K9 Nose Work™ Training Camp West- Staff

Staff members may be added or changed without notice as needed. Return to Camp Page.

Amy Herot - Jill Marie O'Brien - Linda Bramkamp - Christina Bunn - Sue Frisch - Leah Gangelhoff - Jason Heng - Jennie Keifer - Cathie_Laber - Jean Richardson - Barbara Schwerdt - Jill Snyder - Dana Crevling - Dana Zinn - JoTrent

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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Linda Bramkamp CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Linda has been involved in competition dog training for over 14 years.  In the Fall of 2009, she took her first K9 Nose Work® workshop and was hooked on the sport immediately. She participated in the pilot program for instructors in Santa Rosa, CA, earning her CNWI in the spring of 2011, following up with multiple classes, instructor programs, seminars, workshops and conferences.  As the Director of the NW program at the Sport Dog Center, in Santa Rosa, CA, Linda hosted numerous Sniff-n-Go's, ORT's, workshops and seminars, as well as teaching classes for all levels.  She has been a certifying official and judge for ORT's and has taught workshops and coaching sessions in multiple states.  She has been an instructor at GA and PA camp, a guest instructor at the Colorado Nose Work® camp and CO'd and judged the Sniff-n-go at GA & OR camps.

Indy Bear, her environmentally sensitive 11+ year old husky, American Eskimo, Malamute mix, Elite Level Champion, ELT-CH, recently showed that age and experience can be a benefit, by placing second overall with a coveted Summit title and two pronounced second place placements in searches. He was the first dog in the nation to earn the Elite Level 1 & 2 titles.  Indy has participated in all four NACSW™ National Invitational events, placing third overall in 2014.  Linda's 14.5+ y/o GSD, Aragon, was first in the nation to earn the ELT3 title and the Elite Level Champion title.  He earned a first place search in a Summit trial. He is her second dog to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 Nationals and ran in the 2017 National competition. Linda’s 14.5 y/o extremely shy Siberian Husky Tinkerbell is the first Siberian Husky to earn the ELT-CH.  Her 13.5 y/o blind diabetic Siberian Husky Sweet Pea has earned her ELT1.  Her youngest and smallest pup, Tipped Toes, a sometimes sassy 2.5 y/o Keeshond, is the first Keeshond to earn the ELT-CH with two pronounced first place searches.  She and Linda were extremely fortunate to have Ron Gaunt as her foundation trainer. Foxy Lady (RIP), a Siberian Husky, achieved her NW1.  

Through her business, K9knowswork, LLC. Linda currently offers intensive competition themed NW training sessions and offers and hosts workshops and coaching sessions at her home in Plymouth, IL and Castle Valley, UT.  Willing to set hides at a moment’s notice and an ability to set up a learning opportunity anywhere, she offers exciting coaching sessions at homes, businesses and points of interest.  Most of her students are Summit League and Elite level competitors. A seriously serial competitor from the early days of the sport thru the new Summit offerings, Linda's trialing experiences bring insight to her training sessions that many have benefitted from.   She offers phone, email and video review with emphasis on encouraging exercises appropriate for that specific teams needs for success. Having a background in teaching children and animals, Linda is always patiently guiding students to learn, laugh and enjoy listening to their dogs and their communications.

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Christina Bunn CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Christina Bunn is the owner and master trainer of Puget Sound Detection Dogs. Christina has been training detection dogs for over 18 years and has owned and operated her own facility for over 12 of those years. Christina has evaluated hundreds of canines for work in detection and has trained over 150 for the detection of controlled substances. At one point, Christina had over 50 dogs working throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and the country of Brazil. Among the dogs that worked in Oregon, 11 of those dogs had been with Oregon State Police.

Christina has been an instructor at the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association’s conference for the last 10 years. Christina is a volunteer for Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue and has served in many capacities for 18 years. During her time with SCVSAR Christina has handled two canines. K9 Matty was an area search dog and was also crossed trained to locate human remains. K9 Matty’s daughter K9 Springfield was a trailing K9 and was also crossed trained for human remains. Christina and her K9 partners were utilized on hundreds of missions and had multiple successes in live find as well as human remains. She is the trainer for the county’s HRD Team and conducts weekly trainings.

