Dr. Jessica Hekman is a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she researches how genetics affect behavior in pet and working dogs. Jessica received her Ph.D. in Animal Sciences (Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics) in 2017 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied canid behavio...ral genetics. Previously, Jessica graduated from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 with a dual DVM/MS degree. Her Master's work was on the behavior and cortisol responses of healthy dogs to being hospitalized overnight. She also completed a shelter medicine veterinary internship at the University of Florida Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program. Jessica lives in Marlborough, MA with her husband and two dogs:  Dashiell, an English Shepherd who does agility, parkour, and rally; and Jenny, a shy mixed breed dog who does parkour. Website: www.dogzombie.com More
Melissa is FDSA's resident marketing geek. She teaches two classes here at FDSA: Marketing for Pet Professionals & Building a Wordpress Website. In addition to teaching, she hosts the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast, coordinates webinars, helps maintain the FDSA facebook page, runs the Ripple Effect group for dog trainers using Fenzi Principles, and ...other random odds and ends as needed. She is currently owned by a GSD with a championship in Treibball (and who is now learning obedience), a English Cocker Spaniel, and a small tuxedo kitty. You can learn more about Melissa on her website www.clickandrepeat.com.  More
Sarah Owings is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and currently serves as faculty for ClickerExpo, an advisor to the Glendale Humane Society in Los Angeles, and an instructor for Cyber Scent Online. She specializes in the practical application of behavioral principles to help transform the lives of fearful, shut down, and over-the-t...op dogs. As the owner of Bridges Dog Training, an international speaker, and a regular contributor to online training forums, she is known for her innovative approaches to tough behavior problems, and her compassionate and insightful teaching. She has written for Clean Run Magazine on topics such as stimulus control, release cues, and toy-related cues, and has done webinars and podcasts for Animal Training Academy on how trainers can benefit from embracing what she calls “brave learning.” She is also an avid nose work competitor, currently competing at the Elite level with her dog, Tucker. She loves geeking out about the science of training, and all things dog, and can be reached on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sarah.owings.9 More
Sue graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, NY, in 1980.  After three years in private practice, she joined the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.  While on active duty, she completed a 3 year residency in small animal surgery at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and became board certified by the... American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  She retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2004, after almost 21 year on active duty.  After working for a year on a horse farm in Idaho, she returned to Ithaca to join the staff at Colonial Veterinary Hospital as their second surgeon.   Sue retired from Colonial in December 2009. (Her on-call schedule was interfering with her dog show weekends!)  The following month, she started working for Shelter Outreach Services, a high quality, high volume spay-neuter organization.  About the same time, Sue joined her colleague, a physical therapist/licensed veterinary technician, to start a canine sports medicine practice at the Animal Performance and Therapy Center, in Genoa, NY.  The practice is limited to performance dogs.   Sue showed her first obedience dog, a beagle, Tristan, to a CDX in 1978. Her second beagle, Devon, earned a UD. Her third beagle, Charm, earned a VCD2, and was one of the most titled breed champion bitches in the history of the breed: CH Wilkeep Third Time's A Charm UD, RE, MX, MXJ, AXP, AJP, TD. Two golden retrievers, between the beagles, were great pets and therapy dogs. Sue currently is preparing her beagle, Ivy (CH MACH Wilkeep Ivy League, CDX, RN, TD) for the utility ring. More
Stacy Barnett is a successful nosework competitor, being one of only a handful of teams titled through the Summit League Level (SMT) in NACSW with her dog, Judd. Stacy and her four dogs have competed all across the US and Canada. Her mantra is CONFIDENCE, MOTIVATION, SKILLS and STAMINA. Her specialty is getting teams ready for competition! Stacy i...s an AKC Contractor and is contracted with the American Kennel Club to provide expertise in support of the AKC Scent Work program. Stacy is also an "Expert Judge" and licensed judge with the AKC at for all levels of competition. Stacy is the author of the popular blog, Scentsabilities Nosework, as well as being a popular internationally booked clinician for seminars. More
