Michael Shikashio, CDBC, is the past president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and provides private consultations working exclusively with dog aggression cases through his business Complete Canines LLC. Michael is fully certified through the IAABC and is a full member of the Association of Professional Dog T...rainers (APDT). He is sought after for his expert opinion by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, New York Post, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, The Chronicle of the Dog, and Steve Dale’s Pet World. Michael is a featured speaker at conferences, universities, and seminars around the world, and offers a variety of workshops, webinars, and online courses on the topic of canine aggression. More
Leslie Eide, DVM, graduated from Colorado State University’s Veterinary School in 2006. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine in Albuquerque, NM. She continued her education by becoming certified in canine rehabilitation through the Canine Rehab Institute with a focus in sports medicine. She continues to learn more about reha...bilitation, sports medicine and pain management through daily practice and continuing education seminars. She currently practices at Sound Veterinary Rehab Center in Seattle, WA. In the agility world, Leslie has trained two dogs to their ADCH, one to ADCH Bronze, ATCH2, and MACH. Five of her dogs have qualified for the USDAA Nationals, with multiple Grand Prix Semi-final runs. She currently competes with 2 dogs in agility. Stig recently competed at the USA EO Tryouts and AKC NAC in 2018. Leslie is a member of the AVMA, WSVMA and AARV. More
Shortly after adopting her Chihuahua, Barbara Currier got involved with agility. She started teaching in 2004, and has trained with some of the best agility trainers and handlers in the world, including Susan Garrett, Tracy Sklenar, Kayl McCann, Jaakko Suoknuuti and Janita Leinonen and has implemented what she has learned from them into h...er training program. Barbara became heavily involved in the OneMind Dogs handling method in 2014. She has successfully competed over 10 different breeds of dogs since she started competing in agility. Her current competition dog is her 3-year-old mini poodle, Miso.  Miso started trialing in March 2016 and in 7 months qualified for AKC NAC and USDAA Cynosports. After 4 clean runs at the 2017 NAC, she earned her way into finals and finished as the 9th ranking dog in the country in the 12’ division.  She then went on to to win RD 1 at AWC World Team Tryouts April 2017.  Barbara continues to teach all over the country. Barbara is also the head dog trainer for the F.I.D.O. Program run at Georgia Tech, which creates wearable computing for military, SAR and service dogs. She has also worked as an animal wrangler for Marvel’s Ant-Man, 90 Minutes in Heaven, the TV series Satisfaction and various commercials. Today, she resides in GA and shares her home with her very supportive husband, Mike, border collies Brazen and Blitz, Parson Russell terrier Piper, mini poodle Miso, field English cocker Eggo, and bearded dragon Saphira. More
Nancy is a certified trainer with the CCPDT, and a certified behaviour consultant with the IAABC.  She teaches seminars, webinars, and workshops on dog training, dog behaviour, and the business end of training throughout Canada, the US, and Europe.   She is also an instructor for Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and a regular article contrib...utor to the Whole Dog Journal. She shares her home in Quebec, Canada with her husband Tom and their Border Terrier, Bennigan. More
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
Hélène got her first dog, a border collie named Jake, in 1989 and has been training dogs ever since. Over the years, she has dabbled in obedience, search and rescue, protection sports, rally, tricks, and freestyle, among others. She discovered agility in 2004, and herding in 2005. Herding quickly became her passion; she was so excited about it that... she took lessons for a whole year without a dog! In 2006, Hélène bought her first herding dog — a border collie named Hannah. Hannah was an amazing partner and teacher, and together they won the Ontario novice herding championship in their first year of competition. As a team, they went all the way to Open in USBCHA herding while simultaneously competing at the Masters level in agility. Hélène has also been very active in rescue over the years, giving her the opportunity to work with a wide variety of dogs and challenges. It was through working with rescue dogs that she discovered and became committed to using positive reinforcement based training methods. She believes so strongly in this approach that she has been working hard to develop a positive reinforcement based method for herding. She is also deeply committed to natural rearing as a major component of dog training, believing that a clear, sound mind and a strong, healthy body are integral to a calm, confident, eager-to-learn animal partner. Today, Hélène lives on a mixed livestock farm in rural eastern Ontario with her team of eight border collies, two Maremma guardian dogs, and a kelpie. A professional editor and writer, she teaches private and occasional group lessons, workshops, and online classes in herding and dog sport foundations. Hélène’s personal website: www.Kynicstockdogs.com. More
Alla is a long time FDSA student and is currently working on obedience, rally, agility, nosework, and tricks with her great dane Lily and aussie Dante.
