Stephanie Kowalewski, M.Div., CPDT-KA
Owner/Director of Training and Behavior
Stephanie has been professionally training dogs for over 10 years. Upon earning her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Stephanie felt that her true “calling” was working professionally with dogs and made her passion into her profession. She trained under some of the top trainers in New Jersey, and was an instructor at the nationally recognized St. Hubert’s Dog Training School in Madison, NJ. Stephanie is also certified AKC CGC Evaluator.
She believes that positive training strengthens the bond between dogs and their humans, and that is the only true way to achieve behavior modification. She regularly attends training and behavior seminars in order to increase her knowledge and skill set. Believing strongly in networking, Stephanie is in constant communication with other trainers in order to share thoughts, ideas and methodologies.
She currently resides in Lawrenceville, New Jersey with her husband, two children and their Portuguese Water Dog Daisy Mae, rescue pup Bug, and German Short-haired Pointer Archie. Daisy is a Canine Good Citizen and the others are well on their way! Stephanie also enjoys doing Canine Nose Work and tinkers with Canine Freestyle Dance.
Lynn Robinson, CPDT-KA, CNWI (Certified Nose Work Instructor)
Like many trainers, Lynn began her career in dog training after adopting a very aggressive puppy. Her desire to learn more and “fix” the problem lead to turning her passion into her profession, and has been professionally training dogs for 10+ years.
Lynn completed ITC (Instructor’s Training Course) in 2008 and 2009. While studying under some of the world’s premier dog trainers, she gained the tools for effective classroom management and instruction. She has also competed in the show ring with her English Setter, Guinevere and handled the Grand Champion Leonberger to his first win! She also participates in Disc Dog with her Belgian Tervuren, Aslan. She has regularly fostered dogs in need, and the latest has become a foster-failure (meant to foster but fell in love), Babycakes, who is just plain cute.
In 2009, while attending a seminar, Lynn discovered her latest passion, the sport of Canine Nosework. To this end, she has spent the past several years studying and teaching these new and exciting classes.
Lynn also has a huge interest in the well-being and health of our four-legged friends. She is well versed in canine nutrition, supplementation, and consults on nutritional management.
Lynn resides in Yardley, Pennsylvania with her husband, three boys, four dogs and seven fish in clicker training.
CPDT-KA, CDBC, CC
Adrienne Carson has been training dogs, helping owners, and working with shelter and rescue dogs full time since 1996. An honors graduate of the Counseling Certificate program at the San Francisco Academy for Dog Trainers, she is also a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and certified behavior counselor (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors. In the early years of her career, Adrienne was one of just 50 trainers selected nationally to learn from and work with some of the top behaviorists and trainers in the field in an intensive educational program.
That experience led her to accept a position at a busy Morris County animal welfare center, a position that afforded her with the opportunity to become one of the most experienced trainers in the area. At the animal welfare center, Adrienne taught all levels of pet classes, eventually specializing in a class for dog-aggressive and reactive dogs. She also developed a supervised playgroup, which has been operating successfully since the mid 2000s. As Senior Behavior Consultant, Adrienne was also selected to work in the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, evaluating and rehabilitating dogs from some of the largest animal cruelty cases in the country.
Today, Adrienne is excited to be able to share her expertise with her own clients through her business, Live and Learn Dogs. Adrienne loves teaching people to read dog body language, and to show people how best to communicate with their dogs so that training is effective and efficient. She also loves to work with other trainers, and is often called in as a consultant for cases involving aggression. Maintaining good relationships with colleagues in the field is a priority because Adrienne believes that when trainers collaborate everyone benefits.
When she is not working, Adrienne loves to be outdoors. Her favorite place to be is near a body of water, whether it be the ocean, or her backyard pond. She lives in Warren County with her husband, daughter, and a houseful of much loved pets.
Nicole (Lorenzetti) Yuhas, CPDT-KA
Nicole has been working with dogs for over 10 years beginning in a dog kennel at just 16 years old. After earning herself a full scholarship for acting at Rider University, she spent most of her college career either on stage, building sets, or doing her favorite job: stage managing the musical productions (running all technical aspects of a stage production from pre-production to the time the audience leaves the theatre). Despite her love of the art form, she knew that pursuing the difficult life of technical theatre (let alone acting) after graduation was not the life for her. She went back to basics and continued to work with dogs in boarding and at veterinary offices as a veterinary assistant.
It was after moving out on her own and getting her current dog, an Australian Shepherd named Renegade (after the Styx song!) and taking lots of classes at Heavenly Hounds with him, that all the light bulbs went off in her head and she determined that training dogs was where she wanted to focus her energy! She has since apprenticed for two years at Heavenly Hounds, attended numerous training seminars and completed ITC (Instructor’s Training Course) in 2014, studying under some of the best dog trainers in the world. She also recently became a certified professional dog trainer in the spring of 2016 (CPDT-KA) by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Nicole prides herself in combining the skills she gained in college, through her time perusing theatre, with her love of training to help direct owners on how to use their whole bodies, voices and energy to help communicate with their dogs in order to strengthen their bond and increase understanding.
When not working or training you can find her at her home in Hamilton, New Jersey with her brand new husband, her dog Renegade, who is a Canine Good Citizen, and their cat, Caffrey (who is also undergoing training).
