Featured Mentor Trainers
Ready to get hands-on with dogs? We have an extensive network of Mentor Trainers available across the United States and in Canada, who specialize in modern, science-based, positive reinforcement dog training. At CATCH, our students learn from the best, and we will pair you with a local Mentor Trainer throughout your studies so you can apply what you’re learning when it matters most – while you’re learning it.
Check out some featured members of the CATCH Mentor Team!
Ferdie Yau, CPDT-KA
Owner, Sits and Wiggles, New York, NY
Drawing on his experiences as both a wildlife biologist and animal trainer, Ferdie teaches training methods that are scientifically sound, meet ethical standards, and are designed to improve the well-being of dogs as well as their human teachers! Ferdie’s varied background includes studying jaguar in a Belizean rainforest, working to clean and restore wildlife in the Bronx River (as a biologist for the City of New York), and training a wide variety of animals including polar bears, penguins, sea lions, harbor seals, foxes, and primates at the Central Park Zoo.
Ferdie has an MA in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). His professionalism, compassion, and knowledge of animal behavior were just a few of the reasons he was called on to train and care for two of Central Park’s most beloved and famous residents, polar bears Gus and Ida. After training for other companies for several years, in 2011, Ferdie started his own business, Sits & Wiggles Dog Training in New York City. He has since become a very popular and successful trainer in one of the world’s busiest markets for dog care services. Staying true to his passion for wildlife, Ferdie also works with the Gotham Coyote Project to train dogs to detect Eastern coyote scat in New York City and Long Island in order to collect DNA for research on these fascinating animals.
Dee Hoult, MBA, CPDT-KA, CTDI
Owner, Applause Your Paws, Miami, FL
Dee is a professional dog trainer currently leading her dream career as CEO of Applause Your Paws, Inc., Miami’s largest privately owned reward-based dog training company. Her company’s mission is to help dog owners improve their quality of life through enjoyable, connected relationships with their canine companions by providing engaging, positive education and non-intimidating training so that in any environment they can have the well-behaved dog they always wanted. Dee earned a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Miami, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), is Miami’s only licensed Family Paws educator, a certified trick dog training instructor, as well as an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.
In addition to managing her staff and assisting her own clients, Dee is the founder of the APDT’s Networking Group in South Florida, Miami Dade Animal Service’s ”go to” professional for canine evaluations and volunteer training, a CATCH Canine Trainers Academy Mentor Trainer, and founder of Miami-Dade County’s Second Chance Dog Training Program (a “puppies behind bars” program with Miami-Dade County Corrections). Dee has also been honored in the past to serve on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Veterinary Medical Association & Foundation as well as the Board of Trustees for the national Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Dee is what you could call a “serial networker.” If there is an opportunity to meet people and connect, you can be sure to find her there! Dee shares her home with two cats, three working dogs and her husband, Sam. With her dogs, she enjoys competitive canine sports including agility, frisbee, rally obedience, competition obedience, tricks, as well as week-long hiking, biking, camping and kayaking trips.
Diana Smith, CPDT-KA
Owner, Hearts and Paws, Austin, TX
Diana Smith is the owner of Austin’s Hearts and Paws training center, the founder of Pup Kids and Dogs Camp, and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with over 25 years of experience. She has over 2,000 hours of study with some of the world’s leading dog behaviorists including Dr. Ian Dunbar, John Fisher, and John Rogerson.
In addition to being strongly rooted in the fundamentals of obedience and manners training, Diana’s many areas of study have included treatment programs for separation anxiety, phobias, aggression issues, and obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as the genetic and medical influences on these problems. Diana also has experience in a wide range of training activities, having shown dogs competitively in obedience, agility, rally, conformation, field trials, and working trials. She holds several titles!
On the public service side, Diana has worked with local animal shelters and rescue groups to train volunteers on temperament testing and behavior management. Most notable of these is the Austin Humane Society’s Behavior Rehoming Adoption Training Team (BRATT) which is still being used today. Diana also developed Club Pup Kids and Dogs Camp – the largest and longest running (14 years) kids with dogs camp nationwide and Austin’s favorite summer program for children and teenagers with their dogs. Last, but not least, Diana is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and a charter member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest international body of dog trainers and a leading organization in the industry for continuing education.
Katie Costello, RVT, CPDT-KA
Owner, The Canine Campus, Hubbard, OH
Katie has been working with animals since she was a teenager! She started by working at Animal Charity in Youngstown at age 16. This experience, where she went from receptionist to wildlife rehabilitator, to groomer, ultimately inspired her to become a licensed veterinary technician. She continued to perform technician duties for 15 years while teaching training classes at other peoples’ businesses before pursuing her dream to focus solely on dog behavior.
Katie utilizes her broad spectrum of experience to observe a dog from many angles, and applies a plan specific to each dog. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Registered Veterinary Technician, Delta Society Pet Partner Licensed Evaluator, and Reiki master. Katie is also the founder of the group K-9’s for Compassion, a therapy animal group, which propels her love of animal behavior through the amazing stories she witnesses with the human-animal bond while visiting people with her own dogs.
Katie has published articles in magazines such as Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, Dog World, Animal Wellness, Veterinary Technician, and has been recognized nationally for her writing.