Dog trainer, translator and traveler Chrissi is based in Antigua, Guatemala. She has been fond of dogs of all sizes, shapes and personalities for as long as she can think - especially the so-called difficult ones. After training the dachshund of her early teenage years in traditional ways at her local obedience club, she learned about clicker train...ing and got hooked on force-free, motivational methods. Her work days are spent doing the things she loves most: thinking about languages, writing, and teaching pet dog manners and life skills to her clients and their dogs. Her (German-language) puppy book "Nur Mut!" was released in 2017 and her recall book "Komm zu mir!" in 2018. Chrissi loves working with people and dogs, and training, playing and hiking with her malinois Grit and Game. Her pet dog school website is https://chrissisdogtraining.com and her dog training blog can be found on https://chrissisdogtraining.com/blog/. More
Julie Daniels won her first award for writing in the fourth grade, and she was training dogs long before that. Today Julie Daniels is one of the foremost names in dog agility in the United States. She was one of the early champions of the sport and helped many clubs throughout the country get up and running. In 2015 Julie moved to Deerfield, NH, wh...ere she has opened a new business called Kool Kids Agility. Julie also owns White Mountain Agility, a 90-acre dog heaven in North Sandwich, NH. That school has operated since 1993, and Julie developed many theme camps there, including Wild Child, Speed-Em-Up, Novice Genius, Jumping Genius, and the world-renowned WMA Instructor Certification Course, which has honed the skills of hundreds of teachers and thousands of dogs worldwide. She is well known as a premier teacher at all levels of play, and she loves all kinds of dogs. She has titled and won with all sorts of dogs through the years, including two Rottweilers, a springer spaniel, a cairn terrier, two corgis, and four border collies. She is the only person to make USDAA Grand Prix finals with a Rottie or a springer, and she did it two times each. In IFCS international competition, Julie is a member of two gold-medal-winning teams. She is a two-time USDAA National Champion as well. She has won many televised events, including the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. Three of her border collies, Spring, Clark, and Sport, have made the Challenger’s Round at AKC National Championships. Julie and Spring are the only team to win the International Class three years in a row at Springfield, the largest agility trial in the US. Julie and Spring also made an appearance to promote agility on Good Morning America. Julie’s current competition dog is MACH2 MAD Sport, who is a few legs from his ADCH in limited showing. He is a soft dogjdaniels2 who started off “slow and thoughtful.” Now he pumps himself up to run and shoots off the line like the champion he can be. Motivation is everything! Julie now has a young border collie, Koolaid, who is already a dynamic presence in several FDSA classes. Julie is well known worldwide as the expert commentary voice of Cynosport agility, doing the livestream video broadcasts seen all around the world. Julie is an expert in the art and science of operant training, and her approach works! She has always taught “dog’s choice” games as a way to develop agility partnerships. Her first agility book was published in 1991 and the “dog’s choice” games were actually controversial at that time! But she was nominated for a Dog Writer’s Award nonetheless and has never waivered in her philosophy. Julie is the author of three DVDs and four agility books, including an update of her award-winning foundation training book, Enjoying Dog Agility. More
Deborah (Gross) Torraca, DPT, MSPT, Diplomat ABPTS, CCRP has been involved in the field of animal physical rehabilitation for over 17 years and currently owns a small animal rehabilitation practice in Connecticut called Wizard of Paws Physical Rehabilitation for Animals, LLC. She received her BS from Boston University, a Masters degree from Qu...innipiac College, and her doctorate from the University of Tennessee. She has advanced certifications in her field. Dr. Torraca has lectured throughout the world on the topic of small animal rehabilitation for the past 12 years, and is one of the founders of the certificate program in canine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee. She has published widely on both the professional level and to dog enthusiasts of many venues. Laser therapy has been an interest and passion of hers for over 10 years and she is very active in the development of treatment programs and education on laser therapy. 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
Julie Flanery, CPDT-KA has been working professionally with dogs and their handlers since 1993. She focuses on the needs of the dog and helping people form a strong relationship, through clear communication, and positive reinforcement. She has placed Obedience, Freestyle, Rally, Rally-FrEe, Agility, Trick Dog and Parkour titles on her dogs an...d has earned Championships in Freestyle, Heelwork-to-Music and a Grand Championship MCL in Rally-FrEe. She has achieved both High Technical Merit and High Artistic Merit in both Freestyle and Heelwork to Music several times over, including three prestigious Attila Challenge awards, as well as several “Top H.A.T.” awards for High Scoring Heelwork, Attention and Teamwork. In 2001 she was named "Trainer of the Year" by the World Canine Freestyle Organization and has been a competition freestyle judge since 2003. In 2012, Julie developed the sport of Rally-FrEe to help freestylers increase the quality and precision of their performances. It has since become a stand-alone sport enjoyed by dog sport enthusiasts all over the world. Julie has been a workshop and seminar presenter both nationally and internationally. She currently trains and competes with her Tibetan terrier in both Musical Freestyle and Rally-FrEe.  More
