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!

Lisa is committed to force-free training, and her impressive skill set includes work as a Service Dog Coach (SDC), Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), and Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC), plus so much more!

Lisa Morrissey, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, CTDI, SDC

OwnerTrick Dog U K9 Training Academy, Hudson, FL

About Lisa:
Lisa has a lifetime of experience raising dogs & cats and believes in adopting from rescues & shelters. She currently parents nine rescue cats and her own ex-shelter dog the famous “Brody the Border Collie Trick Dog Champion and K9 Artist”. Brody when adopted was heartworm positive and had several behavioral issues. Today Brody knows over 200 tricks, all trained force-free using positive reinforcement and has earned the prestigious title of Trick Dog Champion through Do More With Your Dog and AKC’s Trick Dog Performer Title. As a K9 Artist he “paws it forward” to help others that are less fortunate by painting, donating his art, and performing at charity events. A couple of years later, Lisa rescued Brody’s sister, Dali who at 6 months old displayed severe fear aggression and other behavioral challenges. With the assistance of medication and behavior modification training using rewards based methods, Dali overcame her fear aggression issues, was weaned off medication, and now holds Titles in Dock Jumping, Barn Hunt, Tricks & Dog Parkour.

What inspired you to become a professional dog trainer?
I was inspired to become a professional dog trainer when I adopted a rescue dog with severe leash reactivity issues. I sought help of the so called “trainers” in my area only to find they could not help with behavioral issues… Teaching sit-stay was not going to fix this. So I embarked on an education in dog behavior and was hooked. It wasn’t enough for me to just modify my own dog’s behavior and eventually train him to be a performing trick dog that has been on television and then call myself a “trainer.” I wanted my clients to have a sense of security that I am dedicated to helping them resolve their behavioral & training concerns.

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
I love mentoring CATCH students because they remind me of myself. They have the need to learn and know more then the average trainer, and they are dedicated to providing clients on both ends of the leash with scientifically proven, rewards-based methods of resolving problems so both species can live in harmony. It speaks volumes when a person not only financially commits to learning to help others, but also dedicates their precious time to achieve that goal.

How do you keep training fun for you and for your clients?
I keep training fun by showing clients how great their relationship with their dog can be by just by having fun. Training shouldn’t be boring or feel like a chore for either species – offering a lot fun classes along with a series of obedience classes where clients can obtain their long term goals allows owners and their dogs to bond and grow together. I love it when an owner who was previously using aversive equipment or force to train their dog finally gets that they were sabotaging their relationship, and how much their dog’s trust and willingness to works for them has improved by simply rewarding proper alternative behavior.

Kathy with her 3 Standard Poodles, Lacey, Marley and Hershey.

Kathy Forthman, MS, CPDT-KA

OwnerPolite Pooches Positive Dog Training, Harford County, MD

About Kathy:
Kathy has been involved in and enjoying dog obedience for the past 13 years. She owns 3 Standard Poodles, Lacey, Marley and Hershey, who have all completed intermediate level obedience, have their Canine Good Citizen certification and are visiting dogs at a local nursing home. Kathy holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Bloomsburg University of PA and Master of Science degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Baltimore. Kathy spent 16 years in corporate Human Resources doing recruiting and training before deciding that dog training was just too much fun not to do as a job. In 2014, Kathy became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), as well as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
I love meeting new people who also share a passion for dogs and teaching owners and dogs using positive methods. I am getting ready to mentor my 4th CATCH student, and I have really enjoyed watching them grow in confidence in their skills as they progress through the program. They have all gone on to starting their own training businesses, and I keep in touch via social media. Some of them still help me out with group classes! I also love mentoring the students because they are helping to spread the word that positive reinforcement training really is effective and the most humane way to work with dogs (or any animals).

How do you keep training fun for you and for your clients?
I try to show owners that dog training should be fun, and not serious work. If the dogs and owners are not viewing it as fun, they won’t practice and make progress! I try to intersperse the things that are difficult for dogs to learn with things that are easy for them, so they are always seeing some progress and success. I also try to have a collaborative teaching style, so I am not telling an owner what to do, but trying to come up with solutions and suggestions together. For me, the fun is working with so many different breeds, ages and personalities of dogs. The learning styles can be completely different and what works with one may not work with another. Flexibility is key when working with dogs!

