My Training

I was privileged to work with Bob Minchella in Rochester, NY. Six years were spent working with my dogs and 3 of those as a teaching assistant (6-10 hrs/week, 50-70 dogs/week , changing every 6 weeks).

Dog and Kids

In full classes of dogs of varying size, age, attitude, and energy level, I learned to read and respond to the nuances of the language of “dog” to help dog-owners and their dogs succeed. I worked with 130 different breeds from every group, plus mixed breeds, mostly shelter dogs and rescues often with behavior issues.

I learned a calm, clear, consistent, rewards-based approach to dog training which allows even first time owners and those with difficult dogs to see results. I learned to fine-tune method and technique to the needs of individual dogs (from shy, fearful, sensitive, socially-deficient dogs to difficult, aggressive dogs) always with positive reinforcement for doing the right thing.

Dog and Girls

Working hands-on with someone who's spent 30 plus years — 18 years in a shelter, teaching up to 25 classes a week — successfully processing and applying new information to family dogs with serious behavior issues has given me the tools to know, "when we do this," "when we do that and why" to help dogs and owners succeed.

I'm always learning: reading, studying the work of nationally and internationally respected trainers from pure positive to traditional trainers; volunteering at a shelter and rescue to work with dogs, to improve my handling and to learn from them. I also learn from my clients' dogs. My goal is to find the gentlest technique that a dog responds to and train owners to be calm, clear, consistent and better understand their dogs.

How I Train

  • Calm, clear, consistent leadership
  • Praise, patience, practice
  • Respecting dog and owner

Experience with My Dogs

Successfully raising two female rot/shepherd littermates in a busy city yard.

Learning to overcome the “buts”...

...but they’re littermates

...but they’re rot/shepherds

...but they’re two females

...but they’re nervous dogs in a city

...but they don’t like other dogs

Ellie and Nyah were born in 2005. We brought them home at about 9 weeks. They're still here!

Dogs Sleeping

Relevant Experience

  • Volunteer at the Geman Shepherd Rescue of Central NY and Cortland SPCA 2011-2014
  • Volunteer Humane Educator at Lollypop Farm for 4.5 years
  • Pet Peeves Training at Lollypop Farm
  • Barkleigh Behavior Conference with Sarah Wilson Fall 2008
  • Red Cross Pet First Aid and Petsaver Training
  • Dogs At Play doggie daycare substitute, Dog training class assistant
  • Dog Bite Prevention
  • CGC evaluator
  •  40+ years teaching children/youth in formal and informal learning environments
  • Training dogs since fall 2005
  • Working with dogs and owners since 2007
  • 6 hour workshop with Debbie Jacobs of Fearful Dogs Fall 2014
  • On-line SPARKS 2013, 2014; CAAB chats (Animal Behavior Associates) 2013 to present
  • BEN member 2017 to present
Call: 607-591-7806

Copyright © 2019 Margie Hillenbrand. All rights reserved.