I have been drawn to animals my whole life, volunteering at animal shelters all throughout my school years. I graduated from Humboldt State University in 1994 with a B.A. in Sociology, and soon after received a Teaching Certificate from Pacific Oaks College. This background in human communication/teaching serves me well, as the best dog trainers are those that enjoy working with dogs and their people! After moving to Seattle in 1994, I continued my passion for animals on a volunteer basis, for the Seattle Humane Society and Ribsey’s Refugees. I decided to make dog training a full-time career in 2010 and graduated from Seattle’s own Northwest School of Canine Studies.
I started Laying Down the Paw, LLC in 2010, focusing on private in-home sessions, as well as group classes at both The Old Redmond Firehouse and Blue Collar Doghouse in Edmonds. I was the manager and lead trainer at a local dog boarding facility from 2012-2018. From this position I gained the knowledge and confidence to run large groups of dogs, which is one of my favorite things to do! Currently, I'm excited to be focused on my passion for private training , instructing group classes, and board and trains.
I am the proud step-mom of two sons, and currently live in Redmond, WA with my husband Mike, and our two dogs, Austin and Lacey Loo.
I use only positive reinforcement techniques based on clear communication and trust. Together we will discuss rewarding the behaviors you want to see more of, while managing those behaviors you don't want. Whether it be a cookie, a ball toss, or a game of tug, all dogs are motivated by different things at different times. Together, we will come up with a customized plan for you and your dog. My methods to achieve good behavior will never utilize practices that include pain, the threat of pain, intimidation or force.
I have been CPDT-KA certified since 2013. The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate the mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices.
I have been a member of APDT since 2013, an internationally recognized organization that is committed to creating better trainers through education.
I'm a firm believer in continuing education. I try to continually keep my skills sharp and stay current on the latest ideas in dog training. Below is a list of training seminars that I've attended.
-- The Convergence of Human Training, Animal Training and Technology, July 2018.
-- Why Tails Wag, from Modern Science to Practical Treatment, Dr. Jim Ha, May 2018.
-- Improve Your ICue, Kathy Sdao, April 2018.
-- May The Force Be With You (or not), Kathy Sdao, July 2017.
-- Exploring Sociability With You as the Scientist, Sue Sternberg, June 2016.
-- Learn to Manage Groups of Dogs in an Off-Leash Environment, Kathy Sdao, February 2016.
-- Cujo Meets Pavlov; Using Classical Conditioning to Resolve Leash Aggression, Kathy Sdao, June 2015.
-- Fearful Dog Seminar, Debbie Jacobs, April 2015.
-- Social Behavior and the Treatment of Fearfulness, Reactivity and Aggression, Dr. Ian Dunbar, March 2013.