K9 Nose Work™ Training Camp Southeast – Staff

Staff members may be added or changed without notice as needed. Click here to return to camp webpage.

Amy Herot - Jill Marie O'Brien - Carolyn Barney - Pam Behrens - Chris Busch - Laura Busch - Karin Damon - Michele Ellertson - Fred Helfers - Leah Gangelhoff - Donna Hreniuk - Jacy Kelley - Dorothy Turley - Dana Crevling

Amy Herot CPDT-KA, K9NW Co-Founder, Lead Instructor

Amy HerotNACSW™ & K9 Nose Work™ Founder/Nose Work Instructor

Amy is a professional K9 trainer and handler and brings over a decade of experience to her work. She has certified teams in Narcotics and Explosives and has logged over 1500 instructional hours in detection dog training.  As co-founder of K9 Nose Work, and the National Association of Canine Scent Work Association,LLC™ (NACSW), she has sought to bring that experience to companion dogs and handlers through the development of nose work classes and sport events. She and her partners launched and sponsored the first organized Fun Nose Work competition, a Nose Work Practice Match and the first national K9 Nose Work™ trial, a titling event in January 2009.

In the canine sport world Amy has trained dogs for tracking, agility, sheepherding, protection sports, and detection.  She has competed nationally with her Dutch Shepherd, Maya and took 3rd place in Narcotics Detection at the Gold Coast K9 Working Dog Trials and 1st place, open division, at the Oxnard Police K9 Foundation Inaugural Trial, 2009.  Her Belgian Malinois, Seven, is a nationally certified explosives detection dog and took 1st place in the Explosives Building Search at the 2009 Ventura County Sheriff's K9 Trial.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Science from NYU and is nationally certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).  Additionally, she is a graduate of the Balu Academy for Dog Trainers and is a John Rogerson associate here in the U.S. 

Her professional memberships and affiliations include the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Southern California Dog Trainers’ Forum (SCDTF), Southern California Schutzhund Club, and International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI).  Amy gives much volunteer time and expertise to the betterment of shelter dogs. Some of Amy’s other achievements have been the 2007 President's Volunteer Service Award, spcaLA's 2005 Outstanding H.E.A.L. (Helping Enhance Animals Lives) Volunteer and 2006 Volunteer of the Year.

Amy is owner of the Los Angeles based All Good Dogs, LLC.   www.allgooddogs.biz

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Jill Marie O'Brien, CPDT-KA, K9NW Co-Founder, Lead Instructor

Jill Marie O'BrienNACSW™ & K9 Nose Work® Founder/Nose Work Instructor

Jill Marie has been working with and training dogs since 1987. Jill Marie spent fourteen years as Director of Behavior and Training for spcaLA. During her tenure with spcaLA, she supervised the creation and development of that agency's first Animal Behavior and Training Department since the agency’s inception in 1877. Jill’s career at spcaLA started in 1996 when she joined the agency to fulfill a grant from KalKan to educate inner-city youth on dog bite prevention and feral dog safety.  While there she participated in the Teaching Love and Compassion program (TLC), a program that matches at-risk youth with shelter dogs for a 3 week program that teaches young people life skills in patience, anger management and conflict resolution. Jill Marie also developed a Canine Behavior Assessment protocol in 2000 that was the only in-house assessment used for the evaluation of the shelter dogs housed at the agency.

Jill Marie's years of dog training experience includes agility, tracking, Animal Assisted Therapy, Schutzhund and detection training along with many hours of K9 Nose Work development and instruction. Her training philosophy is one of building strong working relationships and bonds between dogs and their handlers using positive, fun and motivational techniques. She is a strong advocate of ongoing education and development of skills. Not only has she attended many educational conferences and courses, but she has also organized educational events featuring some of the most sought-after lecturers and behavior experts in the world. She believes education for the humans is as important as education for the canines. Jill Marie is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, long time member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a facilitator for the Southern California Dog Trainers Forum.

