Kasandra is Central Vermont Humane Society’s Dog Training Program Coordinator. She is the one responsible for planning our class schedules and for getting students signed up for the appropriate class. Kasandra is also one of our dog trainers and offers classes for dogs of all ages and skill levels, from puppy kindergarten to tricks and games. She also teaches a very popular class in downtown Montpelier called Rovers About Town where dogs and handlers are able to practice their skills in a real life environment.
Kasandra lives in Braintree, Vermont with her husband and their menagerie of 4-footed critters. She shares her home with 2 gerbils, 4 cats and 2 dogs. If you attend a class with Kasandra, chances are you will meet one or both of her dogs at some point. Oliver Twist is her senior Plotthound cross, adopted from a high-kill shelter in Tennessee when he was just a puppy. He is Kasandra’s first dog of her own as an adult and she credits Oliver with teaching her how to better communicate with dogs. Oliver has his Canine Good Citizen title from the AKC and he is a retired therapy dog. Oliver has also recently worked towards his Champion Trick Dog title and he continues to amaze Kasandra daily with how fast he picks up on new skills, even at his senior age. Maggie is Kasandra’s southern mystery mutt (most likely a cattle dog cross) adopted from a Tennessee rescue when she was a puppy. Kasandra calls Maggie her “heart dog” and the two of them can usually be found not far from one another, whether on a mountain or in a training class. Maggie is a true training assistant and joins Kasandra for classes whenever she can. Like Oliver, Maggie has her Canine Good Citizen title and she is a certified Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Through this therapy dog program, Maggie and Kasandra visit local elementary schools where Maggie works as a reading dog… she helps children gain confidence in their reading skills by reading to her. Maggie also helps Kasandra do dog bite safety presentations for schools. She is quite the comedian and loves to show off her large repertoire of tricks. Maggie has recently earned the title of Trick Dog Champion with her demonstration of some rather difficult tricks and she continues to learn new skills along with Oliver. Kasandra and Maggie will be adding Canine Freestyle to their list of things to do in 2015 and have been working on some pretty fun freestyle moves together.
When Kasandra is not working, she can be found outside with her dogs. The three of them are out in the woods and on the trails as much as possible. In the winter she loves to snowshoe and watch her pups race through the snow after each other. Hiking is a true passion of Kasandra’s and she loves sharing adventures with Maggie and Oliver at her side. Maggie, especially, has led Kasandra up some of Vermont’s highest mountains and on some very exciting hikes over the years. Kasandra hopes to hike part of Vermont’s Long Trail with Maggie in 2015. Kasandra also loves to camp and her dogs are just as excited to hit the road to a new campground as she is. She also loves to write, animals being the most commonly used subjects in her stories.
Kasandra attended Vermont Technical College and graduated with her degree in Veterinary Technology. She worked as a veterinary technician at a small animal clinic for 9 years before deciding to pursue her dream of dog training. Kasandra attended the online college, Animal Behavior College, to earn her certification in dog training. She is now a fully insured Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer and believes in a force-free, fun and games approach to training. Kasandra has learned from her time working with other trainers and from various continuing education seminars she has attended, but she credits her mom with much of the dog training knowledge she has gained over the years. The many dogs Kasandra has had in her life have been some of the best teachers as well and Maggie and Oliver continue to teach her something new every day. Kasandra now owns her own dog training business, One Paw at a Time Dog Training, and offers group classes and individual training consults. She loves helping people strengthen the bond they have with their canine companions, one paw at a time.
Bill has been training dogs and people since 1991. He uses his experience to help dog owners develop positive, loving relationships with their canine companions and teaches people to work with their dogs in ways that encourages a partnership that lasts for life. Bill is highly recommended by many well-known dog professionals, business owners and veterinarians for his kind, knowledgeable and gentle approach in working with all dogs.
Bill helps people explore how dogs think, thus unlocking the possibilities for effective communication and learning. He believes that many of today’s training issues are a result of “miscommunications” between dog and human. As these lines of communication are opened, many issues are solved. His classes are upbeat and fun for dogs and entire families.
Bill makes training a family process where all members are encouraged to participate. He focuses on teaching patience and consistency, thus creating an environment that allows dogs to flourish and become a welcome addition to any home.
Bill teaches a variety of classes including Puppy Kindergarten, Good Manners for Adult Dogs, a recall class to teach dogs to come when called reliably, the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen class and a class called Reactive Rover, for dogs that have specific challenges with other dogs and people. Bill also works with people individually on specific behavioral issues and offers in home training. Bill is also a partner at Green Mountain Pet Stop, which is an underground fencing company.
He currently resides in southern Vermont with his 4 Akitas and his newest family addition; an American Staffordshire Terrier named Gus.
Billl has been involved showing dogs in confirmation for years and has led numerous dogs to championship level. He has also been recognized as an Akita Breeder and advocate for the Akita breed. He has been involved in Canine Therapy Work and has a number training articles published. He has consulted with a variety of local and national rescue associations. Bill teaches at several locations and also consults privately with dog owners, rescue organizations, breed clubs and veterinary practices in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Rachael has been involved in animal welfare for over twenty years. She began volunteering at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. There she learned clicker training through a program designed to give shelter dogs skills that would allow them to be more adoptable. She also volunteered in their veterinary clinic helping dogs, cats, and bunnies recover from surgical procedures.
Rachael has volunteered at CVHS for over 7 years by fostering animals, helping at events, serving on the Board of Directors, offering Reiki, and working with the dogs. She travels to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah twice a year to volunteer with the over 2000 animals cared for there.
Rachael is a certified Professional Dog Trainer through CATCH, Canine Trainers Academy, and a member of the Assocation of Professional Dog Trainers. She believes that the use of rewards based training will build a relationship of trust between you and your animal. Once trust is established, there’s no limit to where you can go together!
Rachael lives in North Fayston with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. One dog, Dylan, was adopted from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, whereas the other animals are all CVHS alumni. All four are dearly loved members of the family. Dylan is a 7 year old hound mix who is a rock star at nosework and currently working on his Trick Dog title. Leilani is a 1 year old St. Pitty who is working on her Canine Good Citizen and holds her STAR Puppy and Novice Trick Dog titles. Both cats, Jet and Oliver, are sleeping and cuddling champions!
When she’s not teaching the dogs new tricks or clicker training the cats, you’ll most likely find Rachael hiking one of the trails of the Mad River Valley or volunteering at CVHS. Rachael is also a trained Reiki practitioner specializing in Animal Reiki and member of Shelter Animal Reiki Association. More information can be found on her website at www.gratefulpath.com. Rachael looks forward to meeting you and your dogs!