Shannon is a professional dog trainer located in San Diego, CA. She offers professional dog training services via group and private lessons. Classes are affordable and address a variety of dog training needs for companion animals. Her specialties include formal obedience, scent work, tricks and most importantly working closely with families and children of all ages to ensure the entire family unit interacts safely and effectively with their new puppy.
Shannon has been training animals and people since 1991 when she started her 20 year career at Sea World of California working as a tour guide with the Education Department. Shannon quickly realized that by educating guests about the natural history of the plants and animals in the park, she could make a difference in how individuals respected and started conserving their environment. In 1993 she joined the Animal Care team in the park. As a Senior Animal Care Specialist, she has worked with beached, ill, injured, pregnant and neonatal animals. She has also trained animals on display for husbandry behaviors such as physical exams and blood samples or preparing them for shows and animal interaction areas. Her patience, confidence and ability to adapt her training styles to work with animals of varying ages and training experience, enhances her ability to teach others how to do the same.
Shannon has a strong understanding of classical and operant conditioning as well as the various types and schedules of reinforcements necessary to train all animals. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology, Shannon’s educational background further enhances her knowledge of animal training, behavior and natural history.
Shannon’s passion for training animals and helping people led her to start training dogs in 2001. In an effort to teach the humans at “the other end of the leash” as well as the dogs without relying on food, applying harsh punishments or using alpha dominance techniques, Shannon began working with dogs and their families bridging the communication gap between these two species. In 2007 she was on the Steering Committee as a training consultant for Pawsitive Teams, a local Service Dog Provider and Therapy Dog Prep School, assisting in teaching prep school classes and developing curriculum for their more advanced therapy prep classes.
Her desire to continue helping people and working with dogs lead her to the San Diego Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue program. Graduating from the San Diego Sheriff Department’s Search and Rescue Academy in May 2011, she was an active volunteer with her German Shepard named Sage in the K9 Unit. Shannon draws upon her dog training experiences and educational background to confidently work with and vary the training program to fit each families’ needs. Her specialty is working with children matching age appropriate tricks and games for healthy interactions.
“I have been training animals and teaching people for over 25 years. I absolutely enjoy working with both the owners and the dogs to help everyone reach their own individual goals. I believe in continuing education in the field of animal training and am committed to learning not only from other professionals in the field, but also from each family and dog that I work with every day. I am able to draw upon so many different training experiences to vary my approach as necessary and pass the fun of working with and understanding animal behavior on to you!”
Member APDT, Member IACP