Christina trained “Terra” the Eco Dog that currently works for EcoTech LLC in Portland, Oregon. Terra’s duties include locating buried, leaking, heating oil tanks, and detecting soil contamination, including aviation crash sites. Christina has registered two canines with Pet Partners and HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response. During Christina and K9 Springfield’s career together they deployed to the Marysville Pilchuck Highschool murder suicide, the SPU shooting and the HWY 530 Mudslide providing comfort to those involved in these crises.

With over 45 collective years in the working and companion dog realm, Christina has worked with humane societies, boarding kennels, and veterinarian hospitals. She is a Canine Good Citizen/STAR Puppy/AKC Tricks Evaluator, Certified Nose Work Instructor and Trial Judge. She teaches 7 sport detection classes a week for all levels from intro to Elite. Having the great honor of judging at the first National NACSW trial in 2013, Christina is known for saying, “Don’t’ ask your dog to lower herself to your level, you, as a handler, must rise up to your dog’s level. You must become a student of your dog.”

Christina competes at the Utility level in Competitive Obedience with her Dutch Shepherd, “Dori”. Christina and “Dori” also compete in Tracking, Agility, Lure Coursing, FAST, and Dock Diving. They are also training for Herding competition. They have several competitive titles under their belts. Christina is married, the mother of 5 adult children, 2 stepsons, and 11 grandchildren to boot.

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Sue Frisch, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work Instructor™

Sue Frisch is a professional dog trainer with 25+ years of experience working with dogs and their owners. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and Tri-State Dog Obedience Club (TSDOC).

After 25 years managing an animal shelter while also running a dog boarding business at her farm and teaching training classes at night, Sue’s expertise includes everything from basic manners training and behavior modification to dog psychology, nutrition, and exercise. Sue knows that the science of canine behavior and training—and the resulting training techniques—is a field in constant development, and she makes sure to keep abreast of the latest discoveries. Over the years she has worked with hundreds of families and their pet dogs.

Sue attended the second PA Nose Work Camp in 2011 with her shy, sensitive, little mixed breed dog, Monkey and they were hooked!  She enrolled in the CNWI program and completed her training in October of 2012 and regularly attends CNWI continuing education workshops and other NACSW seminars around the country.  Sue is also a trial host, a National ORT Coordinator as well as part of the Trial Team and is currently a Certifying Official in training.

Monkey, has earned his NW1, NW2 and L1C titles and is training for NW3. Sue’s Mastiff, Mackie has earned his NW1, NW2, L1E and L1I titles and is currently trialing at the NW3 Level.  Her other dogs, Fiona and Sully are also currently in training.

Through her business, Your Dog’s Place, LLC, Sue helps dog owners train dogs of all sizes, ages, and temperaments to be polite four-legged family members as well as offering all levels of  K9 Nose Work® classes—and she gives dogs a home away from home when they board at her farm, Countryside Kennels.

Sue lives in Honesdale, PA, with her four dogs: Mackie, Monkey, Fiona, and Sully.

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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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Jason Heng, CPDT-KA, CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jason is the owner of HengTen K9 in the Austin, TX metro area specializing in teaching K9 Nose Work®. Jason has attended hundreds of hours of K9 Nose Work® training seminars taught by the founders of the NACSW™ in addition to other talented instructors and professional trainers. Jason works with the NACSW™ as a Certifying Official and Judge for NACSW™ Trials/ORTs. He also had the pleasure of instructing at the; Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin K9 Nose Work® camps. Jason attended his first K9 Nose Work® camp in GA in 2012. A proud camp moment was receiving the Red Bandana Award in 2013 and seeing the difference a year makes in the confidence of his dog Atlas.

As an instructor, NACSW™ Certifying Official for Trials and Nosework enthusiast he travels extensively for all things related to Nosework.  Jason's dog Atlas earned NW1, NW2, and NW3 Titles in 2013, NW3 Elite in 2015, and ELT-CH – accumulating 1000 points in Elite Division trials in May 2017, scoring high enough to also qualify for the 2017 NACSW National Invitational where they competed with 46 of the top qualifiers in November 2017 in Springfield, MA.

Jason spent a year as a K9 handler with a GSD doing bed bug detection for a pest control company. He logged hundreds of detection hours all over Texas. At the pest control company, he also trained an additional bug detection dog as part of a grant with the US Department of Agriculture. 

