Laurie is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP -- www.karenpryoracademy.com), a Professional Canine Trainer -- Accredited through the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PCT-A -- www.petprofessionalguild.com), a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Consultant -- Canine (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (www.ccpdt.org). She is also a Level 1 TAGteacher. Laurie's background includes therapy dogs, rally obedience, obedience, competition, service dogs, and behavior consultation. Laurie and her Beagle mixes, Dolly and Elphie, and her Shih Tzu Rafael are registered Therapy Dog Teams and enjoy reading with children at schools and libraries and visiting residents at assisted living facilities. Laurie is a licensed Rally judge for World Cynosport Rally, a licensed Rally, Obedience, Scent Detective, and Games judge for C-WAGS (Canine Work And Games), and a licensed Scent Work judge for AKC (American Kennel Club).
Laurie has extensive, documented experience in dealing with a wide range of dog breeds, behavior issues (including aggression), training plans, and management protocols. She regularly attends educational events to further her knowledge and expertise and to maintain her certifications. Laurie graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy in May 2014 in their Professional Dog Trainer Program. Most recently, Laurie has participated in weekend seminars with Ken Ramirez, Grisha Stewart, Michele Pouliot, Theresa McKeon, Joey Iverson, and Hannah Branigan, ClickerExpo in March 2015, and ClickerExpo in January 2016 (3-day educational conferences for positive reinforcement animal trainers from all over the world), and the Pet Professional Guild Summit at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in April 2018. Laurie regularly takes online classes offered by the Karen Pryor Academy and the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Laurie and her dogs also take local, in-person classes whenever possible -- most recently Laurie and Blitz learned about Canine Musical Freestyle!
Laurie has three canine partners of her own -- Dolly (beagle/ridgeback mix) -- they worked together in the Karen Pryor Academy, do therapy dog work together, and are competing in Scent Work, Rally, and Obedience. Blitz (australian shepherd mix) and Laurie spend time working on Rally, Obedience, Agility, Canine Musical Freestyle, and tricks. Blitz is a wonderful traveling companion and they enjoy many adventures together. Emme is the youngest in the family (beagle) and together, they are working on Rally, Conformation, and Scent Work with an eye on therapy dog work.
Laurie is honored to have an extended family of dogs too! She and Rafael (shih tzu) do therapy dog work together as well as occasionally traveling and trialing together in Rally. Laurie and Elphie (beagle/ridgeback mix) have earned titles in Rally (APDT and C-WAGS) and Obedience (C-WAGS). Laurie and Elphie have ranked nationally in APDT Rally. They also do therapy dog work.
And the dog that started it all...Laurie and her beagle, Daisy, earned titles in Rally Obedience and Obedience -- AKC (American Kennel Club), APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), CDSP (Companion Dog Sports Program), and C-WAGS (Canine Work And Games) including several championship titles. Laurie and Daisy earned High in Trial three times -- once in Rally and twice in Obedience and ranked nationally in APDT Rally. Laurie and Daisy were therapy dog partners and got their start listening to first graders read their poetry notebooks in Laurie's daughter's classroom. Daisy was the dog that led Laurie to positive reinforcement training and so much more. Daisy is fondly remembered and much missed.
Laurie is married, and between them they have three daughters, one son, two daughters-in-law, six dogs (granddogs included!), chickens, a rabbit, and fish. Laurie also enjoys crafting, reading, and traveling.
Laurie is a Founder and Director of Paws With Compassion -- a canine crisis response and therapy dog group. She and Daisy volunteered on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois for the anniversary of the campus shootings and at the annual National Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) Conferences in Cincinnati, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (With Dolly, Elphie, Blitz and Rafael, they also served at the POMC Conferences in Rochester, Minnesota, Orlando, Florida, and Irvine, California.) She and Daisy served in Lake Township, Ohio to support those affected by the June 2010 tornadoes. Laurie went to Aurora, Colorado in the aftermath of the movie theater shooting. Laurie and Dolly responded to Newtown, Connecticut and the Sandy Hook School shooting. Laurie, along with her dogs, is a regular presenter at POMC's Annual Conferences. She presents on several topics, including Therapy Dogs in Chapter Meetings and K-9 Responses to School Shootings with Multiple Victims. Laurie and Daisy (2012) and Laurie and Dolly (2013 and 2016) have earned C-WAGS' "Doing Others Good" Award for their work in crisis response. In 2016, Laurie was given the Extra Mile Award at the Annual POMC Conference in Orlando, Florida.
In the summer of 2015, Laurie was honored to become an Alliance of Therapy Dogs Director on their Board of Directors.