Jill Marie and her dog Beckett are a nationally certified Narcotics Detection Team and took 1st place, novice division in the Oxnard Police K9 Inaugural Trial, 2009. She has been a long-time agility enthusiast and has competed and trained in agility since 1990. In addition to her work with Beckett, Jill and her other dogs have earned many training titles and have competed at the USDAA's Grand Prix of Dog Agility. Jill Marie’s newest partner is Raven, a Belgian Malinois. Jill Marie shares her life with her son and wonderful husband for whom she thanks everyday for their patience and understanding as she continues to build and develop her understanding and skill working with dogs and their people.

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Carolyn Barney CNWI, Instructor and Camp Store Manager

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Carolyn has been training dogs and their people professionally since 1985. In 1991 she founded Gemini Dog Training, a full service training and daycare facility and then DOGS! Learning Center in 2007. Carolyn focuses much of her time on behavior modification through private consulting and training classes. She educates and coaches owners of fearful, aggressive, reactive, and/or socially challenged dogs. Carolyn's teaching background includes: group classes and workshops on clicker training skills, reactive dog management, and a variety of dog sports that include K9NW, agility, obedience, tracking, and earthdog. Carolyn has trained and mentored 100’s of potential dog training instructors. Many of her previous students and staff trained through her instructor programs have gone on to become Certified Pet Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA), running their own classes and businesses.

The desire for a better understanding of the canine mind and behavior has been the motivating factor in all aspects of her dog experience. Beginning with traditional training techniques, she knew there had to be a better way. Pursuing that better way has evolved into clicker training and a more thoughtful scientific and effective use of operant and classical conditioning. Carolyn believes that training and behavior modification should be safe, enjoyable, and successful for both the dog and the humans who love them. Most importantly, she maintains an open mind to new information and what every dog has to teach the human student. Carolyn has been training, competing, and titling dogs for over 35 years in obedience, conformation, tracking, agility, earth dog, and most recently in K9 Nose Work™. Carolyn's PRT, Steiff, has earned the NW Elite title and participated in the 2014 NACSW National Invitational. Carolyn's  Border Collie, Breezy, has her Elite title and participated in the 2017 NACSW National Invitational winning one of the searches and placing in another.

Along with her training and behavior work, Carolyn wrote Clicker Basics for Dogs and Puppies. Carolyn has 2 DVD’s from the Clean Run Instructor Conference, one on Agility Foundation and one on Scaredy Dogs. Carolyn has co-taught canine cognition/behavior courses at Harvard University Extension School with Bruce Blumberg PhD, lectures to dog trainers occasionally and worked for many years as a behavior consultant for the MSPCA, providing reactive dog training classes and behavior therapy for shelter dogs and their families. She teaches multiple K9NW classes each week from beginning students to teams with their elite titles. Carolyn's full-time job is Training Director of Operation Delta Dog, a not for profit that trains shelter dogs for veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.

http://www.carolynbarney.com/

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Pam Behrens, ABCDT, CNWI,  Instructor

Pam has loved working with animals ever since she was a little girl.  She trained her first dog, a German Shepherd, in obedience and protection when she was in high school, and has been training dogs ever since. She graduated and received her dog training certification from Animal Behavior College. She is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) from the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW), an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Trainer and Evaluator, and is certified in Pet CPR & First Aid. She is also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).

Since 2007, Pam has taught group puppy classes/adult group obedience for SIRIUS® Puppy Training. She offers K9 Nose Work classes, real world classes (A Dog’s Day Out!), and private behavioral consultations and training through her own company (A Dog’s Day!). She holds puppy socials (P.E.T.S.) with a colleague around the Silicon Valley area.

In 2009, Pam attended a K9 Nose Work seminar by NACSW Founders, Amy Herot and Jill Marie O’Brien.  Wow!  Her passion for K9 Nose Work ignited! She started exploring this new passion with her Rough Collie, Bodie, practicing and taking as many seminars and classes as she could.  Wanting to share this joy with others, she started teaching her first nose work class in January of 2011, and earned her CNWI in February 2012. She has hosted trials, coordinated volunteers, and guest instructed at Nose Work Camps. In her classes, she has guided her students/dogs from Intro to Nose Work through Elite (and even has a few students who have become CNWIs). She currently runs 6 classes, teaching 31 students and is enjoying training a truffle dog! Pam loves being able to help dogs and their handlers build strong bonds and teamwork, and help fearful and reactive dogs build confidence. To do this with an activity that enriches their lives never gets old.

