Valerie has always loved nature, animals and, especially, dogs. In the early 2000's, Valerie discovered clicker training, looked for a local class to take with her dog Molly. Very quickly, Valerie became convinced of the benefits of clicker training and positive reinforcement training. When she rescued two puppies in 2005, she immediately entered them in classes and, before the dogs were 3 years old acheived the highest levels of Rally Obedience.
Valerie later rescued two puppies with extreme anxiety issues that came from a difficult background. She found that clicker training alone did not help with these puppies' issues. It was then that she became interested in the emotional lives of dogs and dog behavior as it relates to emotion. She realized that training dogs isn't just about training behaviors...often it is about changing the emotional state of the dog. She looked for help for her own dogs from a veterinary behaviorist and read the works of authors such as Leslie McDevitt, Karen Pryor, Karen Overall, etc. As a result of the training she did with her troubled dogs, she became interested in helping others find the kind of relationship with their dogs, that she has developed with hers.
After retiring in 2008 from a 30 year career in Information Technology, on the advice of a fellow KPA graduate, Valerie attended and graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Trainers. She now works with people to build more harmonious homes and, at the same time, strengthen the bond people have with their dogs.
Valerie is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), and believes in force free, reinforcement-based training. Valerie has a Bachelor of Science in Systems Analysis from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and lives in central Ohio with her husband, Brad, and their five rescue dogs.