Meet Colleen

West Virginia’s ONLY Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer

Safe

Effective

Compassionate

I’ve always had a love for dogs. When I was 13 years old I began volunteering at my local animal shelter. You could find me there almost every day during the summers and most weekends during the school year. This is where I developed compassion and empathy for dogs and their various needs.

My World Changes

After graduating from college my first dog as an adult literally fell into my lap. Aidan, an abused American Bulldog puppy, grew up to be my first performance dog. He would go on to earn four AKC® titles (Beginner Novice Obedience, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, and Canine Good Citizen) and trained in agility. Since he was full of energy, overly-friendly, and strong Aidan was not an easy dog to train or live with, but his passion for “doing things” kept me training him throughout his life.

When my friends noticed the difference I made with Aidan, they encouraged me to start teaching classes. Within two years of starting my mentorship, I began developing my own class lesson plans and teaching classes on my own. My first focus was Puppy Kindergarten and Beginning Obedience classes. I cultivated my passion for helping people teach their dogs and was especially drawn to the “difficult” dogs. This eventually turned into relationship building and impulse control classes, which have been wildly successful, along with teaching foundation agility class. I have been an approved AKC® Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and AKC® STAR™ Puppy Instructor since 2010 and became an approved AKC® Temperament Test Evaluator in 2019.

…the Journey Continues

Since I have started competing in more physically demanding sports with my dogs (Water Work, Fast CAT, and Agility), I became focused on ensuring my dogs are well conditioned for whatever sport they want to play. A properly conditioned dog is less likely to become injured and more likely to safely practice and compete in physically demanding sports.

In 2018, I began taking classes through the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy to become a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer (CPCFT). This process includes 24 weeks of intense class work, four 6 week peer-reviewed case studies, and passing an exam to become certified.

My case studies for certification included: a competitive agility dog who has competed on the national level in AKC® National Agility Championship and AKC®’s Eukanuba Agility Invitational, a senior dog with wobblers disease, an adult dog who underwent bilateral TTA surgeries within a year of beginning my case studies, and an adult dog who experienced (and underwent surgical repair) for a herniated disc.

In March 2021, I was accepted into a local Veterinary Technology program to become a Registered Veterinary Technical (RVT) to pursue my goal of becoming a Certified Companion Animal Therapist (CCAT). Through my school, I have been able to become Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP), which is inline with my dog training philosophy and has aided in my dog training programs. 

My pride and joys…

My home is currently shared with two Portuguese Water Dogs, Armada and Trek, and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Kiely. Armada has 20 titles in 8 areas of competition, while Trek has 12 titles in 7 areas of competition. Kiely earned her Trick Dog Novice title at 5.5 months old and is fierce on the Fast CAT course.

I am a member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, Untied Sunshine States PWD Club, Movers & Shakers PWD Club of the Carolinas, Potomac Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club, & Northeast Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club.

Meet Armada

My first PWD. He has 19 titles in 8 areas of competition!

Learn More About CPCFTs

Check out the work CPCFTs can do!

Meet Trek

My younger PWD! He has 12 titles in 7 areas of competition!