|Lisa (left) and Michelle (right) with some of their canine students|
Leading this exciting new program are long time Morris Animal Inn staffers, Lisa and Michelle.
Michelle VanWinkle, Program Leader
A: In 2009, I graduated from the Tom Rose School for Professional Dog Trainers, a nationally recognized school, studying dog behavior and training for over a year. After earning my Associates, Professional, and Masters Dog Training Certification, and graduating first in the class, I owned and operated my own dog training business for four years. I have experience training different breeds, ages and temperaments in the avenues of general obedience; agility; competition and much more. I am an active competitor in many dog sports including AKC, PSA, French Ring, Shutzhund and IPO. I have been nationally recognized with my own dogs, Xander, a Belgian Malinois and Gracie, a Golden Retriever, for competition obedience and apprehension. I've worked with local shelter dogs teaching general obedience to improve their chances of finding a new home. I have been with Morris Animal Inn for five years in various positions including Activities staff, Group Play Evaluator, Lodging staff and am currently the Manners and Fitness Program Leader.
Q: Could you describe Morris Animal Inn's Manners Training program in your own words?
A: Our program teaches general obedience commands with real life distractions. Using the most up-to-date and humane training approach, the program allows for clear communication and creates a dog that loves to learn. Teaching your pet manners is crucial because it opens doors to a lasting bond between canine and owner.
Q: What do you believe is the most important skill to teach a dog?
A: The most important command for a dog to learn is to come. Every year, countless canines are lost because they never learned this basic command. For the safety of our pets, this is an important and necessary skill to teach.
Q: What is your main goal when training a dog?
A: My goal is to help enhance the healthy, happy relationship owners already have with their dog and to help make their dog a more enjoyable and respected member of the family.
Lisa Kaune, Program LeaderQ: What is your background working with dogs?
A: I've been an animal lover my whole life and professionally working with dogs for five years, first as a Lodging Team Leader at Morris Animal Inn and now as a Program Leader for the Manners and Fitness programs. After heavily researching dog behavior and psychology along with spending countless hours training my two dogs, Zeke, a black lab and Archu, a shepherd mix, I have successfully trained them both. Eventually, I would like to participate in the sport of Competitive Obedience.
Q: What is the most important message to get across to those who are interested in this program?
A: Learning is a journey, not a destination. We will give the dog the foundation in manners but best results are achieved with consistent reinforcement at home. In doing this, the dog has a clear understanding of what is expected from him/her.
Q: What is your dog training philosophy?
A: My dog training philosophy is pretty simple - clear communication. Too often people assume that dogs just automatically understand what is expected from them. This is, of course, not the case. It must be taught and reinforced over and over again. The same commands must be used everytime and by every member in the household.
Reservations are now being accepted. Call us today!