Julie Symons has been involved in dog sports for 25 years. Starting with her mix, Dreyfus, in flyball, she went on to train and compete in conformation, agility, obedience, herding and tracking with her first Belgian tervuren, Rival. Rival was the first CH OTCH MACH Belgian tervuren and they competed and placed in many regional and national events,... winning Ultimate Dog (High Combined in Utility and Agility) at the All Star tournament in 2002. Julie’s current Belgian tervuren, Savvy, has earned a CH, MACH2, UD, TDX, VCD3 and the following nose/scent work titles: NW3 Elite, ELT1, SWN, SCA, SIE, SEA, SHDN, SHDA, L1C, L1V, L2I.  Earning their TDX and competing in nosework has intensified their love for scent sports! Julie is an approved AKC scent work judge, owning the first Belgian tervuren to earn the AKC Scent Work Novice level title (SWN) and Advanced Interior, Exterior and Container element titles.  Her young Belgian malinois is well on his way as another versatile teammate, earning his NW2, SWN and SHDN titles and actively training in tracking, obedience, and agility.  One of Julie’s favorite things is a versatile team!  She truly believes that participating in multiple sports is enriching to both person and dog and builds on that mutual partnership and trust. Nosework is an ideal sport to compliment your other activities. It’s intrinsically motivating for the dog and it’s also pretty cool to have a pet detection dog! Julie is a consummate learner and energetic instructor, immersing herself in everything dog training!  While teaching agility in the early 2000s, she found how rewarding it was to teach and help others. The simple truth? People just really love their dogs and enjoy doing activities with them. Knowing this helps set the tone for how she runs her classes: giving students ample working time, staying positive when things get challenging, and giving more than 100 percent of her efforts toward their development. In her other life, she is married with a 14-year-old son. As a family they enjoy skiing, participating in kid sports and staying home with the dogs! It goes to show that you can “do it all” with just a little bit of planning and smart training.  More
Andrea Harrison is passionate about all species, including dogs and humans! Having lived with dogs her whole life, Andrea was an early convert to positive training for people and dogs. She has taken this message to the media many times, including appearances on many TV shows and news programs, as well as print and radio. Active as a foster home si...nce 1994, Andrea has had many opportunities to work with dogs of all breeds, sizes, and temperament types. She has experience working with a wide variety of people as an educator and counsellor for over 20 years! She has worked with people of all ages on being successful and reducing anxiety and stress using her training in counselling, personality typing, and experiences. Differentiating learning experiences for her students has always been a priority for her. Her competitive canine addiction is agility though she enjoys training and teaching nosework as well. Andrea and her dogs have many titles between them, with placements in Regional and National competitions with her rock star Brody (pictured with Andrea). Her super star dog Sally is the canine lead in the feature film “Saving Dinah" and Andrea was the animal talent coordinator for the film. She also has experience animal wrangling for television. Andrea's personal site: andreaharrison.ca More
Hannah Branigan has been training dogs and teaching people for more than 10 years. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). Hannah is the owner of Wonderpups, LLC, and teaches workshops nationwide, as well as conducting behavior consultations, teaching private lessons, and... conducting group classes on pet manners, rally, and competition obedience. She has titled her own dogs in conformation, obedience, rally, schutzhund, and agility. More
Nancy Gagliardi Little  has been training dogs since the early 1980's when she put an OTCH on her Novice A dog, a Labrador Retriever. Since then she has put many advanced obedience titles on her dogs, including 4 AKC OTCH titles, 6 UD titles, 3 UDX titles, and multiple championships in herding and agility. Nancy is a retired obedience judge, ...having judged all obedience classes from 1986-2008. She enjoyed judging around the country and had the honor of judging 3 National obedience tournaments in Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina. She retired from judging to spend more time training her own dogs and competing in obedience, herding, and agility. Nancy draws from her experience training and competing in multiple sports, which has given her insight into innovative and creative ways of training and handling dogs. She finds that most trainers have no issues training the "big picture," but they tend to lose sight of some of the little details that are the building blocks to the communication and the relationship between them and their dogs. She loves working with very different challenges and trying to help people find a way to improve their communication with their partners. Over the years, she has moved from a more traditional obedience training background towards reward based/positive methods in training dogs in all areas. As a result she understands the challenges faced by "crossover" trainers and dogs, and can help handlers find their way to newer and more positive training techniques. Nancy's website is http://www.endzonedogsports.com. More
