Amy's interest in dogs started very early on when she got her first dog a German Shepherd Mix named Princess. Princess was a rescue dog that had already been in three different homes by the time she was two years old. She was dog reactive and an escape artist. Amy started 4-H obedience classes with her in the hopes of curbing some of her behavior problems. 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 under the business name "Amy's Dog Training". 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. Through the shelter world Amy has been 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 the SPCA of Solano. She also continues to develop behavior modification protocols for at-risk animals at the SPCA.
In 2004 she renewed her passion in competitive dog sports including obedience and protection sports. Becoming involved in protection sports (Schutzhund, Mondioring, French Ring) was a truly eye opening experience. 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 Amy fell head over heals for.
In the last eight years Amy has become heavily involved in the two breeds of her choice, Belgian Malinois and performance style American Bulldogs. Her current competition dog, a 4 year old American Bulldog named "Pink", is one of the most highly titled American Bulldogs in the country. She actively competes in obedience, rally-o, agility, conformation and dock diving and dabbles in lure coursing and weight pull. She trains regularly with some of the top trainers in the country to further her education.
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! Dog training is not just a job for Amy, it is truly her passion.
Notable Dog Accomplishments
High in Trial UKC Obedience Trial – SLO Dog Training Club – with Pink
High in Trial UKC Rally Obedience – Northern CA Rat Terrier Club - with Pink
High in Trial UKC Rally Obedience – Northern CA Rat Terrier Club – with Pink
High in Trial UKC Rally Obedience – UKC Gateway Nationals – Missouri – With Luna
High in Trial Obedience UKC Sport Dog – Loomis CA – Qiana
UKC Super Dog – a single dog titled in Agility, Rally-O, Obedience, Weight Pull and Conformation – Pink
First dog ever in UKC history to be titled in all 7 sports available to all breeds (rally-o, obedience, agility, weight pull, conformation, dock diving, lure coursing) – Pink
UKC Best in Show - NorCal APBT Club 2009 - Ajax (American Bulldog)
UKC Best in Show - Gold Country Hounds and Hunters -2009 Ajax
Best in Speciality Show - American Bulldog- Ajax 2009
First Patterdale Terrier titled in UKC obedience - Tara (handled by Amy for last two legs)
First Patterdale Terrier titled in UKC agility - Tara (handled by Amy for all three legs)
#14 2011 Rally All-Stars (top 50 dogs in the country in UKC Rally-Obedience)
#2 American Bulldog in UKC 2009 - Ajax (handled exclusively by Amy
#6 American Bulldog in UKC 2009 - Luna (handled exclusively by Amy)
#3 American Bulldog in UKC 2010 - Ajax handled by Amy
# 7 American Bulldog in UKC 2011 - Luna handled by Amy
Speaker: State Humane Association - Animal Care Conference 2011 – “Applying competitive dog training techniques to shelter dog training”
Speaker: “Finding and Evaluation Reputable Breeders” –Shelter Conference
Speaker: “Re- Training, Socializing and Living with a Puppy Mill Dog” 2010 Humane Animal Services – Puppy Mill Seizure Adoption Event
Trainer for UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Canine Enrichment Colony Dog Program
4H Adult Leader for Dog Care and Training Group 2010-2011, 2011-2012
Vice President Federation American Bulldog (working breed club)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer 2008 – Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
CGC Evaluator – 2009