Pack of Paws’ trainers have over 100 years of professional dog training experience, combined. Many of our instructors actively compete in performance dog sports and understand not only the importance of training the skills needed to participate in these intense activities, but also how to manage the stress, arousal and distraction issues that may develop in these highly stimulating environments.
Not only are our trainers experienced, each is proficient in many different areas of canine behavior. Our trainers offer a wealth of knowledge and are always available to brainstorm ideas and recommend solutions, no matter what class you’re currently taking.
Donna’s passion for impressive family dog manners and the rehabilitation of fearful and aggressive dogs drives her to helping clients reach their goals. Having owned her own fearful and aggressive dogs, her personal experiences make her the perfect trainer and behavior consultant to understand and empathize compassionately, and construct an achievable and effective treatment plan for problems stemming from the simply over-exuberant menacing adolescent, to the most vehement resource guarder, to the most fearful or most aggressive dog.
Donna’s commitment to her own education in training and animal behavior is second to none. From seminars, to coaches for her own interests in Barn Hunt, French Ring, Performance Obedience, Agility and Canine Freestyle, Donna brings a variety of personal experience as well as her vast education.
Donna lives with her 13 year old German Shepherd, Moxie, who she rescued from serious neglect. For 2 years, Moxie had been crated for days at a time, without even being allowed out to eliminate. Moxie is now a friendly, sweet dog who enjoys Nose Work for fun, swimming, Barn Hunt for fun and ball chasing (and a little Canine Freestyle too)!
Donna also lives with her German Shepherd, Vader, who titled in the sport of Barn Hunt and Lure Coursing, and is honorary big brother to his sisters 3 year old German Shepherd, Rikkochez, who is training for Competitive Obedience, Canine Freestyle and has titled in Dock Diving, Barn Hunt and trains for Agility for fun as well as 2 year old Belgian Malinois Lazer who also trains for Competitive Obedience, French Ring and has titled in Dock Diving. And recent addition Buzzynga (Buzzy) German Shepherd who will train in Obedience, Dock and Agility! Donna enjoys multiple sports as an opportunity and goal toward continued learning as well as enrichment for her shepherds; not to mention the all out fun dog sports and activities are!
Certifications & Memberships:
- Certified Dog Trainer
- Certified by the Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) [former]
- Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI)
- Certified TAGteach International Level 2
- Animal Behavior College, Honor Graduate
- Certified Behavior Consultant
- Certified Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (ACDBC) [former]
- AKC CGC Evaluator #34524
- APDT, Professional Member (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) [former]
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
- Fmr Board Member
- Boston Trainer’s Network, Member [former]
- Mentor Trainer – Pack of Paws Dog Training Professional Trainer’s program
- Living & Loving Animals ABA Course with Susan Friedman; Graduate with Excellence
Kristine has been competing in Flyball for over 5 years. It was this exciting sport that led her to a love of working with high energy dogs as well as helping shy dogs develop confidence. Kristine’s expertise in teaching how to build working and active attention is second to none. She is an expert in teaching dog owners to harness excited energy and build confidence in themselves and in their dog.
Kristine is an integral part of our team of trainers who work with reactive, scaredy and aggressive dogs. Kristine’s experience and expertise in working with high drive fast dogs who need to think first before they act makes her the perfect candidate to work on our behavior team.
Kristine currently lives with and competes in Flyball with her two Australian Shepherds,Stella and Wiz, her Belgian Malinois, Raven, a sport mix Oakley, a Dutch Shepherd Lexus and Border whippet Titanium. Kristine also competes in Dock Diving and other dog sports.
Kristine is a certified Search and Rescue Responder with Massachusetts Canine Response Team and is currently the President of this incredible organization.
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) [Former]
- Mentor Trainer – Pack of Paws Dog Training Professional Trainer’s program
- AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
- Member – APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers)
Deborah Taylor, CPDT-KA
Deborah is a skilled and creative trainer with over a decade of experience. Deborah is an expert in working with high drive working lines dogs to develop impulse control and flawless obedience. She focuses on high quality training, teaching solid foundational skills and maximizing each dog’s performance.