ProDog Hawaii Owner and Trainer Marie Selarque has a long history of training animals.

Marie Selarque, CPDT-KA

OwnerProDog Hawaii, Kaneohe, HI

About Marie:
Marie is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and holds a counseling certificate (CC) from the San Francisco SPCA Dog Trainers Academy under the direction of Jean Donaldson. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), an American Kennel Club’s CGC Evaluator (Canine Good Citizen) and a Therapy Dog Incorporated Evaluator. Marie is also a Tellington Ttouch practitioner.

Marie grew up in Switzerland with pet dogs, cats, horses and even snakes. She began training horses as a teenager, preparing them for racing, obstacle and dressage. In 2001, Marie focused on dog training, apprenticing with Carol McPherson, who introduced her to the positive reinforcement philosophy started by Ian Dunbar and the clicker method started by Karen Pryor. Sue Ailsby and Susan Clothier influenced her work as well, giving her a stepping stone for her efficient, compassionate and respectful method of training.

A Word From Marie:
Marie enjoys mentoring CATCH students, as she sees the new generation of trainer propagating a force free, effective, exciting way of training dogs. Marie feels very grateful to her students because through them, she welcomes innovative and creative ways to approach a dog or a situation. She keeps on refining ways to adapt to different learning mechanisms and improve her own skills.

Lina and Demi, the bossy and spunky Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Lina McGroarty, CPDT-KA

OwnerDog Willing Positive Training Solutions, Northeast Orlando, FL

About Lina:
Lina received her BA from Mount St. Mary’s University; is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA); a student of DogNostics Career College; an Official Mentor Trainer for CATCH Canine Trainers Academy; a member of the Central Florida Force-Free Trainers Network; and a Full Member of the Pet Professional Guild.

Lina began mentoring with the late Leah Roberts, who founded DOG WILLING Positive Training Solutions, a dog training service now owned and operated by Lina and Chris along with their DogSmith of Northeast Orlando. It was at that time that force-free and positive reinforcement training developed into an essential part of Lina’s everyday life working with not only canines, but humans and her loved ones as well. Lina maintains a particular driving passion for developmental learning in children and dogs and she specializes in puppy socialization and family group training.

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
I like that the mentors are able to have a hands-on approach with CATCH Students. They always ask excellent questions and I think it’s important for everyone who works with animals to receive constructive criticism no matter how many years you’ve been doing it. We always have more to learn.

How do you keep training fun for you and for your clients?
We are family friendly and like working with the kids just as much as the adults. We also encourage our clients to have fun with it, because when they are having fun, their dogs will as well. Learning should not feel like work for the handler or the dog. Motivation and consistency are important. We always recommend they work on their homework a little bit each day so that the humans learn to break training exercises up into short sessions that occur more frequently instead of doing one, long session once a day (as they would in class).

Michaela makes training a family affair!

Michaela Collins, CPDT-KA

OwnerOm Obedience, West Bridgewater, MA

About Michaela:
Michaela has been training professionally since 2009. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, an Instructor for the DOG B.O.N.E.S Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts organization, and member of the Pet Professional Guild. Most recently, she has joined Dog Gone Safe and is a presenter of their “Be a Tree” Dog Bite Prevention Safety Program for children. What started as a hobby as a teenager, quickly became a passion when she got her first dog as an adult, and is now a lifestyle and she couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else.

Michaela takes continuing education very seriously and has attended seminars in the dog education field with Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Emma Parsons, Sue Sternberg, and Ken Ramirez. She also looks forward to Karen Pryor’s Annual Clicker Expo. Michaela LOVES learning about canine behavior and the latest developments in the dog world.

What inspired you to become a professional dog trainer?
My love for force-free horse training transferred quickly to canine behavior and positive reinforcement training as an adult when I got my first dog. It’s amazing to see how smart and capable they are with the proper guidance!

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
Mentoring is incredibly rewarding because you’re able to connect over something that you are both equally passionate about and helping to guide someone towards their dream career and happiness, and well, it doesn’t get better than that.

Emily offers behavior consulting services for all species of companion animals.

