About Us

About Us

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Lisa

Owner, Founder, Lead Trainer, Behavior Modification Consultant

I have always loved the companionship of animals, from dogs, to cats, to bunnies, parakeets and gerbils; and have had one or more at any given time since childhood. Pets can teach us so much about helping others, seeing humor in situations, and teach responsibility and compassion. Even though I have always had a menagerie of some sort, and loved my pets, I had never planned to be a dog trainer. What I did know, however, from a very young age, was that I would be a teacher.

From playing school to teaching middle school Spanish and English for 20+ years, my mission has always been to help others learn. When I first started teaching middle school Spanish at age 21, my principal said to me, “A great teacher can teach anything”, and while at the moment I was dubious, (particularly in the area of Math….) it turns out he was quite accurate. My calling is to teach, as every hobby I ever had resulted in my teaching the topic to share that knowledge with others. I have gone from teaching foreign language and English to kids and teens, to teaching aerobics, martial arts, yoga, and other fitness classes to teens and adults, and now to teaching dogs; and more specifically to teaching PEOPLE to teach their dogs.

One thing I have found through teaching all of these diverse areas is that it isn’t about the books, or the exercises, or even the dogs. It IS about empowering the PERSON, (YOU) to love and appreciate and understand the books, the exercise, and the dogs. After all, when I am not there, will the student still want to read the book, or do the exercise? Will you understand how to train your dog in a way that fits your family? I make it my goal to make my classes entertaining and engaging, so you can learn in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. As a middle school teacher working with a wide variety of abilities, I have learned to successfully adapt to the style of the learner, and explain things so it is easy to understand and implement. This carries over to all my classes in all areas. As a teacher, I value education very highly and strive to bring you, my learners, the most up to date information and skills in an original and innovative way to help achieve your goals with your dog.

In my spare time, I stay connected with the schools even though I am not teaching officially. My four therapy dogs and I make several visits every week to schools, assisted living facilities, kids’ camps, or wherever we are needed. I enjoy reading suspense novels when I am not reading training books, going to more training workshops and continuing to let my own dogs try out lots of new things, such as sheep herding, scootering, tricks, and agility, and inventing new classes for fun!

Of course, I am always looking to expand my knowledge base in new areas, like feline behavior as well as continue taking workshops and trainings with the best minds in the field of dog training, so I can share that with you.

Credentials and Experience

Dog Training

  • CSAT: Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer
  • CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed
  • PMCT 2: Pat Miller Certified Trainer
  • KPA-CTP: Karen Pryor Academy – Certified Training Partner
  • SDC: Service Dog Coach
  • FP-MT: FitPaws Master Trainer
  • CTDI: Certified Trick Dog Instructor
  • Owner / Trainer - Head of the Class Dog Training LLC, Winchester, VA
  • Trainer / Lead Instructor - Best Paw Forward, Hartland, WI (4 yrs)
  • CCFC: Canine Conditioning Fitness Coach

Other Certifications

ACE Fitness Group Exercise Instructor - Certified since 1997

YogaFit Level 4 Certification

M.A.T. – Masters of Teaching – Aurora University, Aurora, Il

B.S. – Sed- Spanish Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Spanish – UW- Madison, Madison, WI

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Jill

Trainer

I was a dog-crazy child who couldn’t have a dog, so I devised other ways to get my canine fix. I definitely spent more time in the homes of friends who had dogs than at my dogless friends’ houses. I cleaned kennels for a neighbor who bred and showed Doberman-Pinschers, and then got a job at a large German shepherd kennel. Since then, I’ve had nearly every dog-related job under the sun. My professional experience highlights include opening and managing a dog daycare, running America’s Vetdogs’ service dog training prison puppy program, building a successful dog walking and pet sitting company, and presenting a lecture on dog play and body language at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

Like so many dog-lovers, I grew up thinking that dominance governed canine behavior. I didn’t hesitate to use choke chains or think about why prong collars worked - until after my second (and current) dog, Bart, became aggressive. My experience with Bart forced me to find another way to train, which brought me to positive reinforcement. I’m a crossover trainer, which means that I’ve shifted from old-fashioned, correction-based training to force-free, evidence-based methods. I strongly believe in practicing positive reinforcement with people as well as their dogs, and I strive to make training fun for everyone.

 

I’ve worked with animals for over 35 years, and for more than 10 years as a professional dog trainer. When I’m not helping clients attain their dog training goals, I live in Boonsboro, MD with Bart, my 14 year-old redbone coonhound/Rottweiler mix.

Credentials and Experience

Dog Training

  • CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
  • AKCCGCE: • American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
  • ARC-CRP– • American Red Cross pet first aid & CPR certified
  • Lead Instructor & Director – Service Dog Training Programs, Peaceable Paws
  • Owner – Happy Hound Training
  • Prison Puppy Advisor – America’s VetDogs
  • Lead Trainer– Affectionate Pet Care
  • President– Happy Hound Club
  • President– Happy Hound Pet Care, Inc.
  • Manager– Cleverdog Dog Daycare & Grooming

Other Certifications

Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College

Animal Behavior College dog trainer program honors graduate

 

Find out more about Jill and her in-home training business at https://www.happyhoundtraining.com/

Janice CPDT-KA, CTDI, AACE

Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Animal Actors Certified Evaluator
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator these three
AKC Temperament Test Evaluator

Susan

KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner)
Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Canine Freestyle Coach
Stunt Dog Judge
Competition Judge, Treibball (NATE), Canine Musical Freestyle (WCFO)

Class Assistant:
Kendyl - ABCDT
Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer

Liz

Training Assistant

Liz has always been an animal enthusiast. Growing up on a farm, she was constantly surrounded by animals ranging from llamas and goats to cows and chickens. She showed sheep competitively for over a decade, and then taught young 4-Hers how to care for their own animals and prepare them for show. Still, her canine companions have always had a special place in her heart. Her love of dogs inspired her education in behavior and training and she is working towards her professional dog trainer certification. She believes training should be fun for both dog and human, and loves helping people strengthen their bond with their dogs. In her spare time, Liz trains and plays with her own pups, Raven and Falon.
Certifications: CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC