Lisa began her career as a middle school teacher of Spanish and English Literature, and taught 8th grade for 22 years. She also taught adults in the fitness field—leading aerobics, yoga, Pilates, and kickboxing classes. Training dogs was a fun hobby until Lisa decided to seek Therapy Dog certification with her rescued Samoyed, Dusty. At this juncture, Lisa's love of dogs could be united with her passion for teaching children to read. She pursued information on positive reinforcement training—for teens and dogs.
With the goal of taking a new puppy from Puppy class all the way through Therapy Dog Registration, Lisa researched positive reinforcement methods and apprenticed for a year at a dog training school in Wisconsin. For four years she was a full trainer and was responsible for teaching all levels of group classes: from Puppy Kindergarten through Canine Good Citizen and Preparation for Therapy Dog.
Continuing to search for the best, most effective methods to teach dogs, Lisa began to explore the use of clicker training. When she opened Head of the Class Dog Training in 2012, clicker training was the methodology of choice for clients and their animals (dogs and cats!). Lisa found that positive reinforcement teaching works equally well for human clients, including teens, and animals. As a practiced, compassionate, and effective teacher, she can help you improve the quality of life for you and your dog.
A Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), Lisa is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). In addition, she is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT2) and a FitPaws Master Trainer (FP-MT) Certified Trick Dog Trainer (CTDI), a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator, Doggone Safe Presenter, K9 Fit Club Certified Trainer, an AKC Evaluator, and a Pet Partner Therapy Team Instructor and Evaluator.
Lisa grew up in central Wisconsin. She graduated from University of Madison with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education and Spanish, and a master's degree in teaching. Currently Lisa lives in Northern Virginia. She has four Pet Partner Therapy Dogs, all Samoyeds, that visit local schools to help with reading programs. Three of her therapy dogs have achieved the status of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response dogs, and provide comfort and encouragement to those affected by disasters and crises. Lisa also has three cats that enjoy clicker training.