Amy Cook, Ph.D. has been training dogs for over 25 years, and through Full Circle Dog Training and Play Way Dogs in Oakland, CA, has been specializing in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for almost 20 years. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the IAABC, a longstanding professional member of the APDT, and was one of th...e first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation. She is a graduate of the SFSPCA academy for dog trainers and has attended all 4 "chicken camps" in Hot Springs, Arkansas, taught by Bob Bailey. Amy also owns the "shy-k9s" list on yahoo, a 4000-member group dedicated to the rehabilitation of fearful dogs, and has moderated there since 2001. Amy has worked for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and has provided behavioral evaluations for shelters and rescues throughout the Bay Area of California. She currently works with the Anti-Cruelty team at the ASPCA doing behavioral evaluations and psychological enrichment of the dogs seized in dog fighting, puppy mill, and hoarding cases.  Amy returned to school in 2006 to get her PhD in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. She has also studied causal inference in dogs and toddlers with Anna Waismeyer and Alison Gopnik, and currently works with Lucia Jacobs on dog olfaction. She has extensive experience as a graduate student instructor, having taught sections of Introductory Psychology (both in person and online), Human Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Stigma and Prejudice, Statistics, Animal Cognition, and has taught Fundamentals of Psychology and Developmental Psychology as a full instructor. Her dogs have trained, participated, and titled in Rally, Competition Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Nosework and Barn Hunt, and her young whippet loves agility best! More
Deborah Jones, Ph.D. is a psychologist who specializes in learning theory and social behavior. She taught a variety of psychology courses at Kent State University for the past 20 years. Deb has been training dogs for performance events for the past 25 years and was an early innovator in the use of clicker training techniques in dog training. She ha...s owned and worked with a variety of breeds and has earned top level titles in agility (MACH), rally (RAE), and obedience (UD) competitions. Her focus is on developing training methods that are enjoyable and effective for both the dog and the trainer. Her mission is to help others develop strong positive relationships with their dogs. Her favorite saying is “it’s all tricks!” In 2004 Deb developed the FOCUS training system, along with agility trainer and World Team member Judy Keller. FOCUS stands for Fun, Obedience & Consistency lead to Unbelievable Success. They first applied FOCUS training to agility dogs but quickly realized its usefulness for all dog sports. Their latest work is “The Focused Puppy,” which lays out a strong and systematic foundation for all future training. Deb has written a series of 4 books with Denise Fenzi titled “Dog Sport Skills.”  She also recently finished a book on cooperative care. Deb has taught a variety of dog training classes, workshops, and seminars. She loves teaching in an online format!   Deb's website is www.k9infocus.com. More
Denise Fenzi has titled dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), mondioring (MRSA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She has two AKC obedience champions, perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience, and is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work. While ...a successful competitor, Denise's real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her student’s dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm. In addition to training and speaking, Denise is a prolific writer.  You can find her at www.denisefenzi.com where she maintains an active blog on all things related to dog training.  She is also an active writer on facebook; follow her there to learn more about her range of interests in addition to dog training. Denise and Deb Jones have recently finished a four book series, "Dog Sports Skills" which has recieved widespread acclain in the dog sports community.  In addition, she has written additional books on her own, including "Train the Dog in Front of You", "Beyond the Back Yard; Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!" and, for the younger audience, "Blogger Dog, Brito!"  Several of these books have won Maxwell awards for Best Training and Behavior book from the Dog Writers of America. Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs.  Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts as a forward step in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn. More