Continuing Professional Education

I am a graduate of the renowned San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, a national certified professional dog trainer (CPDT) by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the owner of C.H.A.C.O. Dog Training & Behavior Consulting, LLC. located in the Santa Fe, NM area. I am also a certified Tellington TTouch® Practitioner for Companion Animals.

As a staff trainer for two years at the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, CA, I worked with under-socialized dogs who had experienced lengthy shelter stays or scored poorly on the SAFER test. I utilized training designed both to improve the lives of the dogs while at the shelter and to prepare them for successful adoptions. I also designed and implemented the shelter’s first Dog Training Internship Program (Dog TIP). In addition to private dog training and group classes, I offer one-on-one consultations on behavior modification and group dog-training classes:

  • Where applicable, I use body awareness techniques such as Tellington TTouch® to help dogs cope with stress, anxiety, fear and aggression. I have worked closely with veterinarians and dog physical therapists in an effort to provide my clients with a holistic approach for their dogs.
  • I am keenly interested in working with dogs with such emotional issues as fear, aggression and anxiety.

2016 Important Ethological Concepts for Pet Professionals – Behavior Education Network, 2 part webinar

2015 Drug Therapy for Canine Behavior Problems: What, When, Why and How | Raising Canine, webinar | Dog Sports Essentials, Karen Pryor Academy, only course | Beyond the Basics: Successfully Handling Therapy Dog Team Visit | Challenges, Behavior Education Network, webinar | Ultimate Foundation, Ultimate Agility, online course | Treatment & Prevention of Dog Aggression, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Udemy online course | Reliability and Games, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Udemy, online course.

On My Bookshelf & Videos

I like to read a few books at a time. Normally I can pick-up exactly where I left off. I tend to divide my books by things I read for pleasure and books I read for continuing education sort of speak. The recommendations below are enjoyable books that add to my knowledge base and I would argue, make me a better trainer. I hope you check them out and enjoy them too.


The Social Dog Behavior and Cognition
Juliane Kaminski and Sarah Marshall-Pescini (eds.)
Elsevier Academic Press San Diego: CA

This book was kind of written for me personally in the sense that it covers so many of the questions that I have about dogs and their social lives. It is academy yet accessible. Lots of reference to studies that back the authors’ thesis. Expensive but definitively worth the price.

How Dogs Work
Raymond Coppinger & Mark Feinstein
University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London

This book focuses pretty much exclusively on the physical aspect of how dogs are “pre-wired” and how their physical disposition makes their work possible or not. The approach of the authors is mainly an ethological one. The information is somewhat repetitive if you have read the previous book by Lorna and Raymond Coppinger: Dogs

Decade of the Wolf
Returning the Wild to Yellowstone
Douglas W. Smith & Gary Ferguson
Lyons Press: Connecticut

I love this book! It is a pleasure to read and yet full of interesting facts not only of the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone but it goes beyond with some interesting facts surrounding wolves social lives, behavior and the impact they have had in the environment as well as the controversy surrounding their re-introduction to the park.

Puppy Culture, the Powerful First 12 weeks
By Jane Killion, trainer and breeder.

A MUST see for anyone who is thinking of getting a new puppy. Moreover, the information presented is so important and timely that anyone thinking of getting a pup should see it prior to selecting a breeder thus making sure the breeder puts as much care and has extensive knowledge about puppy rearing as Jane Killion does.

My commitment to educating about dog behavior and animal learning has led me to offer free educational programs for the general public on these topics. Besides missing my dog Laika, I train and work with my dogs Rioja (AKA: Rio) and Deuce daily. Deuce, being a Border Collie, loves Wednesdays when we go sheepherding.