Pam has three adult sons and lives in San Jose, CA with her husband, their Rough Collie Bodie, NW2 (retired) and their new puppy, Fig, a Miniature Long Haired Dachshund, who has just started her K9 Nose Work adventure

 

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Chris Busch CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work Instructor™ 

In 2008, while taking an obedience class at the SPCALA in Long Beach with his Weimaraner Barley, Chris learned of a new class that was being offered at the facility.  Fun Nose Work was just in it’s infancy.  Since that time, Chris has watched this fun class turn into a thriving dog sport that has grown nationwide.  Since that time he has been very active with the National Association of Canine Scent Work ™ (NACSW).  He has also spent countless hours volunteering and being a Certifying Official at NACSW™ trials and ORT’s. 

To learn more about animal behavior Chris volunteered for many years with the behavior and education department at his local shelter. During the time he spent at the shelter he helped with assessing dogs before being adopted and for special programs, which involved the dogs interacting with children and/or elderly people.

Barley is the first Weimaraner to achieve an NW1, NW2 and NW3 x2 title.  Barley and Chris have also achieved their NW3 Elite title and have been invited and competed in two NACSW™ National Invitational Trials. 

Chris and Laura (his wife) both currently teach all levels of K9 Nose Work classes at the SPCALA in Long Beach and at Rock Solid K9 in Lake Forest, CA.  He also teaches specialized workshops and skills clinics and hosts many seminars and coaching clinics to handler/dogs teams in his area. 

He is excited to be a returning camp instructor.

 

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Laura Busch CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Laura has always had a passion for dogs.  In 1999 Laura started, like many people, by taking basic classes with her own dog, Seneca (a rambunctious Chocolate Labrador).  Laura and Seneca really enjoyed their classes and training time together.  In 2007 Barley, a Weimaraner, joined the family.  Barley not only was rambunctious but needed a job to do.  Laura and her husband Chris not only trained him for obedience they were introduced to an up and coming new sport (K9 Nosework®)    that would keep Barley mentally challenged. 

Laura has been very active with K9 Nosework® since 2008 and has been involved with many Nose Work events as this sport has grown nationwide. When Laura first started K9 Nosework® she and her husband co-handled their Weimaraner (Barley), but came to realize that it would be better for Barley to communicate with one handler rather than two.  In 2010 Laura started training their second Weimaraner (Heidi) in K9 Nosework®.  Heidi has overcome many environmental issues because of K9 Nosework®. Because of Heidi’s sensitivities Laura has learned to help other dogs overcome environmental issues as well.

Laura’s passion for this sport compelled her to learn more about canine behavior.  She spent several years volunteering her time with the behavior and education department at her local shelter to learn more about canine communication and helping with programs designed to increase adoptions for the animals in their care.  Because of her passion for helping people, and their dogs, Laura continually attends seminars and workshops on training and dog behavior.

Since 2008 Laura has been helping to coordinate K9 Nosework® trials in Southern California, acting as Trial Host, Trial Representative and/or Volunteer Coordinator.   Laura has been involved with volunteering at many trials in California, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Alabama, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas and Nevada.  

Laura currently teaches all levels of K9 Nose Work® Classes at the SPCALA in Long Beach and at Rock Solid K9 in Lake Forest, CA, she also teaches specialized workshops and skills clinics, and hosts many seminars and coaching clinics to handler/dogs teams in her area. Laura serves as a Certifying Official (C.O.) for NACSW™ sanctioned K9 Nose Work® Trials and as a Certifying Official and Judge for K9 Nose Work® Odor Recognition Tests (ORTs).

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Karin Damon CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Karin has been involved in performance events with dogs for 15 years. She started out in a basic obedience class with her Golden Retriever, Keebler, and put an AKC Versatility title on him. She is presently competing in agility, tracking, obedience and nose work with her other Goldens: Derby, Jig and Jeep. All of the clan has been involved in advertising – showing up in various places such as commercials for Claritin, Pedigree, PetSmart Dog Food, A&P Food Stores, and even appearing on “Conan O’Brien” and “Saturday Night Live”. Jeep most recently appeared on the cover of Dog Fancy and Jig has been on the AKC Website. 

