Lead Trainer and Owner
I founded Training With Play in 2020 but my journey with dogs started long before this.
I grew up on a farm in Northern Virginia with a large racehorse operation. My Mother is a top breeder of Norwich Terriers showing at Westminster and other AKC conformation shows around the country & my Father breeds and owns racehorses.
Needless to say, animals are in my blood.
I have trained dogs since I was a teenager including show dogs, working line dogs, protection specific dogs, service dogs, and of course- pet dogs.
I served in a Combat Unit with the United States Marine Corps. I was deployed around working dogs who saved countless lives in and around Al Anbar Provence & Fallujah Iraq. This sparked my interest in becoming a high level dog trainer in the United States when I left military service. I had a burning desire to learn from the best in the World.
There came a time when I became extremely interested (and borderline obsessed) with Animal Cognition, Learning Theory, Classical and Operant Conditioning, Ethology, Genetics, Epigenetics. Genetic influences on behavior and personality. The scientific debate regarding Nature vs. Nurture.
The importance of PLAY for all animals and humans!
Having studied the above under some of the best, I can be sure that I am training animals in line with Science.
I not only know WHAT I am doing, but most importantly I know WHY I am doing it, and can articulate this to people in a very digestible way so that they can help their dog advance when I am not around.
I am currently competing in the dogsport "IGP" (Schutzhund). Widely considered one of the most difficult and precise dogsports in the World. IGP is a three phase sport involving Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. It was created by the Europeans as a very strict breed test to determine which working dogs should be bred, and therefore continue their bloodlines.
Regardless of my life accomplishments, I see myself as a forever student. I value humility, and learn from anyone that I can.
Above all, I am blessed to pursue my passion for helping animals in such an amazing setting here in Bozeman Montana!