Debra Donnelly

Debra Donnelly's picture


About Me
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Deb Donnelly is a dog trainer and the owner of Light On Dog Training, a training business founded on the principle of "turning the light on" for pets, pet owners, and competitive dog sports enthusiasts.

A "light on" moment occurs when the pet, the owner—or both—suddenly goes, "Ah-hah, I understand," and the two begin to communicate on a new level. Light On Dog Training is dedicated to building strong and positive relationships among pets, owners, and trainers, cultivating an environment where learning is a two-way street and the training is fast, fun, and addictive.


A serious dog lover, Deb Donnelly started dog training with her family's Airedale terrier when she was 12. A progression of dogs led her to the competitive obedience arena where she trained doberman pinschers, a puli, and her border terriers to multiple titles in obedience, agility, earthdog, and conformation events. Through these many experiences, Deb acquired the reputation as a trainer who is able to work with difficult dogs, dogs that others may have labeled "untrainable."

In 1995, Deb realized a childhood dream when she became a volunteer puppy-raiser for Leader Dogs for the Blind. Nineteen dogs later, she is still taking 7-week-old puppies into her home each year and guiding them through the first year of their lives in preparation for their adult lives as service dogs. In January of 2012, Deb turned her volunteer passion into a fulltime job when she became Puppy Development Coordinator at Leader Dogs for the Blind. Deb has a unique understanding of the trials a puppy can put an owner through in their first year together!

Deb shares her home with a German shepherd, a Labrador retriever and whatever "project" dog has been handed to her from Leader Dog. Deb credits her KPA class dog "Tripp," a German shepherd, as her inspiration to continue training and make it a career.

"Tripp is forever telling me how I am progressing as a trainer," says Deb. "I have to admit that sometimes I am not pleased with his comments, but the truth is that dogs never lie. He is a dog of my heart, and I am forever grateful that he has shown me the way to my true calling."

Services Offered: 

Light On Dog Training offers pet owners in the Detroit, Michigan area convenient in-home instruction using clicker-based teaching methods, with the goal of improving your pet's relationship with the entire family. If you are dealing with the growing pains of a pet's introduction into your life, helping your rescue pet find a secure place in a forever home, or developing training plans for pets with difficult behavior issues, Light On Dog Training can show you how to accomplish your goals.

For the competition-minded pet owner, Light On Dog Training offers private coaching lessons in a number of different dog sports. We are excited to explore the growing sport of K9 Nosework and to bring the sport into the lives of dogs and their owners—at a rescue facility, in your own home, or at a competitive level.

Services Offered Summary: 
In-home consultations for getting the right start with your puppy or for behavior problems that may have developed with your adult dog or rescue animal.
Contact Information
Phone Number: 
+1 (260) 415-7814
3066 Martell
48309 Rochester Hills , MI


Member for
6 years 8 months