Success Stories 4
At CATCH, some of our proudest moments are when our students and graduates start their own successful businesses, or get hired by the best in the business.
Heather Zurisko, CCDT
Owner, Canine Kind, Pittsburgh, PA
Heather Zurisko is passionate about the incredible bond we humans share with our beloved dogs. She finds great joy and inspiration in helping owners understand their dog’s behavior and biological needs so that each may unlock the full potential of a harmonious human-canine relationship. Heather’s greatest devotion as a trainer lies in ensuring dogs are trained in ways that allow them to flourish as well-adjusted family pets with forever homes. When she’s not working with Caninekind clients, Heather volunteers her time and expertise to both Animal Friends and the Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh.
Denise McDermott, CCDT
Owner, Pawsitive Strides, Nassau and Suffolk County
Denise’s Training Philosophy:
Finding the right balance in dog training is the best start in our book! By listening to your story and watching their behavior, we can work with you to find solutions to help break unwanted behaviors and ensure you and your dog can live together happily and communicate effectively.
Nora Torrey, CCDT
Trainer, All Dogs Allowed, Cary, NC
A Passion for Dogs:
Nora has an extensive customer service and medical admin background, however, she also had a passion for working with dogs her whole life and has volunteered at animal sanctuaries and shelters on and off for years. In 2017, she decided to quit her desk job and start her own pet care business. Getting to work with more dogs every day (and learning their body language) naturally led to dog training. Nora loves getting to work with both dogs and their owners to help them develop and strong, happy relationship. In her spare time Nora can be found taking long walks with any variety of dog – either her own or clients! She also is passionate about continuing her training education through reading, observing other trainers, or falling into the online dog training world.
Arie Ebaugh, CCDT, CPDT-KA, MS
Owner, Pups Unleashed, LLC, Lancaster and York Counties, PA
A Scientific Approach to Training:
Arie Ebaugh is the founder and owner of Pups Unleashed. Arie a life-long lover of animals, especially dogs, and passionate about animal rights and welfare. A former high school biology teacher, she has a strong background in biological science and teaching, both of which she brings to her dog training sessions. After years of teaching high school, she decided to follow her dream of working with animals and founded Pups Unleashed. She has earned several degrees, including a Master of Science degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska. The principles of classical and operant conditioning are the foundation of her training protocols. She takes a scientific approach to training, applying the most recent, reward-based training methods to improve behavior and build relationships between humans and their pups.
Deb Murray, CCDT, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA & CATCH Mentor
Owner, Pepper’s Paws, LLC, Exton, PA
Deb has extensive experience working with rescue and shelter dogs and has 4 rescue dogs of her own. Her specialties are helping dogs adjust to new homes, getting puppies started on the right training path with their new families, basic manners training, and resolving nuisance behaviors. Deb’s clients love to work with her because she makes training fun and she gets results too!
Agnes Kavalecz, CCDT
Owner, Let’s Get Pawsitive, Cameron, NC
The Importance of Positive-Reinforcement:
After I earned my certification I focused on positive reinforcement training, a scientifically proven method to help problematic behavior. I do not believe in using fear, intimidation or any other aversive training methods, as these types of approaches can cause aggression and lots of side effects to your dog. My goal is to build a positive foundation for you and your dog. Redirecting an unwanted action with a behavior you approve of will decrease the frequency of the undesirable act.
Pam Tuss, CCDT, CPDT-KA & CATCH Mentor
Owner, Obedient Pups, Sacramento, CA
Pam believes in respecting owners and their beloved pets: this is why she supports the association for Force-free professionals and values reward-based training strategies and positive reinforcement techniques that have a great impact on the psyche of your dog and lasting good behaviors. The best thing about reward-based dog training is that it can be adapted for any behavior and any breed. But understand that the reward doesn’t have to always be food. It can be praise, a toy or just going outside to play. With a good understanding of how your dog is motivated you can do almost anything from basic training to agility training.
Kathy Wolff, CCDT
Owner, Mosaic Dog Training, Watertown, WI
Kathy’s Stance on Science:
I use only science-based force-free dog training techniques which focus on the behaviors we want and modify or eliminate the behaviors that we don’t. I will empower you, the owner by educating you in the concepts of humane, non-confrontational, pain and fear free methods. By taking the environment and how it influences your dog’s behavior into consideration first, we can create a program that will address the root of the reason the behavior exists. These methods create lifelong bonds of trust between you and your canine companion.
Amy Sternberg, CPDT-KA
Owner, Doggone Special, New York, NY
The Language of Dogs:
Amy is committed to providing her clients with the most current and effective positive reinforcement training techniques by avidly pursuing ongoing, continuing education and professional development. She believes that “to better prepare and train dogs to live with us, we need to have more empathy for them. Our dogs have been brought into our homes and the human world often with our expectation that they should know our rules and etiquette. We may get annoyed or angry when they behave in ways that we don’t like such as barking, jumping, chewing, mouthing, or digging. It’s important to recognize that these are very natural and normal dog behaviors. With this in mind, punishing or reprimanding our dogs really isn’t fair, especially when they don’t speak our language and can’t understand why we don’t like certain behaviors they do. With positive reinforcement, we can get polite, well behaved dogs without resorting to punishment or coercion.”