Karin has achieved the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) Elite 3 title with Jig and Jeep received the Elite 2 title with a pronounced.  Jig was the first Golden Retriever in the country to earn the Elite 3 title.  Karin and Jig participated in the NACSW National Invitational in California in 2013 as one of 13 dogs selected throughout the country and was Dog in White for the 2014 NACSW National Invitational. Karin is a Certifying Official for NACSW Trials and is a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) teaching nose work since the sport came to the East Coast in March of 2010.

Karin became a certified Pet Tech First Aid and CPR Instructor in San Diego, CA and is working to finish her Canine Rehabilitation Certificate from the University of Tennessee. She was selected to work at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia in the equestrian, mountain biking and modern pentathlon venues.

Karin recently retired as the Head Athletic Trainer at Centenary College to start her own business. She is the owner of Shamrock Pot of Gold K9 Scenter in New Jersey.

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Michele Ellertson, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work Instructor™

Michele has worked as a Professional Dog Trainer for over a decade.  Prior to being swept up in the Nosework craze, she worked mostly in behavior modification.  In 2009, Michele was among the first dog trainers in New England to become involved in the National Association of Canine Scent work’s (NACSW) sport of K9 Nosework, and she was instrumental in establishing the foundation necessary to make the sport a success in this region of the country.  She currently works with the NACSW as a Certifying Official, Trial Representative, and has hosted numerous trials in the New England area.  It’s no secret the sport has skyrocketed, and Michele’s intense schedule of regular weekly classes, private lessons, and specialty clinics throughout the country show it.  In addition to having the honor of teaching at the National K9NW Camps, she owns “The Dog’s PACE” out of Massachusetts, and manages the scent work division “Follow Thy Nose,” which is comprised of all things Nose Work!

Personally, Michele is owned and loved by four dogs.  Three she rescued, a poodle mix named Harley, and a Chihuahua/Terrier mix named Hemi, and one of her two young German Shepherd’s, Hannah.  Chaser is the newest member of the family, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, and they have been having fun exploring training and foundation concepts.  Harley has recently earned his NW3 Elite title placing in many of those efforts, and received the Harry Award, which is given to the most outstanding rescue dog that demonstrates extraordinary ability and spirit in nose work at the NW1 level.  Hannah is also a recipient of this award, along with her NW1 Pronounced title.  At all of 14 pounds, Hemi is currently competing in the Elite Trial Division, has earned her ELT1 and ELT2 titles, and had the opportunity to compete in both the 2015 and 2017 K9 Nosework National Invitationals. 

Although her professional and personal interests have led Michele to train in a variety of dog sports, Michele’s primary goals are in the sports of Obedience, Nosework, and has dabbled in a few others.  Michele’s fondness for Nosework comes from the tremendous benefits it offers to all dogs.  From confidence building, bonding, mental stimulation, and pure enjoyment, this sport offers so much to both dog and handler.

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Fred Helfers, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Fred Helfers started training and handling detection canines in 1982 while working in law enforcement.  Fred trained and worked two drug detection canines during his 28 years in law enforcement. Over the past 34 years Fred has expanded his knowledge of detection canines by training canines and handlers in the fields of drug detection, insect detection, natural gas detection and accelerant detection.

Further, for over 20 years Fred operated a professional detection dog training kennel and training facility for police officers, training drug, accelerant, natural gas and insect detection canines and their handlers. Fred’s passion and recognized expertise in training detection canine teams has led him to conduct training seminars and classes throughout United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Brazil. 

Fred is the past president of the Washington State Police Canine Association and the founding President - President Emeritus of the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association (pnwk9.org). Fred’s recognized expertise in the training of detection canines and handlers led to Fred being appointed as a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Factors (SWGDOG.org) and currently as a member of Organization of Scientific Area Committee (OSAC - Dogs and Sensors Group).    Fred has judged numerous detection canine competitions from the World Police and Fire games (Detection Canines) in Vancouver, Canada to the National Invitational K9Nosework® Trials in Santa Rosa, Ca.  Over the past 34 years, Fred Helfers has trained literally hundreds of professional canines and their handlers. Along with being recognized as a master trainer in detection canines Fred is recognized as a judge, certifying official for ORT and Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) for NACSW in the USA and also ACSW in Australia.

