Our mission is and always will be to offer fun, effective and humane training solutions to pet owners who want their dogs to have a thorough education. Our goal is to offer a safe, limited-stress environment that creates optimal learning opportunities. We can achieve this by having smaller class sizes, extra staff to offer guidance and answer questions and an environment that accommodates the individual needs of a wide variety of canine personalities.
We are a staff of experienced and knowledgeable professionals who have instilled a sense of community and support amongst our members. Our team is dedicated to complete early developmental learning for young puppies and adolescents as well as the prevention and modification of canine behavior issues.
I have been in the field full time for nearly 10 years. I began my journey as the clueless owner of a fiery Fox Red Labrador puppy with a mouth like a shark and a bottomless pit of energy. I went down the wrong road with a variety of trainers who suggested techniques that drastically exacerbated her behavior problems. She became more and more confrontational, frustrated and was beginning to show signs of aggression. I knew I was failing her. The focus was all on punishment, leaving out the very vital missing piece - how to teach the pup what to do instead! When I did some research online I discovered that all the techniques that I was learning were actually outdated and that modern training was much more positive and focuses on working with your dog as a team.
After that, I was ignited!! I began my journey towards the goal of becoming a certified dog trainer. I read tons of books by all the best in the industry, networked with other local trainers, began volunteering at local shelters, attended seminars, and immersed myself in canine culture with a full-time career running my own dog walking business which later evolved into a a training company. I vowed that I would help loving dog owners avoid going through similar aggravation like I had in the beginning. I am very lucky that I took a hard turn before I ruined my pup completely but others are not so lucky….. and they might sacrifice their dog’s spirit in the name of punishment and control and “obedience”.
Some insist on having a dog who has no choice but to listen and obey. This brings me very little satisfaction. I much prefer the delicate art and practice of shaping a dog who chooses to listen and actually wants to get it right (not just to avoid pain/punishment). Don’t get me wrong, It is still extremely vital to maintain firm boundaries, structure and appropriate discipline but there is a way to get there without sacrificing the importance of a strong relationship.
My core value as a modern trainer is to help clients build strong communication skills by teaching them about body language, stress and displacement…. I want to help people achieve a deep understanding of their dog’s behavior so they know exactly how their dogs learn. I design training plans that are fun and achievable while offering guidance and support every step of the way. I subscribe to the popular industry mantra ‘ if it isn’t fun then you're doing it wrong’!
After years of apprenticeship, assisting with classes, sessions and workshops, Lisa has evolved into a high caliber resource to this company and to our clients. She has done impressive work with her two fearful reactive rescue dogs. She has gained a massive insight into canine behavior through her personal experience but, she is also very active in the local rescue community. A dedicated scholar of modern dog training, Lisa works hard to absorb as much as she can about dog behavior. She is a firm believer in the power of mental exercise and uses her expertise to help dogs thrive in their training programs as well as overcome anxiety, stress and fear.
Jessica has had a life long love of dogs and started volunteering at a local shelter as a dog walker in high school and continues to do volunteer work today. She attended Carlow University, majoring in Biology with a concentration in Animal Science. During college, she accepted an internship at a local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where she learned how to give exams and administer treatment to a wide range of Pennsylvania wildlife. She went on to work as an Animal Care Technician at the University of Pittsburgh providing medical oversight and animal husbandry to the animals in the research program. After 8 years of working with laboratory animals, Jessica wanted to pursue her true passion and work with dogs. She started as a supervisor at a local boarding kennel, and quickly realized she wanted to pursue dog training to better understand dog behavior. She enrolled in the CATCH Canine Training Academy and graduated the dog training and behavior program.
She joined the Moonwalkers Team last year and has used the knowledge she gained through her studies, educational seminars, and mentorship with our head trainer - to train the dogs that attend our Momentum program. Jessica is especially interested in mat training to help dogs learn to settle on a mat in-and-out of the home, and recall training so that dogs can experience off-leash hikes.
In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping with her own dogs; Reese a 2 yr old Rottweiler and Quinn a 1 yr old Golden Retriever.
Theresa began working full-time for the company last year. Her calm, patient and nurturing energy makes her an ideal complement to our training team. She is a constant source of positivity and love for the dogs.
Our training center features 3,000 sq feet of space divided into three different training rooms to create a comfortable and controlled environment. Our main class room has specialty rubber flooring to ensure appropriate traction and cleanliness. It is the ideal place for dogs to exercise and learn. Our second classroom is attached directly to the trainer’s office and is used for private sessions and behavior consultations. Our third classroom is designed to replicate the average family living room complete with toddler toys, an area to eat and a TV. This room is not only a lounge area for staff and family members (including the head trainer’s son, Kevin) but an area where the dogs can practice real world training scenarios. Dogs learn to practice impulse control and relaxation in an environment that imitates their home.
Having three separate working rooms allows us to accommodate any type of dog whether they are a confident puppy or a fearful adult in need of space and privacy.
Perhaps the most exciting amenity is our fenced in outdoor play area. Tucked away across the street from a small community park and just outside the entrance to our wing of the building, it is the perfect place for the dogs to play in an environment where they can comfortably and safely take in the world around them.
If you haven't seen our place in person please email Andrea to schedule your personal tour. Since we are likely busy working with clients during business hours we do not accept walk-ins. An appointment is necessary.