At WVCC she lived and breathed dogs 8-10 hours a day for 3 months. The experience was full of classroom work learning the dog’s mind and to naturally communicate with them. The experience of training several different breeds and personalities was a great start in understanding how our communication efforts effect dog behavior. Extra emphasis was placed on tracking, drug detection, and protection work. She graduated with a certificate in Canine Training and Behavioral Specialist.
After receiving a certifcation from WVCC in 1997, Gail hasn't stopped learning. She has adopted a coaching approach tailored to each particular dog, its breed and personality, as well as the dog/owner relationship. This approach is based on experience with and knowledge of positive motivation and scientific methods of animal learning. All trainers use scientific based methods whether they understand them or not. Gail helps students narrow down the different techniques of training into a well-defined, proven approach based on humane principles of how dogs learn and approach life. She understands that training is a process, not an event, and encourages her students to develop a simple communication style to achieve their goals based on what the dog likes and how the dog learns.
Gail has trained at Terry Ryan's with Bob Bailey. She has driven to Canada to train at Susan Garrett's with Susan Salo. She has attended multiple APDT conferences to learn many reowned trainers (Suzanne Clothier, Patricia McDonnell, Ian Dunbar ... etc.). Her studies do not stop at behavior rehab methodologies, she also attends at least one agility workshop each year. Training a dog to successfully and independently perform all the agility obstacles takes patience and an understanding of how dog learn. She has recently narrowed her focus to the issue of reactivity and aggression learning from Michael Shikashio CDBC and Denise Fenzi and more.
Gail feels that attending workshops and seminars is the best way to stay attuned to new information which ultimately makes her classes and private coaching sessions one of the best and sought out in the Western North Carolina area.
A couple of her top experiences has been training Tayt for a few commercials and Quinn for a substantial role in "Seven Days Til Midnight" which will hopefully hit the big screen in 2019.
Her sport of choice is a toss up between SAR/Tracking, Treibball - Urban Herding, and Agility. In 1999 she got involved with NCSARDA after her dog retired from that she when on volunteering through therapy dogs. She started AKC tracking, rally and agility with her Border Collie born in 2004. She has had a Dalmatian, Sydeny; a German Shepherd Dog, Madison; and currently has a Border Collie, Quinn; a Parson Russell Terrier, Tayt; and a Belgian Malinois, Gaia. Even though competing is important, the relationship between the handler and dog out weighs any title recieved. Gail encourages anyone interested in creating a stronger relationship with their dog to investigate some sort of sport with their dog. A sport could be anything your dog loves to do ... What does your dog love to do?!
Gaia, a Belgian Malinois, happened upon Gail in 2014 which she welcomed happily into the pack as if she were there since 8 weeks of age. At that time, Gaia was believed to be 7-8 months. "Gaia is an angel. She is eager to play any game I show her!" Gail says.
Below you see Tayt, Quinn (03-2004 - 03-2018) and Gaia... taken Fall of 2016.