Leslie Gottesman started at Dulles Gateway Dog Training Club as a student in puppy class with her adopted dog, Pixie. Pixie is a troubled dog, and the search for strategies to help with the challenges of reactivity sparked Leslie’s interest in training and helped her to discover the merits of gentle and positive reinforcement. She has since adopted a second dog from the same rescue and continues the learning/training process with both. No stranger to animal training and behavior, Leslie has been riding for 45+ years and training horses professionally for the last 16.
She began volunteering with DGDTC as an assistant instructor for Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Obedience, and Canine Good Citizen prep/test and progressed to teaching Puppy Kindergarten. Leslie is also a volunteer with Therapy Dogs International and both of her dogs are certified therapy dogs. They visit weekly with elderly residents in the area. Both dogs also are competitive in flyball, running with the Obsessed K9s team. She dabbles in agility and has done a little competing in that sport, too. She has attended several training seminars at Your Dogs Friend which were focused on positive training, as well as a “Sociability vs. Aggression Thresholds in Dogs” seminar with Sue Sternberg.
Barb Peters became an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator because not every dog owner is interested in canine sports or obedience competitions. Some just want a well-mannered dog they can take to dog friendly events. Others want to share their dog in Animal Assisted Therapy as a Therapy Dog. Utilizing positive reinforcement training methods, Barb can help you and your dog achieve these goals. She has taught Puppy Kindergarten and CGC classes for DGDTC.
Clarissa Bergeman is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and regularly attends seminars in addition to being a professional member of several organizations for dog trainers. In addition to her private training business, Clarissa has been a volunteer instructor for DGDTC for the past 15 years and has taught a variety of classes from Basic Obedience to Clicks for Tricks to Advanced Rally Obedience. Clarissa is a force-free trainer who loves sharing her knowledge of positive reinforcement techniques while helping pet owners train and strengthen the bond with their dogs. She believes training should be fun for both canines and their humans. National recognition includes an article profiling her in a past issue of The Chronicle of the Dog published by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
Several years ago Clarissa and her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Anny B, were honored to be the 14th ranked team in the nation in APDT Rally competition. In order to help instruct others in this fun sport of rally and using Anny as a demo dog, Clarissa and her husband, George, published Ready to Rally, an APDT-sanctioned guide to rally. Ready to Rally received a nomination for Best Video of the Year by The Dog Writers Association of America, and it has been sold throughout the United States as well as in several other countries. In addition to these activities, Anny and Clarissa partnered to give trick shows at senior-citizen venues, the local animal shelter, town events and in other settings. With both competition and trick shows as goals, Clarissa is now having fun training her enthusiastic young Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Simon TDCH. Simon recently earned his Trick Dog Championship title, the highest trick title attainable, and is only the sixth Pembroke to do so.