Paula has had a lifelong love for animals. Cats and dogs have always had a place in her heart and her home. As a young adult, Paula rescued her very first dog, Matt, a collie/shepherd mix from the local shelter and the first of a long line of dogs for Paula. For Matt, training was all about the fun. Matt became the model for Paula's idea of what a well-trained and happy dog should be.
After raising a family, having a busy work life, and spending 14 years with Matt along came Paula’s love affair with shelties, more rescue dogs, and the beginnings of a new career. As a breed, shelties need training and lots of it. They can be skittish with very high energy due to their herding instincts.
As a young pup, one of the shelties, Shane, was very shy and needed socialization. Paula enrolled him in a basic obedience class and realized quickly that not all dogs are created equal. The next step for Shane was agility training supplemented with the use of the clicker. Incorporating positive reinforcement using the clicker, Shane overcame his shyness and is now a happy and confident dog.
Paula’s love of dogs and Shane’s success with the clicker prompted her to pursue a career in dog training. After careful consideration she decided that the Dog Trainer Program at Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) offered the best instruction to fit her needs. Paula is proud to say that she is the first KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP) clicker trainer in the Pittsburgh area. She is also part of a large network of trainers who share ideas and the latest training methods. A thoughtful understanding of a dog’s behavior and patience and positive reinforcement are the basic tenets of Paula’s training program.
Currently Paula has three shelties that train in agility, rally, and obedience. Two of her shelties, Shane and Mika, have several AKC titles, and her youngest dog, Blaze, is well on his way to earning titles. Paula also does Collie/Sheltie rescue and, more often than not, will have a foster dog rehabilitating in her home.