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."