A native of the Washington DC area, Veronica grew up surrounded by dogs and cats in her suburban Fairfax home. After 7 years of experience as an elementary school teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools, she developed a condition called generalized dystonia and was forced to discontinue. Fortunately, she found another venue to pursue her passion to educate, helping people develop a better relationship with their pet!
Veronica has been helping pet owners train their dogs professionally since the 1990's. She has experience teaching puppies the basics, teaching advanced manners and Canine Good Citizen classes, addressing serious behavior problems, training service animals, competing in dog sports and providing continuing education for trainers/working animal handlers. Veronica's goal is to make training fun, practical and do-able for her clients.Education and Certifications
Masters Degree in Education, Bachelors Degree in Psychology from George Mason University
Behavior consultant and private dog trainer for Cooperative Paws Training services for pets, therapy dog candidates and working dogs (including service dogs for mobility/hearing) recognized twice in Washingtonian Magazine and 4 times in Northern Virginia Magazine ("Best Of" issues)
Guest Lecturer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms-Sept. 29, 2010, lecture on dog behavior modification for trainers, handlers, and law enforcement professionals involved with explosive and arson detection dogs at the Front Royal Canine Training Center.
Speaker at International Association for Animal Behavior Consultant conferences - 2004 (Columbia, MD) and 2007 (Cleveland, OH)
Former Vice President of the IAABC (2006), Veronica founded the division on Human-Animal Mutualism that focuses on therapy, service and other working animals.
Speaker at Paws for Service Dogs conference in Orlando, FL in 2003
Educational Program Coordinator for Paws-Up, Inc. a non-profit association that trained assistance and therapy dogs 2003-2007
Group class and private lesson instructor for a well-established Arlington and Falls Church dog training company 1990's. Veronica taught both group and private lessons for puppies, adult dogs and Canine Good Citizen preparation. During this time period she had the opportunity to work with a team of dog training instructors with a wide array of experience from dog sports, conformation and even search and rescue.
Experience living with dogs for over 30 years. She has lived with a variety of breeds from different breed groups including breeds well known for being "challenging to train" such as nordic breeds. She has personally owned up to 6 pets (four dogs, two cats) at one time and managed the challenges of a multi-animal household successfully. All of her adult dogs have been trained to a high level and have passed AKC Canine Good Citizen at a minimum.
Competition Experience Veronica has titled her own dogs in competition obedience and rally, earning multiple placements. She also has experience training and competing in disc dog events ("frisbee" competitions)
Service and Therapy Dogs Veronica has trained several of her own dogs to work as therapy dogs and service dogs. She has trained dogs for mobility assistance and hearing alert.
Videos of our dogs' training skills.