Michele has been a professional guide dog instructor with the largest US guide dog school serving the blind, since 1974. Before entering the guide dog field, she was a professional in the field of horse training, mentoring under Linda Tellington Jones and Wentworth Tellington. In 1972, Michele became active in training her first pet Labrador and became fascinated with the comparisons of how dogs and horses learn, stimulating her interest and pursuit in professional dog training.
Over her 40+ years of dog training, Michele has presented scores of seminars across North America and abroad. She has been responsible for bringing science based Clicker Training to guide dog training and promoting the expansion of Clicker Training internationally within the guide dog field.
In her “hobby world”, Michele has actively competed in both horse and dog sports since 1970. After successfully competing in dog obedience for 20 years, she moved into the new sport of agility in 1992. After much fun and success in agility with Labradors, English Springer Spaniels and even Great Danes, Michele took a break from dog sports to focus on her equine hobbies.
In 2006, Michele became fascinated with the sport of canine musical freestyle and began a dog sport journey she continues to love. She has competed in canine musical freestyle with her English Springer spaniel, Cabo, Australian Shepherd, Listo and her young Springer spaniel Deja Vu. Michele thoroughly enjoys this artistic sport that combines the precision of obedience with trick behaviors and challenges her creative side through music and choreography. In 5 years in the sport, Michele has won 4 international competitions and attained 5 Championship Titles. In 2008 she received the first scores of double 10’s (perfect scores) for Technical and Artistic in one routine in WCFO’s Championship division (Perfect Dance Partners). She repeated this accomplishment at the 2009 International competition when all 3 judges awarded double 10’s to her freestyle routine. To date Michele and Listo have earned ‘double 10’ scores a total of twenty-four times. Michele thoroughly enjoys the ongoing challenges in the sport of canine freestyle and the use of Clicker Training to achieve innovative and entertaining routines.
In 2007, Karen Pryor invited Michele to join her faculty for Clicker Expo Conferences. At Clicker Expo, Michele presents on the application of clicker techniques for a variety of dog sports, general training, and for the training of guide dogs for the blind. Karen Pryor and Michele collaborated for the development of Michele’s online freestyle course which is available from the Karen Pryor Academy.
Michele is sought after for her seminars and workshops due to her clarity of instruction and entertaining style of presentation.