Michele has been with BFDT since 2017, and began training dogs in her teens! Using a combination of building motivation and hope for reward, she teaches dogs to actively think and understand that there are consequences for doing and for not doing in the face of conflict and distractions. She believes training needs to fit the needs of the client and deal with the specific problems of each dog.

We asked Michele a few questions so that you could get to know her better!

BFDT: Can you tell us a little about your dog training education and your certifications?

Michele: I am a Bart Bellon® NePoPo® Gold School Training Program graduate and have NePoPo® Gold School Training Program Ecollar Training Certification. I am also an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, AKC Fit Dog Level 1 Instructor, and AKC ATT Evaluator. I have attended seminars with: Tyler Muto; Betsy Scapicchio & Linda Brennan (TopDog Obedience School); Diane Bauman; Karen Lechner, Suffolk Nassau Agile Paws, and am a member of the IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals).

BFDT: In addition to Best Friend’s Dog Training, what other training experience do you have?

Michele: I have my own private company, GoDogGo K9 Academy, and I was also a Nassau Dog Training Club instructor.

BFDT: How would you describe how you specifically can help our clients and their dogs?

Michele: As a school teacher, I work with students from high school to adults. Being able to connect with people and ameliorate their insecurities in a new area of learning is not easy. By trying to teach the practical skills and dog training language in a way that clients can process and understand using in every day language through every day experiences, it helps them feel comfortable with learning a new set of skills.

BFDT: What is one weird, random, and/or fun thing about you that most people don't know (or wouldn't expect) about you?

Michele: I am a foodie...I love good food, practicing culinary arts, and trying different, authentic, ethnic foods. I’ll try any strange ethnic food item twice, but I draw the line at bugs--not that I have not eaten one!

BFDT: Last question...what do you like to do for fun?

Michele: I studied music and dance most my life, and I play piano and sing. I competed in ProAm Ballroom dance. I coach swimming and teach American Red Cross lifeguarding and CPR classes.