The Training Studio does things differently. When it comes to our talented trainers, doing thing differently means helping pet owners understand that punishment and outdated “dominance”-based training is not the only solution for changing animal behavior and in fact, can be detrimental.
The Training Studio
Meet Our Trainers
Training techniques based on the science of how pets learn have been around for a while. There is extensive, scientific research showing positive reinforcement produces long-lasting behavior changes. A recent surge in awareness is the result of more trainers and pet owners realizing they don’t have to hurt or scare their pets to achieve desired behavior.
The Training Studio instructors are all certified and adhere to the humane hierarchy. They teach classes ranging from private sessions to basic manners programs, K9 Nose Work®, Dig It (teaching dogs to file their own nails) and Relaxed Rover and Dog School Drop Out for dogs that can’t handle traditional classes due to reactivity or aggressive behavior. Click here to check out the classes and private training options.
Cathy Painter, LVT, CBCC-KA, Elite Fear Free Certified
The Training Studio Director, Cathy Painter, is a licensed veterinary technician, a certified behavior consultant (CBCC-KA) and Fear Free Elite Certified. She is an APDT Professional Member and APDT Education Committee Volunteer.
Cathy started her career as a veterinary technician for the Dallas Zoo in 1996. In 2009, she was promoted to hospital manager. Working at the zoo channeled Cathy’s interest in animal behavior: While collecting a blood sample from a rhinoceros that stood calmly along a fence, Cathy had an “a-ha” moment. Why are dogs, cats and horses so commonly terrified during veterinary exams, when rhinos, tigers and elephants are routinely examined voluntarily? The answer, of course, is that the zoo uses positive reinforcement. By contrast, too often “force” is an accepted practice with our domestic friends.
At Veterinary Behavior Solutions and The Training Studio, Cathy is helping to close this gap and improve life for our furred, feathered and scaly pets.
Valerie Fry, KPA-CTP, ABCDT-L2
Valerie is the owner and CEO of Canine Solutions Dallas. She is a Certified Dog Trainer through The Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. She is also a Professional Member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers and an approved Canine Life And Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.®) evaluator and instructor. Valerie is also an approved educator and evaluator for the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizenship program. Additionally, Valerie is a Certified Mentor Trainer for Animal Behavior College and CATCH Canine Trainers Academy.
Valerie started her career training service dogs for a non-profit organization. She helped to establish and implement a behavior department with that organization. This department was responsible for creating and following behavior modification programs for dogs with difficult behavioral issues. She also established the rescue program, working with local shelters, doing temperament testing of potential service dogs and then bringing them into the program. Both of these are still used by the organization today.
With 10 years experience in service dog training, Valerie helps individuals who are training their own service dogs with the process and hands-on training they need to be successful. Valerie also works with multiple rescue groups volunteering and providing much-needed behavior modification plans to help the dogs become better adjust to a new living arraignment. She focuses on behavior modification plans established to aid these dogs transition and address any behavior issue that are present.
Fanna Easter CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, Fear Free Certified, CSAT
Fanna has been instructing group classes and in-home behavior consults for more than 29 years with a special focus on separation anxiety. Currently, Fanna is the only Certified Separation Anxiety Instructor in Texas. She owns Positive Pooch Dog Training and Behavior, which offers virtual, in-home and off-property consultations in the Dallas, Texas area.
Fanna teaches reactive dog classes and offers private consultations at Veterinary Behavior Solutions- The Training Studio
Because of her love of writing, Fanna has written dog training class curricula and dog trainer courses for large pet box chains and nationally recognized dog training schools. Also, she’s authored several articles for Dogs Naturally, Animal Wellness, Chronicle of the Dog and numerous online magazines and blogs.
When not working with clients and their dogs, Fanna is a Board of Director for Association of Professional Dog Trainers and currently their Secretary.
Fanna shares her home with Miss Stella Mae (Miniature Bull Terrier), Eli Joseph (Miniature Bull Terrier) and Rick, her “darling hubby.”
Susan Geib, CPDT-KA
Susan started her dog training career conducting group classes and private lessons through a major pet care chain for three years. In 1999, she ventured out on her own to open Dog’s Play and Training Center. For seventeen years, she cared for thousands of dogs at her facility which offered training, daycare, boarding and grooming. In 2016, she sold Dog’s Play and opened Just Rewards Dog Training, allowing her the opportunity to concentrate solely on helping dogs and their owners with their training needs.
Susan is a certified professional dog trainer and a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She continues to update her education by attending training seminars by leaders in the industry.
Cheryl Woolnough CPDT-KSA, Fear Free Certified Trainer
Cheryl is a certified professional dog trainer with fifteen years of experience. She is a force free, positive trainer and believes that training is about communication and respect. She teaches a variety of group classes as well as in home consultations and private lessons. She presents webinars highlighting some of her favorite subjects such as enrichment and nutrition.
Cheryl spent seven years training service dogs for disabled veterans and other individuals with special needs. She comes from a teaching background; having taught both elementary and high school for twenty years. She has a passion for education; attending numerous seminars, conferences and workshops each year to keep abreast of current, science-based training methods and behavior modification techniques. Cheryl lives on two acres in the country with her husband, two greyhounds, a Berger Picard and two service dogs in training.