Ann Smorado was a horse crazy teenager who started training dogs in 2006 when she got her first labrador retriever, Miles.  What started out as taking a puppy class to make sure she would have a well mannered dog, or at least a dog that didn’t destroy the house, quickly grew into a passion.  Miles earned his AKC Utility Dog (UD) within 5 ...years of that first puppy class and his Master Agility Champion (MACH) shortly thereafter. He also earned his RAE and the WCRL ARCHMX.    In 2012, Ann got her second labrador, Hartley. She soon found Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and has been taking classes with Hartley ever since. Ann has been teaching Obedience foundations at Canine Affair Center since 2014. She and Hartley actively compete in Agility, Obedience, Dock Diving and Rally.   Hartley has his MACH3, UDX, OM1, Junior Hunter and is working on his Agility Grand Champion. Hartley also has his TEAM 6. Ann was awarded the Fenzi Dog Sport Trainer Certificate for Obedience/Rally and Freestyle. Ann is also a TEAM judge.  Now Ann has a 3 month old puppy, Dare, who is just getting started. 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
Nicole Wiebusch started competing in dog sports as a teenager in the 90’s and quickly became addicted to the sport of obedience. In 2001, she acquired a golden retriever named Tucker who taught her that traditional methods weren’t the best way to a happy confident dog. This realization started her on the journey to positive reinforcement training....  In 2008, Nicole started her own dog training business, Golden Paws Dog Training LLC, and teaches both pet owners and dog sports people dog-friendly training methods.  She started taking classes with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy in 2013 and actively competes in a variety of performance events with her three golden retrievers.  Nicole’s golden retriever Toby UDX2 OM3 RAE was retired due to physical problems just 30 points shy of finishing his OTCH.  Her current competition dog Strive has earned her UD and is working on her UDX.  Toby and Strive both have multiple High in Trials in Obedience and High Combineds in both Obedience and Rally.  Nicole’s dogs also hold advanced Agility and Rally titles, as well as hunting, dock diving, and TEAM titles.  In addition to operating Golden Paws Dog Training, Nicole is a field dog trainer for a service dog organization, a Canine Good Citizen and Trick Dog Evaluator, a Professional Member of the APDT, an instructor for the Fenzi Pet Professionals Program, a TEAM judge, and has earned the Obedience/Rally/Freestyle Trainer’s Certificate from FDSA. 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
I grew up around dogs; my family were heavily ‘into’ dogs; showing and competitions were part of that. The dogs were all trained using the methods of the time – the human was the pack leader and that was that, no questions asked. And then came Rosie the springer spaniel cross. The methods didn’t work for her. There was no happy ending for Rosie and... I was left traumatised. My methods failed and I walked away from dog training. Fast forward 10 or so dog-less years and someone introduced me to clicker training – for my cats! A light came on in my heart; I’d finally found what I was looking for. So, for the last 20 years, starting with a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Psychology, I’ve been studying and applying the scientific underpinnings and practical application of compassionate training. Since starting my own training business, HotDogs K9 Training, I’ve helped I don’t know how many frazzled people resolve their dog problems and rebuild that bond. (And let’s be honest, when your dog is driving you nuts it’s sometimes hard to love them!) I’m also a competition obedience junkie. I just love the challenge of teaching beautiful heelwork, snappy, flashy precision, and, basically showing off what my gorgeous dogs can do! I now have one Obedience Grand Champion and hopefully, a new one in the making. Time will tell with that, I’m sure. More
Liz started out training dogs in 1996, competing for fun in agility with her first rescue dogs. Shortly afterwards, she shifted into pet dog training, teaching beginner and advanced pet dog manners classes, puppy classes and offering private training in both city/suburban and country areas. The time she spent working in rescue organizations, pet s...hops, in homes and quarantine kennels helped her develop a deeper understanding of dogs and other pets, and how they interact both with us and with each other. Liz currently lives in rural Australia with a young daughter and three dogs, three cats and an assortment of rats, horses and sheep. She is now focused on online titling and training with her own dogs — the ideal alternative for country trainers! 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