Meet the Trainer: Katara Peters

When you enroll in a dog training class you are not only investing your time and money with the trainer but you are also entrusting them to help you develop a better relationship with your dog and improve its overall well-being. You want a trainer that is knowledgeable about your specific breed of dog as well as various behavioral issues, training techniques, grooming and health issues.

My name is Katara Peters and I have lived with and loved dogs all my life. I believe that your dog can have a loving relationship with every member of your family and can be a positive influence on others as well. I hope through consultation and training that I can help that happen.

I've always enjoyed training our family dogs, but my serious interest in training started about 12 years ago when we added a Chihuahua named Chi Chi to our family. She was a typical small dog that was a little shy, so I decided to take her to an obedience class for socialization. We loved it and continued taking a variety of classes including puppy, basic, and some advanced obedience. She did so well that I decided to have her tested to be a therapy dog so we could do nursing home visits, which we did together for over 9 years.

I became interested in teaching obedience training as a result of my experience in attending classes with my own dogs and so I began working as an assistant trainer in 2003. I continued working as an assistant trainer and later as a solo trainer for another 4 years, during which time I learned a great deal about breeds and behavior as well as techniques for training.

In 2005 I decided to get a puppy to try Confirmation, which is a competition judged for how closely your dog meets the standard for its breed. I chose a Miniature Pinscher named Lilly and she did so well that she earned her Championship title in just one year. In 2006 she was registered as a therapy dog and we also started training for dog Agility competition. She has since also received her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate. Lilly currently competes in Agility at the Excellent B level and was invited to and competed in the 2011 AKC Agility Invitational held in Orlando, FL. You can see her around my classes showing off and demonstrating obedience.

I began my own business teaching dog obedience in 2009 as a result of my association with the Conneaut Lake Bark Park, where I also provide temperament testing services for its membership. During 2009 I also became an authorized tester/observer for Therapy Dogs, Inc., whose goal is to provide registration, support and insurance for members who are involved in volunteer animal-assisted activities. These activities include visits to hospitals, special needs centers, schools and nursing homes, among other things. Their objective is to form a network of caring individuals who are willing to share their special pets in order to bring happiness to people of all ages.

I also added an English Black Lab puppy to our pack in the summer of 2009. Her name is Sydney and she has been assisting me in obedience classes since she was a pup. She has been registered as a therapy dog since May of 2010 and has a natural personality for it. She loves visiting with people in hospitals, treatment centers and nursing homes and she also works with children in library reading programs and special needs classes at local schools. She also competes in Agility and has recently earned her Excellent A title.

In 2011, I became an authorized tester for the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification as well as the AKC Puppy Star Program. The goal of these two programs is to recognize and certify dogs as good canine citizens of the community. During that time I also became qualified as a NADOI Certified Trainer (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors).

Before starting my dog obedience school, I also volunteered for the Canine Partners for Life organization socializing young dogs that were in training to become service dogs. CPL pups are housed in local correctional institutions for one year where they receive intensive training from prison inmates. Because they are unable to experience the "real world" during this time, I helped provide the critical socialization skills needed for the dog's future as a service animal.

Teaching and volunteering has been part of my life for years and during this time I have come to realize how satisfying it is to help others with their dogs. The thing I enjoy most about teaching obedience is seeing an owner and their dogs build a better relationship with each other as well as with other dogs.

Our dogs love to be with us and even though we bring our dogs to class to be more obedient, the dog just sees it as one more thing it gets to do with us. No matter what it is - taking a walk, playing fetch, or going on a therapy visit - our dogs are always there for us.

Meet the Trainer: Cricket Dignall

Hi, I am Cricket Dignall. I live near Cochranton. I have been training horses and mules for more than 30 years and I have been training dogs for more than 20 years. I have a German Shepard and a Collie mix who are both certified therapy dogs. The queen of our house is my husband's corgi. They all are rescues and we love them very much.

I have had many opportunities to rescue German Shepards and other dogs. Most of these dogs have been rehabilitated and placed in good homes.

My passion is to help families and their pets to grow so that they both enjoy their relationship. I enjoy training you to train your dog.

Meet the Trainer: Robin Peterson

Hello my name is Robin Peterson. I live in Cochranton with my husband Dan, our two Golden Retrievers, Spyce and Ella, and our cat Gypsy.

I seriously became involved in dog training in 1993 by necessity. I had acquired my first Golden Retriever Lacey. I did everything wrong but in the end it turned out right. I enrolled Lacey in obedience class, and my passion grew. The obedience instructor mentored me and I became an assistant trainer. I took Lacey into the world of competitive obedience and acquired her CD title. We also became a therapy dog team and Paws Hand Delivered Therapy dogs, were re-born. I have been a qualifier of therapy dogs for over 16 years. I am currently affiliated with Therapy Dogs Inc. as a tester/observer.

I was a dental assistant for 20 years, and then worked for two years as a veterinarian assistant. I left that job to stay home and be more available to my grandchildren and to concentrate on acquiring my dog trainer certification.

Golden Retrievers are my heart breed, but I love the diversity and training challenges of other breeds. All of my dogs have been therapy dogs. Spyce earned her retirement this year and Ella is now stepping up to fill her paw prints.

Many times I have been asked, "how long did it take you to train your dog?" My answer is always the same, I haven't stopped. There are always opportunities to work on current training skills and to teach new things. My dogs love the challenge of a new task and the assurance of knowing what to do in any given situation.

I love to help people bond to their dogs and acquire the skills to transform their dogs into a well-mannered member of their family.

Certified by the National Association
of Dog Obedience Instructors