(aka Amy Peterson)
Amy's interest in dogs started very early on when she got her first dog a German Shepherd Mix named Princess. Amy started 4-H obedience classes with her in the hopes of curbing Princess' reactivity. Within two years Princess was transformed from an unruly canine to a dog that was winning obedience competitions including two high in trials! Amy had truly found her passion.
She continued training dogs throughout high school, including helping to raise Guide Dog puppies for the blind. In College she directed her education towards Psychology and Learning theory which opened up a whole new world of dog training. In 2003 Amy turned her passion into a career and started training dogs professionally. She also started volunteering at a local animal shelter and was quickly hired on as the head dog trainer.
Amy continued her education through school and seminars as well as building hands on experience working with shelter dogs of every variety and a multitude of behavioral issues. In 2008 she completed the requirements and passed all testing to become a CPDT-KA (certified professional dog trainer) through the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers. Through the shelter world Amy was able to evaluate thousands of dogs in many types of settings. She has seen hundreds of litters of puppies of many different breeds and mixes. She was responsible for development and implementation of the canine care, behavior, and training program for volunteers and staff at a non-profit SPCA. She also continues to develop behavior modification protocols for at-risk animals in animal shelters and rescue.
Amy has been involved in protection sports since 2004 (Schutzhund, Mondioring, French Ring, PSA). These sports which combine high level obedience, agility and bite work are a unique training experience as they bring a dog to it's highest level of arousal and excitement and then require the dog to be under control. It's a true test of a trainer's abilities and a challenge that has been a huge asset in Amy's work with behavior modification cases. Being able to see and understand canine aggression from the inside out, including healthy aggression, gives her a unique insight into understanding the canine mind.
Amy's heart dog, an American Bulldog named "Pink", is one of the most highly titled American Bulldogs in the country. She has competed in obedience, rally-o, agility, conformation, dock diving, lure coursing, and weight pull. She is one of the only American Bulldogs to receive the UKC Super Dog award and to earn multiple High in Trial Obedience awards.
Amy not only educates pet owners she also educates and trains other canine professionals. She is a guest instructor at the world renowned Michael Ellis School for dog trainers in Santa Rosa. She has been the head trainer for UC Davis Veterinary School colony dog enrichment program where she teaches a hands on training program for future veterinarians. She has also been a speaker at the California State Humane Conference for canine professionals in animal control and animal shelters. She continues to educate other professionals in innovative dog training methods, care and management through seminars, workshops and online courses.
Amy takes great pleasure in working with dogs and their owners. She strongly believes that each dog is an individual and that training does not happen by a single, cookie-cutter method. Dog training needs to be individualized to suit each dog's temperament and the needs of their owners. In her opinion, the main purposes of dog training are to build strong relationships with the dogs, to help to shape a confident and well rounded canine companion and to have fun!