Available Dogs

Meet the Trainers

"Amy, Tim, and their entire team of trainers are absolutely outstanding and some of the best in the industry - and I should know being in it myself."
- Tierney Silver-Goeden   
Owner Unleash the Beast Dog Training   

Motivation - Balance - Structure - Leadership
There is a saying among dog trainers,
 “The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is what the third is doing wrong.” 

As a dog owner researching the world of dog training it can quickly become a confusing experience. There are so many different opinions, methods and ideas that it can be challenging to navigate your way through the information to find a trainer that will best produce results for you and your dog. 

When you work with My Clever Canine you’re not just getting one dog trainer you are gaining a team of dog trainers. Our team consists of different personalities, communication styles and experience but we work together with every single dog and owner to formulate a plan that will ensure you and your dog’s success. 

For our trainers dog training isn't just a career it is a way of life. We have assembled a passionate, empathetic, and motivated team that is dedicated to the art and science of dog training. We are true dog nerds. There is no greater joy than helping dogs and their owners to form new and healthier relationships.  

Our team members have spent years perfecting their craft. Dog training is a combination of art and science and requires a dedicated student. There is always something new to learn. We firmly believe in continuing education as we strive to be better and do better. All of our trainers actively train in and compete in competitive dog sports as a hobby and personal challenge. 

Head Trainers Tim and Amy Cutterson have competed at multiple National and World level competitive events. They have traveled across the United States and Europe honing their craft and perfecting their skills. When they met in 2017 the combined over three decades of dog training knowledge and experience to create a dog training program unlike any other.

Let our years of dedication and experience guide you and your dog to a more balanced way of life. 
"To truly and deeply love a dog you must respect him for who he is. All his innate dogness, the teeth, fur and animal mind. A predator's mind molded through generations for purpose, our purpose. Whether it be to herd our sheep, retrieve our game, fight our battles, guide our blind, or comfort our souls the dog is uniquely suited to fit into our human world.
But please, whatever you do, do not compare him to a human. To do so is to take away from everything that makes him such a perfectly balanced creature. A soul, who unlike us, has the privilege of being entirely present in every moment. There is so much more to the dog than the things that make him similar to us.
To truly love a dog is to understand who he is. For even as he sleeps at our feet and cuddles our children he is bound by his heritage and his unique canine perception of the world around him. We must honor who he is and acknowledge the parts of him that cannot so easily conform to our modern human world.
It is our absolute responsibility to guide him through these struggles, even when that requires firmness. Because to the dog, there is no greater stress than not knowing what is expected."
- Amy Cutterson
Amy Cutterson 
(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! 
Notable Assignments
  • 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 
Education and Seminars
  • Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainer’s 
Advanced Obedience Intensive
Advanced Concepts in Motivation
Puppy Development
Protection Theory and Practice
  • ASPCA SAFER Evaluation Workshop
  • Dealing with Reactive Dogs Seminar –  
  • Practical Application of Theory – Dr. Ian Dunbar
  • Canine Evaluations – Jean Donaldson
  • The body Language of Canine Play – Terry Ryan 
  • Modifying Aggression in Different Types of Dogs - Trish King
  • Adolescent Dog Problems – Trish King
  • Training Difficult Dogs- Trish King
  • Applying Police K9 Techniques to Everyday Training  - Steve White
  • Bite-O-Meter – Sue Sternberg
  • Assess-A-Pet Seminar – Sue Sternberg
  • Animal Care Conference 2007 – Behavior Track
  • Animal Care Conference 2008 – Behavior Track
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 
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
Tim Cutterson

Tim developed a passion for training dogs at a very young age. He first started working with dogs professionally in 2006 at Wood’s Humane Society in San Luis Obispo while attending college. Here, he would help rehabilitate dogs with severe behavioral problems, which helped to adopt them out. To further his understanding of all things canine Tim also got a job as a veterinary technician while in college. There he learned of a greater need for more compassionate and understanding veterinary care.

While pursuing a degree in business, Tim decided that he wanted to make a full-time career out of dog training. He moved to the Central Valley to apprentice under several trainers and to expand upon his skills. During this time, he discovered a competitive dog sport called Schutzhund. He was immediately enthralled by the sport, and spent the next few years intensely learning about it. After graduating college, he moved to the Bay Area where he would become the head trainer for a large Schutzhund club.

