This website was developed to track the journey of my next puppy and to share some resources I have found helpful over the years for creating an attentive, bonded, versatile and happy dog. My dogs are first and foremost my family. My training methods get the dogs as addicted to training as I am and I have learned to effectively apply reward-based training to many different situations and behaviors (even ones traditionally thought to only be reliable using corrections).
About me: I LOVE training dogs and my life revolves around training, competition and teaching others to train their dogs. I have been training dogs for over 30 years and have used positive reinforcement methods since first learning about them in 1999. I am constantly expanding my knowledge and use of ‘It’s your choice’ methods and I have helped literally hundreds of people train their dogs for a variety of sports as well as problem solving and behavior modification. In August of 2014, I was approved as a Barn Hunt Judge and have Judged many trials. I’ve also been a Judge for K9 Scent Detection since it started in September of 2015. And I was approved as an AKC Nosework Judge with the first group of applicants just before AKC nosework started. I do have arthritis and nerve pain that is getting worse, but as I find things getting difficult, I just get creative and find ways that I can continue to do what I want to do in spite of the pain.
I have owned a Border Collie/Husky mix, a Rottweiler, 2 Cattle Dogs and 2 Beagles all of which lived long and full lives, learning new skills their entire lives. To learn more about them, visit: AtTheBridge.com
My current dog is a working line Belgian Malinois, born in July of 2008, that I have trained to “do it all” and he has multiple titles in several different venues. He has also learned a wide assortment of skills from Search and Rescue to Carting and even sign language! I trained him to pass the voluntary Public Access Test and to be my Service Dog to help with picking up stuff I drop, helping me up stairs and pulling a wheelchair on days that I need it . You can see all his titles and scores here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dazzle/dazzles-titlesbadges/667597729963390
As of 7 yrs old: RATCHX6, UROC, UCD, USJ, UAG1, TDCH Loup Noir Jasper DSA, CGC, RAE, CW-OB1, CW-SR, W-FD/MF, TT, CA, CD, NA, NF, DS, ETD, PT, NNC, NNE, CW-SSS (Still working on more)
My past experience includes several years as a police officer in Cincinnati, Ohio, a few years working at a couple local dog day cares and several years as Administrative Assistant and then President of the national, non-profit, organization Dog Scouts of America. I am the founder, trainer and chief rat wrangler at the S.E. Indiana Barn Hunt Club where I teach almost every day. I am a Barn Hunt Judge and AKC Scent Work Judge. I also founded the K9 Scent Detection organization in September of 2015 and offer nose work training as well.
I am proud to say that I have been told by a few breeders that I respect that they wish I could have one of their puppies. And I feel that is very high praise considering how carefully they screen their puppy buyers. If it wasn’t for the natural and very strong “defense of handler” tendencies of a working line Malinois, I would have gotten another in a heartbeat. I have been VERY happy with Dazzle and all we have accomplished together. I don’t want to lose the energy level, work ethic and intelligence of the Malinois, but need less ‘defense drive’. So I felt that an energetic, tall (24″ at least) field Lab would fit my needs nicely. I was SO right and could not be happier with Voodoo! I look forward to seeing where our journey together will take us.