Ali and Dax are cheering on one of
the other dogs in C-WAGS Rally Class.
Ali Brown graduated from Ursinus College with a B.S. in Psychology, and earned her M.Ed. in Human Development / Behavioral Science from Lehigh University. Working earlier in her career as a behavior therapist/consultant with mentally challenged children and adults, she made a fulfilling switch to working with dogs in 1998.
In 2001, Ali became one of the first 100 trainers to receive her CPDT certificate (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). In May 2008, she became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Ali takes great pride in providing non-force training methods for dogs and their people. Ali was a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) for 15 years and served on multiple committees as well as serving on the Board of Directors for a 3 year term.
She lives, trains and works with Bing, a 10-year-old Belgian Sheepdog whose abilities and antics qualify him for his own section of this Website, and Tango, a 'little white fluffy' rescue, who is technically her daughter's dog, but has earned multiple titles with both Ali and Cyan (age 7). Pictured to the right with Ali is Dax, a Belgian Tervuren who joined the family as a puppy in August 2014.
Ali is a great believer in forever learning. She attends seminars, IAABC conferences and Clicker Expo conferences regularly. She attended the first two Nose Work seminars on the East Coast. The first was in April 2010: Intro to Nose Work and was presented by Jill-Marie O'Brien and Amy Herot. The second, Intro to Odor, took place in June 2011. Her interest in scent work has evolved into becoming a Scent Detectives judge at all levels. Great Companions runs regular Scent classes, and they are very popular.
Part of Ali's evolution as a trainer has been to learn how to work more effectively with kids and dog. Having a kid of her own has enabled her to be even more effective in helping families to effectively juggle childrens' and canines' needs in the home, fostering a peaceful existence. Ali's own daughter has earned four titles on her dog before the age of 7.Ali currently competes with her dogs in rally, agility, obedience and scent.
Mardi has been involved in agility for 20+years. She and her husband both compete regularly with their golden retrievers. Her husband is also an AKC agility judge.
Mardi has earned the Master Agility Championship with three of her golden retrievers. She has also done some competing (at a novice level) in obedience and field. Her dog Sassy is her most accomplished dog title wise and has also produced three litters of puppies. Those pups are Mardi's pride and joy and she feels blessed to have seen them go to loving homes where they also get to compete in agility, field, tracking and obedience.
Agility for Mardi is her avocation. She loves to watch dogs learn, especially young pups. The training she enjoys is all positive based and will work with you to create a positive experience for you and your dog while learning agility.
Michael Girvin has always had a love of dogs. He spent many hours as a kid with family and neighbor's dogs, whether it was just hanging out on the lawn or taking them as a great fishing partner.
After two years of college, Michael joined the US Army and became a part of the K-9 Corps. He worked with two dogs, one a German Shepherd Dog, the other a Rottweiler. The methods used to train these dogs were harsh (now changing). This never sat well with him. After leaving the Army, Michael quickly joined the civilian police force. During his time as a police officer he started to research different ways to train dogs. He continued to train dogs for family and friends.
After retiring in 2004, Michael was ready to open up his own dog training business, The K-9 Connection LLC, a successful all in-home dog training business in Eastern PA/Western NJ. He has attended an online program, seminars, and webinars, and continually learns the newest techniques in positive reinforcement dog training. Michael is passionate about conducting training by attaining a mutual trust, love and respect with his clients and their dogs. He is currently a professional member of the APDT.