Through his early education process he traveled to Europe several times meeting with several world level competitive dog training teams. On one trip he and his dog Ace, a dog that he would go on to compete with at the world level for IGP, spent over a month traveling to and learning from trainers all over Germany and the Czech Republic.  

Since starting Schutzhund/IGP, Tim has traveled the world and stood on the podium at several national and world level competitions. He has competed for Team USA at the World Championships four years in row with 2 different dogs. In 2019 he placed 6th in the world out of 147 dogs.

Tim has dedicated the last 14+ years to studying every facet of dog training. He has conducted and attended dozens of seminars, worked with thousands of dogs, and apprenticed under numerous trainers. His training philosophy has evolved over the years, but it has always been grounded in one fundamental principle: that dogs are uniquely emotional and highly intelligent animals. He views each dog as a unique puzzle that he must help decode in order to bring out the best of their abilities.

Tim is well known for his ability to create strong, powerful and highly motivated attitudes in the dogs he works with. His competitive obedience is truly a breathtaking experience. He has coached numerous dog and handler teams to compete and win at national and international championships. 

Tim uses whatever method is ideal for the individual dog he’s working with. He never accepts mediocrity and is always striving to be as clear and fair to each dog he works with.
Accomplishments in Schutzhund / IPO / IGP Training

  • Team member 2020 FMBB (Malinois) World Championships - France
  • Team member 2019 FCI World Championships - Austria
  • Team member 2018 FCI World Championships - Italy
  • Team member 2017 FCI World Championships - Germany
  • 6th Place out of 147 competitors 2019 FCI World Championships 
  • 1st place 2018 DVG Nationals
  • 1st place 2019 AWDF Nationals
  • 2nd place 2018 AWDF Nationals
  • 3rd place 2017 AWDF Nationals
  • 2nd place 2016 Southwestern Regionals
  • 2nd place 2015 Northwestern Regional

Some of Tim's Credentials 
Animal Behavior College graduate
International Association of Canine Professionals- Certified Dog Trainer
Former Canine Behavior Evaluator for Contra Costa Animal Services

Rachele Lema
BS UC Davis Animal Science

Rachele has always had a love for animals great and small. At just eight years old she convinced her parents to let her bring home her first bummer lamb (a lamb who’s mother wouldn’t take care of it, so has to be bottle fed and cared for by hand), and the collection continued to grow from there. From raising sheep in 4H and FFA, to adopting everything from your normal dogs and cats, to developing a flock of Homing Pigeons on her parents property in Humboldt County, Rachele’s passion for animals has never slowed. 

Rachele followed this passion into college, receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science from UC Davis, all while working at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Rachele began working full time as an Animal Technician at the Veterinary School, until transferring to a job as a Quality Assurance Manager for a local pet treat company. 

It was when Rachele found herself the owner of a high-drive Malinois mix, Jalapeño, that her love of dog training really took off. She began exploring a variety of different sports and training avenues with Jalapeño. During this time, Rachele also began working with My Clever Canine, first as a kennel assistant, and then shadowing Amy and Tim during training. After five years of working in the Quality Control world, Rachele decided to make the jump to becoming a professional dog trainer, and started transitioning toward working full-time for My Clever Canine. 

Rachele loves the opportunity to help families and pets develop a better and healthier relationship through training. She enjoys watching the transformation in both dogs and people as they learn to communicate and work together, and especially loves learning from each and every dog that comes through the My Clever Canine programs.

Emily Goodman

​Originally from Massachusetts, Emily first started her move into the animal care industry by attending Veterinary technician school. She soon realized her true passion was dog behavior and training. She started a successful dog walking business soon after.
In 2017 she decided to move to California to further her education, build experience, and pursue a career in the dog training industry. She spent a year as the manager of the behavior and training department at the Marin Humane Society. The Marin Humane Society is national recognized for their innovative shelter training programs focusing on reward based training.
Like all of our trainers, dog training is not just a job but a lifestyle. She trains and competes in AKC obedience and rally with her Belgian Tervuren, Willow. She recently discovered the exciting world of French ring dog sport and has been training hard to prepare Willow for her French ring titles.