Fred has authored “The Nose Work Handler Journal”,  Olfaction and Odour Manual and most recently “The Nose Work Handler”.

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Leah Gangelhoff CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Leah Gangelhoff, CNWI is a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and owner of Flint Hill K-9 Training LLC in Birmingham, AL (www.flinthillk9.com). She received her formal education in dog training and behavior, with a particular interest in detection training from Triple Crown School for Dog Trainers in 2001-2002. She has owned and operated her own successful training and behavior business since 2002, both in Los Angeles, CA and Birmingham, AL. Prior to moving back to her home city of Birmingham in 2007, Leah lived and worked in Los Angeles for 16 years during which time she studied under, trained with, and certified dogs to professional level in narcotics detection with K9 Nose Work® co-founders Ron Gaunt & Amy Herot and was a member of their twice-weekly on-going detection training group, logging 10 hours/wk from 2004-2006.

Leah holds a degree in psychology and has an extensive background in psychological research in the areas of learning and developmental theory, both of which provide a very strong foundation for her work by significantly deepening her understanding of canine training methodologies. She is a Certified K9 Nose Work® Instructor, an NACSW™ Senior Faculty Member and a member of the following organizations: Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW™), International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), and she is an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

Leah has worked with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society conducting staff trainings on canine behavior, implementing training techniques to help dogs become more adoptable, and conducting canine temperament assessments.  She also volunteers with local elementary schools giving Bite Prevention seminars for children. Leah is the chosen Training and Behavior Consultant to Adopt-A-Golden Birmingham, providing foster volunteer training, obedience and behavior modification to dogs needing forever homes and to newly adopted dogs and their owners.

She is a Certified K9 Nose Work® Instructor and an NACSW™ Senior Faculty Member.  Leah currently teaches all levels of K9 Nose Work® Classes in Birmingham, AL, co-teaches K9 Nose Work® workshops and skills clinics with the Co-founders, is active in developing and teaching Continuing Education Programs for CNWI and ANWI, and offers seminars and coaching clinics to handler/dogs teams across the country. Leah serves as a Certifying Official (C.O.) and Judge for NACSW™ sanctioned K9 Nose Work® Trials and as a Certifying Official and Judge for K9 Nose Work® Odor Recognition Tests (ORTs).

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Donna Hreniuk, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Donna’s educational background is in Ethology, specifically the wolf, and she holds degrees in Zoology/Animal Behavior.  Her professional career was a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Donna has a long history of Search and Rescue experience, specializing in Human Re

mains Detection (HRD) detection work since 1989. She has also certified dogs in other search and rescue disciplines, including air scent wilderness, water search, and disaster recovery.   She has been deployed to numerous missions including the Edison gas line explosion, 9-11 and most recently Hurricane Sa

ndy as well as numerous call outs by the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies for cases involving abductions, homicides and the missing.

In addition to responding to search and recovery missions, Donna has served as an evaluator for the Search and Rescue Council of NJ and as a Lead Evaluator for State Urban Search and Rescue.  She was involved in developing the national standards for canine disaster recovery and certified one of the first disaster recovery dogs in the country.  She is also qualified as an expert witness for the NJ State Courts.

Donna and her new partner, Zeke, are members of the NJ Rescue & Recovery K9 Unit. Zeke is in training for human remains detection. Donna serves as a K9 Handler and Training Director for NJ Rescue & Recovery K9.  She is also co-owner of Sirius K-9 Solutions, a business that is involved in training dogs to locate various insects that are detrimental to the environment.

Due to her experience in detection dog work, Donna was approved to be a judge for the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW™) when the sport first began on the East Coast. Captured by this new sport, she completed the requirements to become a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) in 2010 and is currently teaching advanced level nose work.  She also serves as a Certifying Official for NACSW™ trials and as a supervising CO.

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Jacy Kelley, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jacy Kelley began his professional dog handling career in the United States Air Force as a Military Working Dog Handler where he performed Narcotic and Explosive detection duties and protection details for the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, and The State Department for various heads of state. Upon his departure from service, Jacy worked for a government contractor conducting explosive detection operations. After almost 20 years of detection experience, Jacy turned his passion for dogs and the relationship between dog and owner into his own business. He is now the owner and operator of Canine Copilots, LLC in the Washington, DC area. Canine Copilots offers a variety of classes although the main focus is on K9 Nose Work.

