only after a solid foundation of obedience has been established, do I train client dogs around my son. I am anything but reckless with my own child. I do however absolutely trust my method of real world dog training. The only way to truly verify the obedience training is effective is to test the training out in the real world, with actual distractions. For an example of what type of training experience Kai is involved in, click here.
To improve my value as a dog trainer, and expand my knowledge of canine behavior modification, I have attended several additional dog training seminars, which have helped enrich my understanding of balanced dog training immensely. I currently have two personal dogs. One is a male, Golden Lab mix, named Bollywood, and the other is a female Australian Shepherd, named Cricket. For more information regarding my personal dogs, click here.
In Hinduism, and Buddhism, Karma describes the effect of how an individual’s actions will ultimately influence his or her destiny within future incarnations. The simplified western society’s concept of Karma is to “pay it forward.” In essence, one good deed begets another good deed, and so on. It has been my pleasure to have studied with each of these dog trainers. I am inspired to continue my journey of self improvement, as well as learning more dog behavior modification and handling skills because the end result is a better outcome for my clients. My career as a dog trainer provides such an extensive level of variety, I look forward to learning more every day, and paying it all forward.
My personal dog training journey began in my youth
Here you can see that I was once a blonde teenager, that used food to train her family dog. My sister is by my side and we both seem to be bracing for that moment when our super adrenalized dog Fella (a cattle dog mix) would inevitably jump on us.
At the time this picture was taken, we had three dogs. Heather, our much beloved senior Maltese mix, Flack our year old female German Shepherd, and of course Fella (as pictured).
By the summer of this year, Heather had to be kept away from Flack because the two female dogs would have some serious aggressive outbursts if allowed to even see one another. Our family reached out for training advice and unfortunately the trainer did not really provide us with an option other than suggesting we never allow the dogs to cross paths.
Knowing what I know now I recognize that the trainer's suggestions really were dangerous, because they failed to address the entire pack's issues. Ultimately, Flack (our young GSD) became less socialized with people and other dogs.
One hot summer day, Flack entered our home through the back door. When I heard the screen door open, I realized I hadn't secured Flack properly to her backyard tie out. Heather charged toward Flack and they met in the kitchen. A fight ensued which was particularly disturbing because I knew Heather was not going to make it out alive.
My sister wrapped Heather in a towel and we brought her to an emergency veterinarian, where Heather was humanely euthanized.
The following day, Flack redirected out of frustration and bit my Mom. Coupled with that event, and Heather's passing, our dog trainer suggested we euthanize Flack.
Fella remained our only dog until my sister and I brought Karma and (her litter mate) Zeus into our lives.
As a dog trainer today, given this exact situation, I would not recommend euthanizing Flack. The whole pack needed leadership, exercise, structure, calm commands, and correcting bad behavior. Not endless treats, excitement, and ignoring bad behavior. Each dog behaved differently with the general lack of training. Flack was a high drive GSD, Heather was an old curmudgeon of a toy bred dog, and Fella a herding dog without a job was an anxious HIGHLY adrenalized mess. Each of these issues can be addressed and peace can be restored to any home when balanced training is applied.
My sister and I talk about our family experiences with our dogs often, to analyze where improvements could have been made, or in this case where lives could have been saved. Although this was an intense experience for both of us as teenagers, neither of us had any idea we were on the path toward becoming first pack leaders, then balanced dog trainers.
I'm sure I speak for both of us when I say each of our dogs have touched our lives immensely. We are both so happy to share our balanced training method with our clients which we know can absolutely prevent such tragic events like what we have witnessed.
Thanks for flashing back with me everybody! If you or someone you know is struggling with similar dog training issues, reach out to a balanced trainer today. It's resolvable.