Emily Strong, CPBC, CPBT-KA

OwnerPet Harmony, Salt Lake County, UT

About Emily:
In January 2008 Emily started her own business as a pet sitter and relief vet tech, and she took the classes and got the mentorship she needed in order to become a behavior consultant. She became a board member of Wings of Love Bird Haven, co-founded and operated Austin Parrot Society, and became the volunteer medical coordinator as well as a medical and behavioral special-needs foster home for Austin Pets Alive! In January 2010 Emily became a full-fledged behavior consultant, and saw clients with animals of all species in Austin until the siren call of Best Friends Animal Society drew her away from her hometown in September 2013. Emily started off working as a caregiver in Parrot Garden for the first few months, but she missed behavior consulting and ended up transferring into her role as a Behavior Consultant in Dogtown. In this role, she and her colleagues were able to completely overhaul and revitalize the training protocols, as well as provide staff with classes and hands-on workshops to further hone their skills. They also took on the responsibility of ghostwriting all behavior-related articles for Best Friends’ various media outlets to ensure that the organization put out the most accurate, ethical, and effective information possible.

What inspired you to become a professional dog trainer?
I’ve been working professionally with animals since 1990 in shelters, vet clinics, an aviary, a stable, wildlife rehab centers, and then also I’d trained a variety of species as an amateur since I was a child. Over the years, though, I had a growing dismay that in the process of helping animals we caused them a great deal of stress, fear, panic, and many times even created aggression. As the years went by it wore me down and I became very depressed, because I couldn’t imagine not working with animals, but I couldn’t keep engaging in these adversarial relationships with them. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that we were saving their physical health at the expense of their mental and emotional health. When I learned about behavior science, and realized that it is possible to be both kind and effective, I dove in head first. From then on there wasn’t even a question in my mind: this is what I had to do for a living. I’ve never looked back.

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
I always say, “I live for the light bulb moments,” regardless of what species the learner may be. Nothing is quite as satisfying as watching a student learn and grow and blossom into a competent trainer, who will then go on to someday teach others.

Lindsay with her beautiful dogs, Kirra and Kali.

Lindsay Christinzie, ABCDT

OwnerPawsitive Dog Training, LLC, Southern New Jersey & Philadelphia

About Lindsay:
Lindsay has been training animals since 2012. She is the founder and lead professional dog trainer at Pawsitive Dog Training, LLC serving the Southern NJ & Philadelphia area, and she also provides Virtual Remote Dog Training for individuals across the country. Her specialties include pet dog obedience, behavior modification, and training both therapy and service dogs.

What inspired you to become a professional dog trainer?
At a young age I witnessed a marine mammal trainer utilizing positive reinforcement to train dolphins and had my passion for training instantly sparked. With an educational background in Marine Biology and Psychology, I realized over the years that working with dogs could provide much more fulfillment than marine mammals ever could. I lent my skills volunteering at animal shelters to help find animals their forever homes. I was devoted to the idea that training dogs could make a difference not only the animals life but also the lives of the owners and individuals I worked with. After all, helping people and working with animals was my ultimate goal! Working in both the shelter and rescue environment gave me insight into why owners may choose to no longer keep a pet. I am a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), as well as a professional member for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). I always look for opportunities to expand my knowledge and perfect my craft. I’m an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (C.G.C), an Evaluator for the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) program and AKC Trick Dog Evaluator. Continued education is of the upmost importance to me as a professional and believe whole heartedly in the use of positive reinforcement based methods to work with and train dogs.

What do you love about mentoring CATCH students?
What I love most about mentoring students with CATCH is having the amazing opportunity to work with and inspire the future dog trainers of this industry. Mentoring enthusiastic, passionate, eager to learn individuals that will one day be my allies in helping keep dogs in there forever homes proposes a significant joy.

How do you keep training fun for you and for your clients?
I have the utmost passion for educating clients and creating a learning environment that is enjoyable for both human and canine. Whether that be through games and exercises, or educating about the fascinating science behind animal behavior and learning theory, it is my ultimate goal to provide a service anyone, regardless of age, gender or skill set can be successful at. Cultivating a unique bond between pet and pet parent is a loving process that brings joy to all involved.

Meet More Mentor Trainers

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy Office Headquarters
24 Newark Pompton Turnpike Suite 206, Little Falls, NJ.
Phone: 877-752-2824