He has competed at all levels, NW1 through Summit in over 100 NACSW™ trials and other Nosework venues in over 20 states with his 3 Shiba Inu and Labrador. Jason continues to compete, Atlas at Summit League level, and Bailey and Lexi in the Elite Division, trialing over 30 times at the Elite Division trial level.

Jason has been teaching K9 Nose Work® classes since 2012 and is a NACSW™ Certifying Official for trials. Since becoming a CNWI in 2013 he has been working to grow Nosework in Texas by hosting over 30 trial days at all levels. In addition, he continues to share his extensive trial experience with teams throughout the country through seminars and handler coaching.

Before moving to Texas in 2009, Jason, his wife Katy and daughter Jamie lived in Colorado for many years.  

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Jennie Keifer CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jennie was introduced to K9 Nose Work® in 2009, at the first Intro to Nose Work workshop held in Northern California. Before Nose Work she did not appreciate her Golden Retriever’s intense desire to hunt critters, so was instantly hooked on the training as she channeled her dog’s instincts into a healthy and rewarding outlet for both of them. In January, 2012, Karlie became the first NW3 Golden Retriever and the first team outside of Southern California to earn an NW3 title.  In July, 2013, Jennie and Karlie earned their NW3 Elite, with Karlie becoming the first NW3 Elite Golden and continuing the pattern, Karlie was also the first ELT1 Golden in October, 2015.  Jennie and Karlie competed at the first 3 NACSW™ National Invitationals, qualified for the 2017 National Invitational, and also competed in the first Elite Division trial in Santa Rosa, CA.  Jennie never dreamed that she and Karlie would go so far and grow so much as a team. 

Jennie is currently competing with her 8 year old Golden, Abbie. Abbie started playing Nose Work games as a puppy and Jennie very quickly learned the value of this game to build self-confidence in puppies as well as adult dogs. Abbie has her ELT1 and is also qualified for the 2017 National Invitational in MA. 

Jennie has recently started her 5 month old Labrador Retriever, Emerson, in K9 Nose Work and she loves being able to apply all that she has learned over the past 8 years to the foundation training of her new pup. 

Jennie’s love of the game and the benefits it has for dogs and owners alike, motivated her to achieve CNWI status in May, 2011.  She currently teaches 10 K9 Nose Work® classes each week and also offers a number of drop-in classes.  Jennie works as part of the NACSW™ Trial Department, oversees memberships and the ORT Team, and has been a Certifying Official for the NACSW™ since 2012.  Jennie worked as a Customer Service Manager for 19 years, but recently decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her true love of working with dogs and their humans full-time. 

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Cathie Laber, CNWI, CPDT-KA, GDMI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Cathie Laber is the owner of C.L.E.A.R. K-9, LLC, in Boring, Oregon (25 miles east of Portland) and has been professionally involved in dog training in since the early 1970s. She is a Certified Nose Work Instructor, for the NACSW. Cathie is also CPDT-KA, as well as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor- (CA state Licensed, GDMI). She has been involved in the service dog industry for the past 40 years, working for dog-guide organizations as well as Canine Companions for Independence.

Cathie has trained, competed, and titled her own personal dogs in AKC Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Herding, Tracking, and Hunting Retriever Trials. She is a pointed AKC Hunting Retriever Test judge. In K9 Nose Work, NACSW, Cathie trained and handled both of her Belgian Sheepdogs to attain the level NW3-Elite. “Lexus” is currently a few points shy of his ELTCH. “Poppy” has is 2 points shy of her ELT3 and is now handled by Cathie’s husband, Keith. Cathie also has an up and coming youngster in K9 NW training, “Nate.” Lexus and Cathie qualified and competed in NACSW National Invitational, once in Santa Rosa, CA and again in Colorado. Cathie and both of her dogs have attended the two West Coast NACSW, NW Camps.

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Jean Richardson, CNWI,  Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jean is the owner of Wells Creek Dog Training on the Central Coast of Oregon and has been involved in dog training in various forms since 1984.  She began training her personal dog for obedience competition at that time and has continued to learn along the way.  She has competed and trained her own personal dogs to titles in AKC Obedience and Rally, Agility, Herding, Coursing, Tracking, Field Trials, Conformation and K9 Nose Work®. 

