Education

I am a firm believer in continual education; hands on training with dogs, through classes and conferences and learning from others are all key components to being a great dog trainer.  Below is a brief overview of my quantifiable education in dog training. I have been learning and doing hands on training with dogs for almost 20 years. I have specialized in virtual training and instruction for the last 5 years.  Because continuing education is so important to me I will make an effort to keep this list up to date but will likely only update it twice a year so I can focus on the education itself and helping people with their dogs. It was last updated as of March 2020. 

Internship

 

Certificates

  • Ian Dunbar DVM SIRIUS Dog Trainer Academy 

                                                                                  

Evaluator Status

  • AKC CGC and Trick Dog Evaluator

  • O.D.O.R. Service Dog Inc. Obedience and Scent Evaluator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Certificates/ Titles Earned with current Personal Dogs

  • "Gunther"  Gunther odl Dhaquira De Fremery TKI OPAT OGAD 

    • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Public Access Title

    • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Gluten/Allergen Detection Title

    • Trick Dog Novice

    • Trick Dog Intermediate

    • C.L.A.S.S. BA

  • "Freya" Faisca Lieke V.H. Molengat TKA OPPT TEAM1 CCC1 OGAD 

    • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Home and Obedience Manners Title

    • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Pre Public Access Title

    • Trick Dog Novice

    • Trick Dog Intermediate

    • Trick Dog Advanaced

    • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Gluten/Allergen Detection Title

    • Fenzi Dog Sports Academy TEAM1

    • Fenzi Dog Sports Academy CCC1

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Classes

https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/

  • FE135: Shaping Demystified Instructor:  Sarah Stremming

  • FE205: Focus Games Instructor: Deborah Jones and Judy Keller

  • FF230: Tricks with a Purpose Instructor: Sara Brueske

  • FE335: Spaces In Between Instructor: Shade Whitesel

  • FE585: Modifier Cues Instructor Heather Lawson

  • OB135: TEAM2 Instructor Heather Lawson

 

Memberships

 

Webinars

  • April 4, 2019 Densis Fenzi- Loose Leash Walking (Circle Method)

  • May 30, 2019 Nancy Tucker- Separation Anxiety: A Crash Course

  • January 9, 2020 Julie Daniels- Train This Now! The Short List for Your New Puppy

  • March 26, 2020 Deb Jones- Keep Calm and Be Zen

  • August 27, 2020 Sara Brueske- Fast and Furious Whistle Recalls

 

Conferences

  • The Lemonade Conference

    • Nancy Tucker- Treating Separation Anxiety

    • Sue Yanoff DVM- Pain Assessment and Management: What Owners and Trainers should know

    • Mara Velez- Facilitating Safe and “Healthy” Dog Play in Shelters

    • Jennifer Summerfield, DVM Intro to Behavior Medications: What are they and how can they help

    • Dr. Kristina Spaulding- Stress in Dogs

    • Chrissi Schranz- “Come” The Art of Science and Recall Training

    • Jessica Hekman, DVM PhD- Anxiety: The Whole Story

    • Ken Ramirez- Concept Training: An Introduction & Overview

    • Katenna Jones- Using Virtual Consults to Maintain Income and Client Progress Amid Covid-19

    • Dr. Susan Friedman, PhD- Ideas that should die: Outdated, Outmoded and Misunderstood Behavioral Science

    • Shade Whitesel: Location and Arousal Specific Marker Cues

    • Dr. Christopher Pachel- Navigating Difficult Coversations: Client Communication With Compassion Efficacy

    • Helen-Marie Lawler- Success with Sensitive Dogs

    • Denise Fenzi- Is Positive Permissive? A Positive Parent’s Guide to Raising and Training dogs and puppies

    • Jim Crosby- Dog Bite Interpretation- Evidence and Behavior

    • Leslie McDevitt- Making Patterns Out of Lemons: Using the Control Unleased Pattern Games

    • Michele Pouliot- Advanced Platform Training- Beyond the Basics

    • Michael Shikashio- Modifying Resource Guarding Behavior- Just Pee on Your Dog’s Toys

    • Amy Cook, PhD: The Play Way: Therapeutic Help for Fear, Anxiety and Stress

    • Dr. Valarie Tynes- The Science of Semiochemicals

    • Sara Brueske- Tricks with a Purpose

    • Megan Foster- Loopy Agility Training

    • Peta Clarke- Antecedents: Our Secret Weapons

    • Steve Dale- Enrichment for Geriatric Dogs and Cats: Discovering the Fountain of Youth

    • Kamal Fernandez- Less is More- Reducing Reinforcement for Dog Sports!