Deborah continually attends advanced training classes and seminars and is passionate about learning, as well as working with all dogs and their people!
She has been actively competing in Flyball for 10 years and has traveled all over the country learning the newest techniques in Flyball training. Deborah has been sought after by Flyball teams in England, where she spent a week teaching seminars.
Deborah is the Captain of the highly successful Flyball team Mass Chaos and actively participates in agility, competition obedience, K9 Nose Work and disc.
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Joyce has been training and competing in agility for 20+ years with her three German shepherds. She has competed in NADAC, AKC, CPE and now primarily competes in USDAA. Her current dogs are Kaia, a 10 yr old German shepherd and Halliah, a 5 year old German shepherd.
Before her retirement, Kaia was competing at the Masters level in AKC and USDAA, earning two Championships in USDAA, a Lifetime Achievement-Bronze award and a team placement of 8th out of 132 teams at Cynosports (USDAA Nationals) in 2015.
Halliah is competing in the Masters level of USDAA and in 2018 earned her second Championship titles as well as her first Lifetime Achievement Award (150 total qualifying scores). We have recently started competing in AKC agility and have worked our way to the Excellent Level in just a handful of trials. Halliah is the cover dog for Amanda Shyne’s “Weaves that Wow” book. Her team placed 4th in New England Regionals in 2016, she had an amazing performance at Cynosports (USDAA Nationals) in 2017 and won the Bronze Medal in Grand Prix at the 2018 New England Regionals. We are looking forward to 2019 USDAA Nationals!
Kaia also loves Nosework and Halliah loves dock diving, although they do not actively compete in either of those sports, and their favorite activity is hiking.
Joyce has been teaching agility with Pack of Paws for over a year now and absolutely loves watching each team grow!
Shannon Gerber, CPDT
Ever since she was young, Shannon knew she wanted to incorporate her love of animals into her career. Shannon attended the University of New England with interest in becoming a marine mammal trainer at SeaWorld. Shannon’s interest later changed from working with marine mammals to training dogs, specifically service dogs for PTSD.
Shannon found Pack of Paws while training her own mixed breed dog, Dakota. Together they took many classes, focusing on working with dog distractions, an area Dakota had difficulty with. While taking these classes her love of dog training grew and she knew she had found her calling.
In 2016 she began the Pack of Paws Trainer Program, working towards her dream of becoming a certified trainer and eventually graduating from the program with honors.
Shannon continues to learn as much as she can about all different aspects of dog training, with a special focus on service/assistant dog training. Currently, she is a lead trainer at the Pack of Paws daycamp program and is occasionally a trainer assistant in group family dog classes.
In her free time she enjoys training and competing in flyball with Dakota.
- Honors Graduate – Pack of Paws Professional Dog Trainer program
- Member- Pet Professional Guild
Derek has always had a love for animals and believes that dogs and puppies offer us more than just companionship; they are our family, friends, and in some cases, our workmates. Derek’s journey to dog training began with his Australian Shepherd, Diego. As he started attending obedience classes with Diego, he became fascinated with the bond between humans and dogs. He saw that dogs crave attention, love, and direction and realized that training provides all of those vital aspects of a pup’s well-being. Derek’s goal is to help develop long-lasting relationships between you and your dog that will create memories to last a lifetime.
Derek passed the Pack of Paws Professional Dog Trainer’s program with honors and we were excited to get him on board as Lead Trainer in our Family Dog Programs. Derek’s commitment to his own education is second to none.
Julie Blanding, TWC Certified
Julie is a Master at building motivation and engagement, especially through play.
Julie is a TWC (Training Without Conflict) Certificant and was one of the very first to certify in this program.
Julie has been captivated with animals since childhood and began training in dog sport in 2001. She enjoys teaching high levels of play and engagement, as well as building strong behavioral foundations in dogs of all ages. She also recognizes that not all dogs have the same level of motivation, so every dog/handler team deserves an individual training program.
Julie has titled dogs in Schutzhund, IPO, Mondioring, and French Ring. She successfully cross-trained her German Shepherd Fred to earn both Schutzhund 3 and Mondioring 1 titles. She also shares her home with her amazing little helper, Belgian Malinois Aggie (FR1).