KPA CTP, CNWI, TTouch® P1
Professional Certifications & Memberships:
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
Tellington TTouch® Practitioner, Companion Animals
Certified K9 Nose Work® Instructor (CNWI)
Red Cross Certified in First Aid for Dogs and Cats
The Pet Professional Guild
Why Work With Sarah?
Sarah has first-hand experience observing and training dogs of all ages, sizes, temperaments, breeds, and backgrounds. For nearly fourteen years, she has worked at two different Humane Society facilities as an employee, animal control clerk, behavior technician, and continues as a volunteer. For three years, Sarah was a team leader for the ASPCA SAFER Behavior Assessment Team, and implemented the Open Paw Shelter Training Program. She has fostered and socialized numerous litters of puppies. In 2018 Sarah was invited to give a bite prevention workshop to a county health dept. In 2015 she partnered with Dove House Advocacy Services to implement the SAF-T program to shelter animals and families together. Sarah is proud to be an official volunteer at the Humane Society and an on-call volunteer trainer for Dove House Advocacy Services. For three years she taught Tellington TTouch® to students of the aquatic therapy program at La Paw Spa in Sequim, WA.
In 2017 Sarah and her Border Collie mix Little Debbie, completed 3 Do More With Your Dog trick dog titles thru Advanced and is working on Expert. Sarah hosts Nose Work Sniff and Go's to raise awareness and donations for local animal charities. She actively volunteers and competes in K9 Nose Work® trials and events. Involved since 2011, she trials in NACSW, UKC, The ABC Games(tm) and other new nose work venues. She is an NACSW Odor Recognition Test judge and Certifying Official. She has titled two of her dogs in NACSW K9 Nose Work. Little Debbie, is working on her NACSW NW3 title and UKC Masters. Sarah and Little Debbie have earned multiple first, second and third placements in individual elements and a High in Trial. Her senior chihuahua mix, Mr. Pickles, titled in NW1 and won the “Harry Award,” a special recognition for the rescue dog who demonstrates extraordinary ability and spirit in the sport of Nose Work®. He also placed third in a NW2 vehicle search. At 14 yrs in 2017 as a blind and deaf competitor, Mr Pickles competed at NW2 garnering a special "P" pronounced in a vehicle search. He also placed 2nd twice in a UKC Novice Vehicle search and 3rd in Interior. Mr. P continued to love scent work games until his passing.
In 2018 Sarah adopted a stray transfer from Kauai Humane. Pono is slowly learning to trust that doors are good, launching at bycycles doesn't pay, sitting is rewarding and K9 Nose Work is a blast.
Dog Behavior Specialist
Sarah has always been passionate about working with and learning about animals, from dogs, cats, and even horses. At an early age, she began riding, training, and showing horses. She trained and showed in Hunters and Jumpers, receiving multiple championships. In addition to her own work with horses, she taught young students about horse training for a couple years. After receiving her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and working in the arts for many years, she had an opportunity to take a job at a local animal shelter. Sarah began working closely with fearful, reactive, and unsocialized dogs. These dogs required a lot of patience, and she learned quickly that each dog is unique. She shared her home with many adopted dogs of multiple breeds (and cats) throughout the years, each one with different behavioral needs. Through her work at the shelter, and helping her own dogs with anxiety, reactivity, impulse control, and fear, Sarah was able to follow her passion and fulfill her lifelong dream of working with animals.
Modern and Effective Dog Training Methods
Animal training techniques are constantly improving, as our understanding of dog behavior becomes more sophisticated. Sarah understands that there are frustrations and joys when developing a relationship with an animal. She is committed to continuous education, and has studied with some of the most well-respected dog trainers and behavior specialists in the industry such as Pat Miller, Dr. Sophia Yin, Terry Ryan, Nicole Wilde, Kathy Cascade, Amy Herot, and Michael Shikashio. The picture here shows when Sarah attended Pia Silvani and Sue Sternberg’s instructor training course, and was chosen by her peers as the recipient of the “Inspiration Award,” an honor for the student who shows extraordinary quality or dedication. Full CV here.