    • Dr. Lore Haug- Classical Conditioning

    • Kathy Sdao- But My Dogs not Food Motivated

    • Nancy Tucker- Desensitization and Counterconditioning

    • Suzanne Clothier- Anatomy of Attention: When VAN ran over DAN and other distracting tales

    • Chrissi Schranz- “Come” The Art and Science of Recall Training

    • Dr. Kristina Spaulding- Impulsivity and Hyperactivity

    • Bob Bailey, Sc. D- Training Principles and Practices

    • Deb Jones, PhD- Zen and the Art of Impulse Control

    • Dr. Elinor Karlsson- Canine Genetics: What is this Mutt? The Answer May Surprise you.

    • Jim Crosby- Working with Local Authorities on Bite Investigation Cases

    • Jessica Hekman DVM, PhD- Anxiety: The Whole Story

    • Dr. Christopher Pachel- Feline Behavior Modification for Dog Trainers

    • Helene-Marie Lawler- Success with Sensitive Dogs

    • Katenna Jones- Stressed Out Shelter Cats-Keeping them calm, happy and enriched.

    • Chelsey Protulipac- Building Endurance

    • Ruth LaRocque- 4 Steps to a Training and Behavior Modification Plan

    • Peta Clarke- Seeking Therapy? What Makes a Nose Work Class Therapeutic and Why

    • Amy Cook, PhD- The Play Way: Therapeutic Help for Fear, Anxiety and Stress

    • Hannah Branigan- Close the Loop: Training for Optimal Reinforcement

    • Tom Candy- A Practicial Guide to Dealing with Frustration

    • Dr. Lore Haug- Humane Use of Negative Reinforcement in the Real World

    • Julie Daniels: Train this FIRST! The Short List for your New Puppy

    • Lisa Clifton-Bumpass- Shaping the Future: Constructional Training Plan Design

    • Gail Fisher- Nature vs Nurture: The Chicken-Egg Conundrum

    • Andrea Harrison- You are Not a Fraud! The Reality of Imposter Syndrome and What you can do about it. 

    • Bod Bailey, Sc. D.- History and Applications of Operant Conditioning

    • Erica Feuerbacher- The Science of Separation- Related Problem Behavior: Research and Treatment

    • Julie Flanery- Joy of Heeling- Coloring Outside the Lines

    • Dr. Kristina Spaulding- Impulsivity and Hyperactivity

    • Leslie McDevitt- Making Patterns Out of Lemons: Using the Control Unleashed Pattern games

    • Petra Ford- From Freaked Out to Fabulous! Mental Preparation for Competitive Dog Sports

    • Nicole Wiebusch- Broken Stay? Here is How to Fix it!

    • Sarah Stremming- Happy Crating- Crating as a life Skill

    • Stacy Barnett- Using the Deep Accessible Hide to Build Environmental Resiliency

    • Lore Stevens- Fitness & Movement Behaviors for Life & Sports

  • The International Dog Trainers Winter Summit 2020

License/ Certification

 

While a license or certification is not required in the United States of America they are in Germany and as such I have gone through the rigorous steps needed to earn my license to train dogs in Germany. In order to earn this license you must be able to demonstrate personal knowledge regarding the understanding of the science of dog training, basic animal husbandry, the strict laws here in Germany that prevent the use of certain aversive tools, a wide variety of positive methods that can be used to teach different dogs and their handlers as well as the practical application of that knowledge. 

Private lessons at your home 

are available in the following areas on certain days:

Patch Barracks

Kelley Barracks

Panzer Barracks

Robinson Barracks

Stuttgart , Germany

HBB approved and Licensed by the German Veterinary Welfare Office (Veterinar- und Lebensmitteluberwachungsamt)

CONTACT ME

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Melissa has a way with animals. She also has a way with people. I brought my enthusiastic Corgi puppy to her for training and she instantly showed us how patient, clear and thorough she is with both people and their animals. Positive reinforcement doesn’t only work with puppies. In order to continue the lessons at home I had to pay close attention to her instructions. I also had to build my confidence (to show my puppy that I knew what I was doing). We still have work to do and I will continue to reach out to Melissa for training.

— Rachel H. (Roger, Corgi)

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 © Melissa Cushman Dog Training 2020
Freya running the dog walk

Freya running the dog walk