Meet The Family
What sets Mother of Dog apart from other dog training companies out there? We are all about family! We live on a 14 acre beginner homestead in Oswego County with our 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 fish and a nice little flock of chickens. And when your dog is here with us, they are part of the family too!
Hi, I'm Jess!
I have a bachelors degree in Animal Biotechnology and Conservation: Zoo Science from Delaware Valley College (now Delaware Valley University) in PA. I have been training dogs professional for 10+ years. I am a certified ACK evaluator and a certified e-collar trainer as well. So, I have a wide variety of skills and tools for training all different types of dogs AND PEOPLE! I believe that having an expansive tool belt with knowledge of all different forms of training and tools is the best thing a dog trainer can have. Every dog learns differently. Just like every child, every human, every individual being learns differently. Why limit ourselves to only one style of training if that training doesn’t work for a specific individual? I have trained every type of dog for almost every type of behavior. From 3 lb teacup chihuahuas to 180 lb mastiffs. From simple potty training to severe aggression issues.
I am also a loving and dedicated mother to my human son, Colton. As well as all our animal "children", 3 dogs- Tanner, Trinity and Trigger, 2 cats- Ficus and Forrest, 1 beta fish- Tuga and our flock of 10 chickens. There are so many similarities between raising well rounded, fun and respectful children and training well rounded, fun, and respectful dogs. I think being a mom gives me a huge advantage over many other trainers because my kid tests my training skills and teaches me new things every day!
Everyone says their dogs are like their kids. While, there are definitely a lot of things that transfer to both human and fur babies, there are some major differences too. Those differences are also something I am very passionate about teaching. I love helping people learn and understand how their dogs learn and understand things. This is why I have created my own podcast, “Mother of Dog” , discussing some of the similarities and differences between training dogs and raising kids. You can check it out here https://anchor.fm/motherofdog.jp
I believe that whether you think of your dogs as "just your dogs" or "your furry children", they are still very important members of your family that deserve the best life has to offer. My goal is to make sure you can have the most happy and cohesive family possible using motivation, relationship building, basic obedience skills, and FUN! So, whether it’s just you and your dog or you, your dog, your spouse, and 1,2,3,4,5 children…. I would love to help you all build a strong, healthy, loving relationship with your dog(s) based on respect and understanding that will last a lifetime. This way everyone in the family can live their best life together as a true pack!
Property Manager/ Assistant Trainer/ Dad
Meet my husband, Jon.
Jon has an associates degree in Business from Manor College and a bachelors degree in Sports Management from Delaware Valley College in PA. He has coached basketball with kids as young as 3-4 years old with Boys and Girls Club, all the way up through being an assistant coach for the mens basketball program at Montgomery Community College in Pennsylvania for 3 years. His coaching skills help him immensely with not only the dogs in our programs but also the pet parents!
Aside from coaching, Jon has extensive animal and specifically dog experience. He worked as a farm hand at Merry Mead Farm in PA. He also worked as a kennel attendant at Main Line Animal Shelter (one of the largest animals shelters in the US). Plus, after moving to the CNY area in 2013, he worked at Fairmount Animal Hospital as a veterinary assistant, kennel manager and property manager for 6 years.
Now, he manages our farm, our home (and our child a lot of the time). He also helps me a lot with dogs that may be a little more nervous around men or need appropriate restraint for nail trims, or administering certain medications and such. He is also a skilled craftsman and makes a lot of cool dog related merchandise. I can't imagine having a more perfect partner by my side in this business!
Assistant Trainer/ Professional Distractor/ Kid
Colton is an essential part of the team, and has been with Mother of Dog since the very beginning. In fact, he CREATED Mother of Dog by giving me my most cherished job in life, being a mom. He makes me a better trainer every day by pushing me to think outside the box and train in the most thoughtful and caring ways possible. He also does a great job exposing dogs to children in a controlled manner and serves as a wonderful distraction almost always!
Fur and Feathers!
Training Assistants/ Distractions/ Exposure specialists
All our animals play important parts in both this family and as assistant trainers for Mother of Dog!
Tanner is our14 year old Pomeranian mix. He is the dog that started it all. He was my first "child". He was the first dog I ever got that was all mine and completely my responsibility. I adopted him from the Humane Society in PA in 2011. He was estimated to be 3.5 years old at the time and had been returned twice. He wasn't completely house broken and he had pretty bad separation, crate, and car anxiety. He was my guinea pig for so much of my training before I was a "professional trainer". He is sweet, cuddly and small but he is also still very feisty and full of energy at times. He loves other dogs and is usually the first one to get new dogs to "engage".
Trinity is our 11 year old Border Collie/ Pit mix. She was my first "work dog" even though I quickly discovered she doesn't like to "work", but if it feels like a game she is all in!! I adopted her from Helping Hounds in 2013 when she was 2.5 years old. She had also been returned twice for being to energetic and also having some dog reactivity. Well, energy was just what I was looking for at the time and the reactivity, we worked through. She is now pretty neutral with dogs. She doesn't like to engage with them in play but she has a very high tolerance now for other dogs' non-sense. She now trusts me implicitly that if I have control of a dog, she does not have to control the situation and I won't let anything bad happen to her. If I have training dogs that need exposure to dogs that will not engage with them, Trinity is my go to helper.
Trigger is "the baby" at 8 years old. He is a Border Collie/ Australian Cattle Dog mix and he is every bit both those breeds. He is the showy one. The one that ALWAYS wants to work/play. The one that sleeps with both eyes open. He is a ball of nerves and energy and has probably tested my training skills more than any other dog. He is so much fun and wants to work all the time. Which was great before having kids but now, a lot of his training also consists of training an "off switch" . His high energy and high drive helps me get dogs used to listening around high energy distractions. He also helps me learn all kinds of new and fun trick skills that we can then transfer to you and your dog(s) once their basic training is solid.
Ficus is our grey and black tabbycat that isn't afraid if anything. She will catch spiders, flys, mice, snakes, anything. She will also just walk right up to any dog and totally un-nerve them. She is a great "first cat" for most dogs to be exposed to.
Forrest is a grey and white short haired domestic and just generally a big lump of a cat. He would prefer his only jobs in life to be eating and sleeping. So, dogs' "happy-go-lucky" energy is not his scene. He may be around while we are training but he will not be coming out to say hi. However, he also has no problem telling every dog that comes up to him that he DOES NOT want to be their buddy!
The Chickens provide a unique type of distraction that not all trainers have access to. They can help curb prey drive and just expose some dogs to something they have never seen before.