Since becoming a CNWI in 2011 she has brought K9 Nose Work® to the central coast of Oregon, teaching many classes for various organizations in the area including Safe Haven Humane Society and the Emerald Dog Obedience Club.  She has since gone on to become a NACSW™ Certifying Official and is now the CO Training Liaison in charge of Certifying Official education and training as well as the NACSW’s National Trial Site Advisor.

Before moving to Oregon in 2008, she was an Instructor for Guide Dogs of America in Sylmar, Ca, helping to train and then pair hundreds of guide dogs with visually impaired recipients.   She has also been involved in teaching obedience, puppy and reactive dog classes in Southern California as well as Oregon.  

Jean and her husband currently share their home with Field Champion Heirline Five O Clock Charlie, VC RN CA TDX ELT1 L1V.  Charlie has the honor of being the first Basset Hound in the country to earn a NW3 and NW3 Elite title.   Field Champion Heirline Whirlybird, TD, NW2 L1I, a Basset Hound and Fasth von Herzensfreude NW3 L2C L2I, a German Shepherd.

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Barbara Schwerdt, CPDT-KA, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Barbara Schwerdt, BA, CPDT-KA, CNWI, Founding Instructor, NACSW Certifying Official (CO), Trial Judge, Senior Faculty Member, New Instructor Education Faculty and Instructor Continuing Education Committee member.

Barbara and K9 Landis have been competing in K9 Nose Work since its inception in 2009. They were the 3rd team in the country to earn an NW3Elite Title (June 2012). Landis has been a “demo” dog for countless seminars, nose work fun days, dog-in-white, and educational videos. They qualified for four National Invitational events and competed in the first 3. He has his Elite 2 title. Now a senior, Landis no longer competes, but still enjoys a good search!

Barbara and her newest K9 Nose Work partner, Cassie, have been working together since July 2015. After nearly a year on “primary” at dozens of locations, Cassie has earned her L1C, L2C, NW1, and NW2 titles. They are currently competing at the NW3 level.

 

In addition to her role as an NACSW faculty member, Barbara has traveled near and far to teach a variety of seminars and coaching sessions. Some topics include Trial Prep for NW1, NW2, and NW3, Converging Odor, Inaccessible Hides, Problem Solving, and Hide Placement. She has been a K9 Camp Instructor since the very first camp in 2010 and is currently on faculty for New Instructor Education. She teaches local weekly K9 Nose Work classes for students at the NW3 and Elite levels.

By day Barbara is a full-time corporate trainer holding the position of Director of Education and Training for a not-for-profit property management company. She holds a BA degree in Deaf Studies with a minor in Gerontology from California State University, Northridge.

She is also the co-owner (with her husband Gerry) of “Safe at Home Pet Care”, a company providing dog walking, pet-sitting and house-sitting services, and dog training.

Barbara is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT),  the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), Pet Sitters International (PSI), Association for Talent Development (ATD), AIDs LifeCycle Training Ride Leaders, and Shifting Gears Cycling Club.

She has been an avid distance cyclist since 2011 and has raised nearly $26,000 for AIDS LifeCycle, a non-profit organization in California which provides much needed services to those infected with/affected by HIV/AIDS.

Barbara is grateful to share her life with her very patient and supportive husband Gerry, her German Shepherd Landis, a house cat named Parker, and the newest member of the family, Cassandra Sue (Cassie), a black-lab mix that loves K9 Nose Work almost as much as her big brother does!

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Jill Snyder, CNWI, Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jill's journey in nose work began with her dog Eli, whom she homed from the island of Puerto Rico as a unsocialized pup of 4 months of age.  Eli needed a job, confidence and to work on focus and impulse control in life and when nose work came to the Chicagoland area in 2010, after one class, she knew he found his purpose. 

In 2014, at the urging of other instructors Jill enlisted in the CNWI certification class and began mentoring under For Your K9’s owner/lead instructor Nancy Reyes.  Wasn’t long before a career changed occurred with her becoming a full-time instructor at For Your K9 in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jill currently teaches 18 classes a week, 13 of these are nose work ranging from beginners in the sport to the Elite level of competition.  Jill leads nose work workshops monthly for those looking to fine tune their nose work skills and gain a better understanding of trial competition. Jill is currently serving her second year on the NASCW trial rules committee.

In her nose work classes each week, along with workshop’s she finds students who are looking to build a working & personal relationship with their canine companion.  Whether their goal is to title in competition or those who are looking for small victories in helping their dogs overcome challenges in everyday life.