Jess Verderame, CPDT-KA
Jess has been training dogs for nearly seven years. Before becoming a dog trainer, she earned her BA in Psychology and her Elementary Education Certificate from Rutger’s University. Jess worked in early childhood education as a teacher for six years and eventually became the school’s director for four additional years. It is this experience that helped to tie her love for both children and dogs together. Believing that children and dogs should have mutual respect for each other, Jess loves working with families and people of all ages to make the family dog or puppy a welcomed and well-behaved addition to their homes.
After she and her husband got married, they decided their home could never be complete without a dog. Three months later they got their first whippet puppy, Zero. Jess went straight out to sign up for training class. Her trainer happened to be none other than Stephanie herself. After taking multiple classes with Stephanie, Jess became hooked and began studying under Stephanie and Lynn to become a trainer. As she began her training career, she opted to leave her job as childcare director and devote herself to training dogs and starting a family. It was around this time that they got their second whippet, Sookie.
Jess and her dogs have participated in Dog Agility, Nosework, and Disc Dog and also enjoy learning new tricks. She resides in Hamilton with her husband and their adorable little boy who loves (and respects) his buddies Zero, now a Canine Good Citizen, and Sookie.
Katelyn grew up around dogs her whole life. She first caught the dog training bug when her mother, Tricia, started training in 2008, when Katelyn was only fourteen years old. Ever since then Katelyn has developed a love for working with people and their dogs and helping to foster a family’s bond with its pet.
After losing her brother in 2009, Katelyn, at only 15, was able to get her own dog, and Icelandic Sheepdog named Albie. As a new dog owner Katelyn was able to develop her handing skills by attending many different training classes together. They participated in nose work, agility, disc dog and eventually therapy dog classes. Through their hard work and strong bond Albie was able to obtain her Canine Good Citizen, or CGC, title as well as her Novice Trick Dog, TKN, title from the American Kennel Club.
Now Katelyn has added Henry Pomchester, a 2 year old certified therapy dog to her family. Throughout her six years as a professional dog trainer Katelyn has helped many dog-handler teams on their journey to becoming therapy teams. Her family’s organization, Attitudes In Reverse, a 501 c3 non-profit whose mission is to educate youth about good mental health, works closely with therapy dog teams in order to help people maintain good mental health through their love of dogs.
Katelyn is a certified CGC evaluator for the AKC and continues to hone her skills as a dog trainer. She is
currently studying for her Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) test this fall.
Melinda Berger, CPDT-KA, CDBC
Melinda is a long- time practitioner of force-free, positive reinforcement dog training with 20 years professional experience. She is a Nationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.
Melinda is a graduate of Peaceable Paws Academy, a canine training academy, owned and operated by Pat Miller, award winning author, and Training Editor of The Whole Dog Journal. She also attended numerous courses at The Harvard University Extension including Canine Ethology and The Learned Dog.
As a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator, Melinda is a part of an international group of professionals providing expert support, guidance, and resources for families with babies and young children.
At Dream Dogs Training in Bucks County, PA. Melinda offers private in-home training programs tailored to the student’s needs.
Melinda lives in Bucks County PA with her wonderful husband and two Standard Poodles. Together they also have two grown sons and two grand-daughters.
Valerie Casperite, CPDT-KA, CNWI
Valerie has been training dogs and their people professionally for more than 12 years. To devote more time to this passion, she gave up her position as director of corporate programs at an international language school, where she experienced firsthand the struggles of people trying to learn a second or third language. She sees those struggles as being very similar to the challenges dogs face when trying to learn human language. She also sees the frustration people sometimes feel when interacting with non-native speakers as being similar to the frustration dog-owners feel when trying to “get through” to their dogs. Her goal as a trainer is to help students bring out the best in their canine companions through clearer communication. She believes that success motivates both students and dogs and she loves seeing the difference that positive training can make in dog-and-handler relationships.
Valerie teaches a variety of group classes at Heavenly Hounds and other South Jersey facilities in addition to instructing private clients in their homes through her own business, A Better Trained Dog LLC. She stays current in her profession by continuing to attend seminars on dog training, animal behavior and learning. Her credentials include:
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers)
- One of the first five K9 Nose Work® Instructors to be certified in NJ (National Association of Canine Scent Work)
- Diploma of Canine Behavior Science and Technology (Companion Animal Sciences Institute)
- Certificate of Professional Dog Training Science and Technology (Companion Animal Sciences Institute)
- Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and STAR Puppy Evaluator (American Kennel Club)
Currently, Valerie has six German Shorthaired Pointers, all of whom she has personally handled to their many titles and achievements:
Seamus, who has earned AKC Rally, Cyber Rally-O, CRO Dance, CGC, Hunting and K9 Nose Work® titles; Lucy, a conformation Grand Champion with AKC Rally, Cyber Rally-O, Hunt, CGC and K9 Nose Work® titles and a GSPCA Versatility Award; Annabelle, who has earned CGC, Hunt, and Cyber Rally-O Titles while working toward her conformation Championship and K9 Nose Work® title; and Fiona, who at 18 months old is just one show shy of her conformation Championship and has already earned CGC, Hunt, and K9 Nose Work® titles. Max and Mia (15 and 12 years old respectively), who have earned the right to rest on their laurels! Their achievements include: Certified Therapy Dog, Rally Obedience titles, CGC titles, Hunt titles and numerous VALOR Agility titles.
Valerie resides in Beverly, NJ with her husband, their dogs, and two cockatiels. In her not-so-spare-time she enjoys simply playing with her dogs, writing training articles for “The Shorthair Journal” and jamming with her musician friends.