Jacy has been offering K9 Nose Work classes since 2010 and has been instrumental in the growth of the activity and sport throughout the Mid-Atlantic. His students range from new pet owners to dog sports trainers and professional dog training instructors who want to develop K9 Nose Work programs at their businesses. As the National Association of Canine Scent Work's (NACSW) first Mid-Atlantic area Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), Judge, Certifying Official, and National Faculty Member, Jacy brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective to all his students. With the demand for classes increasing, Jacy now has four Nose Work instructors on staff, who have been trained by him and are currently enrolled in, or completed, the NACSW’s instructors certification program.

Jacy is a thoughtful supportive instructor with a great sense of humor who strives to make each class fun for both dog and owner.

 

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Dorothy Turley, CPDT-KA, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Dorothy is a professional, full-time dog trainer in the Olympia, Washington area. Her business, Let’s Talk Dogs, specializes in pet dog training, behavior issues and K9 Nose Work®. She began dog training as a hobby in 1995 and quickly became involved with rescue and education work as a volunteer. She eventually transitioned to training others and quit her day job in 2002 to pursue dog training as a full-time professional.

Dorothy teaches classes, private lessons and also hosts educational seminars and workshops. She has also traveled as the working assistant to Kathy Sdao, MS, CAAB (Bright Spot Dog Training). She is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) and continues her education by attending seminars and workshops. She has graduated from the Dogs of Course Instructor training, CNWI instructor training and 3 sessions of Bob Bailey’s “Chicken Camp.” Over the years she has also volunteered and worked at her local shelters and various rescue groups.

In early 2010 Dorothy attended her first K9 Nose Work® seminar with Ron Gaunt. She was hooked. She knew this was a great activity that she wanted to share it with her clients. She began working with her dog and car reactive dog, Zoey, and never looked back. She had no plans to compete with this particular “problem” dog so was thrilled when Zoey not only earned her NW1 title but also took first place. Dorothy is now a Supervising/Elite Certifying Official for the NACSW™. She is also an experienced trial and ORT host, National Trial Coordinator, Trial Representative and Score Room Lead for the NACSW™. She shares her life with her husband and 3 dogs (all mutts) in Rochester, Washington. She continues to compete with Zoey and Gracie at the Elite level and has recently started her Chihuahua mix, Brigette, in the sport. Dorothy and Zoey had the honor of attending the National Invitational in November, 2017.

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Dana Crevling CPDT-KA, CNWI, Camp Director

Camp Director

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Dana has made working with or for shelter dogs part of her career since 1986. She worked for not for profit animal agencies for 13 years, until 1999, when she started Dogs of Course with the first Instructor Training Course class. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs and their owners through quality education at all levels was the motivating factor when she started the business and is the guiding force for all projects she creates. Dana continues to support charitable organizations by periodically running fundraising events and activities.

She started her professional career in dog training at Red Acre Farm Hearing Dog Center, as a trainer and then the Department Director. Her professional experience in training and behavior also includes animal shelter program coordinator for volunteers, pet training instructor, lecturer, shelter consultant, and Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue’s adoption coordinator/counselor. 

Dana is driven by her thirst for her own personal education. She has attended hundreds of events including seminars, dog camps, chicken camps, courses, and conferences. Committed to promoting dog training to the public as a skilled profession, she is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She passed the first national certification test for dog trainers earning the title Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Accessed. She also has a B.A. in Business Administration from Babson College.

Dana has been competing in dog sports since 1984, believing in the joy of teamwork first and foremost. She has titled in obedience, field, conformation, earthdog, rally, agility and K9 Nose Work™. Dana has trained multiple dogs for K9 Nose Work competition - Dazzle NW2(Flat-Coated Rtvr.), Rizzie NW2 (Norfolk Terrier), and Monty who earned his Elite in three NW3 trials and now is working on his Elite Championship designation. Dana's young Flat-Coat, Spring, is preparing to start competing in K9 Nose Work™!

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