A testament to her instructor skills and enthusiasm for the sports core value in teaching others to “listen to what their dog is telling them” she sees firsthand the rewards & benefits as her students and their K9 partners grow closer in their relationship.

When not teaching others, Jill continues to compete with Eli and Cyrus at the Elite level, while preparing Francesca to tackle the NW2 and the youngest, Lucia putting in the effort to join the ranks of her siblings.  Jeb and Luke enjoy the game but would not enjoy all that goes into a full trial day, they are at heart Champions.

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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. She started with her senior dogs - Dazzle NW2(Flat-Coated Rtvr.), Rizzie NW2 (Norfolk Terrier) who enjoyed NW until their passing. Currently she is training two dogs - Monty who earned his Elite in three NW3 trials and is the first PW Corgi Elite Champion and Spring, her Flat-Coated Retriever, who is preparing for NW3.

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Dana Zinn CPDT-KA, CNWI, Operations Manager, Part time Instructor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Dana Zinn has been working with and training dogs since 1999. Her many years of dog training experience include working at the spcaLA as an Animal Behavior & Training Specialist. It was the time working with dogs in the shelter that drew her to the sport of K9 Nose Work®; not only for her own dogs, but for the many dogs in need of a “job” to do.

Dana was involved in the first publicly offered Nose Work class in the Long Beach area. She not only participated but eventually assisted in instruction. From there Dana became involved in the development of the K9 Nose Work® instructor certification program. Dana was one of the first participants to be certified as an instructor for the K9 Nose Work® curriculum approved by the National Association of Canine Scent Work, LLC. She is proud to be a founding faculty member and a certifying official for sanctioned NACSW trials across the country. In regard to K9 Nose Work®, her learning never stops as she continues to teach classes, instruct at camps, and compete in trials. One of her proudest moments was placing first in the 2014 NACSW National Invitational. 

Dana has participated in a variety of canine activities such as obedience, herding, agility and of course Nose Work. Dana moved from California with her family to Golden, Colorado in 2008 and has brought the sport of K9 Nose Work® with her.

Dana strives to increase her knowledge about canine behavior and instruction. She has attended and helped coordinate many seminars featuring some of the world’s most sought after speakers. One of her most memorable educational experiences was working with and learning from the renowned dog behavior expert and trainer John Rogerson. She has traveled to England and Washington state to work with and assist him on many courses including his 21-day Instructors’ Course.

Dana is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and a member of the Colorado Trainers’ Networking Group. Dana was certified as a professional dog training in 2005 by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Dana currently shares her life with her wonderful husband Ken, two beautiful children Jessica & Ben, and her best learning tools: her canine partners Kudos, a Belgian Tervuren, and Winnie, Labrador Retriever.

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Jo Trent, CNWI, Logistics Team Supervisor

Certified Nose Work™ Instructor

Jo Trent, originally from Colorado, had allergies to dogs and cats so “pocket pets” is what was roaming around her home.  Jo was lucky enough to have an uncle with a farm, so every summer Jo was able to experience horses, cows, pigs, goats and chickens.

 In 1995 Jo moved to sunny Southern California to work in the corporate world.  After adopting her first cat, Jo’s passion for animals blossomed and she knew she wanted to work with animals.  In 1999 Jo left the corporate world and started her own pet sitting business. To help develop her skills with working with animals and give back to the animal community, she volunteered for the spcaLA. Within months, Jo found herself working full time as the spcaLA’s Outreach Assistant. 

While working at spcaLA, Jo was shelter manger at P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village & Education Center, assisted the spcaLA’s Animal Behavior and Training Department with assessments and became a member of spcaLA’s Disaster Animal Response Team (DART). Jo  became a sworn spcaLA Humane Officer and is S.A.F.E. certified.

Jo’s interest in K9 Nose Work® developed in 2009, when she enrolled Sluggo into a Fun Nose Work class.  Jo enjoyed the confidence and fun that Sluggo experienced through Nose Work so much that she wanted to share the wonderful game with more folks and their dogs.  Through the support of the NACSW founders and her husband, Jo started a new career in 2010 teaching K9 Nose Work® classes.

 Sluggo shares his home with three furry felines and Jelly, a Belgian Malinios.

 

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