Our Team of Positive/Force Free Trainers
Natalie Hawkins has been professionally training dogs since she began Friends for Life; Holistic Pet Training in July of 2000. During her 19 years of working with people and their pets she has become a supporter of Force Free and Positive Methods training. She believes success in a relationship requires patients, guidance, support and understanding. Natalie uses scientifically proven methods to help families with their pets. As a pet dog trainer and owner of many dogs herself she understands the unique relationship dogs have with their families and how to best teach, guide and support that relationship. Natalie will never use pain, force or fear, shock, prong or choke collars on your dog! Natalie has 4 Australian Shepherds, Katy Rose, Newt, Lord Kelvin, and Quincy along with a beautiful DYH Amazon, a Canary and 11 chickens.
Professional Member of : CCPDT, APDT, ABBA, PPG and an AKC CGC Evaluator
Like so many of us in the pet industry Jenn grew up around animals and has spent her life caring for and working with them. Her extensive experience gained through Veterinary Hospitals, Kennels, Shelters and Ranches gave her all the knowledge and understanding to make a great dog trainer. She has been assisting Natalie Hawkins for over 6 years here at Friends for Life earning her the Friends for Life Certified Professional Dog Trainer Title (FFL-CPDT) and hopes to attain her own CPDT-KA shortly. Jenn is very patient and loves working with dogs and their people. Her respect for the dog/owner relationship and teaching style make her a fantastic trainer and teacher. Not to mention, with her degree in Graphic Design and talent as a Fine Artist, Jenn brings color and beauty with her creativity and passion to our business. She creates beautiful logos to accentuate our Company that makes us truly stand out from the crowd! Jenn has three dogs, Tater-tot, Wyatt Twerp and The Cisco Kid and a big handsome kitty, Shamus.
When not training dogs, Jenn can be found in her studio painting!
Nancy teaches Nosework classes and practice sessions at all levels. She is a certified Nosework instructor by NACSW. She enjoys teaching all levels of K9NW. “At the intro level, there is a joy in seeing the dogs blossom as they experience the freedom when doing what they were born to do: hunt and eat! At the higher levels, I like seeing the handler/dog teams’ communication skills improve.”
She has several Nosework titles, up through level 3. Her most notable achievement includes working with her Yorkie who spent his first year in a puppy mill and they worked through K9NW which helped him to heal and grow into a healthy, happy dog.
She believes that the most important thing to teach a dog or owner is to enjoy every step of the journey as they learn together. She feels that we dog owners owe it to our canine companions to have patience and to let the dog progress at his/her own speed.
Christi began training dogs professionally in the early 90’s, working for an AKC obedience judge. She was uncomfortable with some of his training methods and eventually opened her own obedience school in order to offer a better training experience for dogs and their humans. Christi believes that we owe it to our animals to be kind and loving in all areas, including their education, and has naturally gravitated over the years toward positive, force-free training. In her life-long quest to understand the canine mind and body, she has read extensively, taken many training classes herself, attended seminars from internationally recognized animal trainers, learned Dorn Therapy and become a Reiki Master.
She took time off from dog training to earn a graduate degree and worked in state government and public policy for some years, but ultimately decided that dog training brings her more joy. She has also worked as a veterinary technician, and co-owned a holistic vet clinic for 10 years.
Christi owns a performance company (www.flyndogsports.com) and she performs and competes all over the world with her amazing Frisbee dogs. She is particularly interested in bringing the joy of mutual play to others to enhance the human-animal bond.
Terri Wilson has been an avid dog lover and trainer since a child. Her first dog, a poodle, knew over a hundred tricks. Terri began teaching obedience professionally in 1978 in Raleigh, NC, teaching at various training centers and dog clubs. She started her own business in 1985, Willow Acres Dog Training, and has owned training centers in North Carolina and Oklahoma. She has taught obedience, conformation, tricks/freestyle, agility, rally, tracking, sheep herding and is currently certifying for scent-work. She actively competes in all these activities and is an AKC/AHBA herding judge. Terri Wilson, Willow Acres Dog Training "using Gentle Methods to produce Positive Results since 1985"
Hi, My name is Amy Fuester. I have always had a special place in my heart for dogs and I have always loved dogs ever since I was little. I decided to become a dog trainer when I was a junior in high school. I am now a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College.
Let me introduce myself and my philosophy on dog training.Years ago I was able to find my passion for dog training with just being around dogs. This passion then bloomed into a career path. Which lead to me studying to become a dog trainer, with Animal Behavior College. I was even able to get some practical training experience with a local dog rescue and also work alongside with another dog trainer.
I created Amy's Mountain Dog Training to help others achieve their goals that they have for their dog to help build a strong and everlasting bond. I would love to help you train your dog, from basic obedience and beyond! I believe in training with positive reinforcement as a key element.