Our Trainers

For more information on our trainers, hover over their pictures below.

For current classes please click here.

Susan Coleman

Susan has been a renowned positive reinforcement dog trainer on Cleveland’s west side for almost 7 years. She received her certification from a national pet retailer which provided hands on experience with all types of dogs. Susan formed her own dog training company, Canine Concierge in 2016 so that she can expand her personalized service to include in home visits to better address issues pet parents have with their dogs. Susan’s philosophy is “I help people train their dogs from a position of leadership so that they can live harmoniously as a family unit”.

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Karin Kirtner

Karin became fascinated with dog training in 2004 while training her dog as a therapy dog. She started the first therapy dog reading program at Olmsted Falls City schools. In 2009 Karin became an assistant dog trainer to Christy Paxton of Christy Paxton’s Hand In Paw.  She opened Brilliant Behaviors in 2018. Karin is also an evaluator for the AKC  Canine Good Citizen program and AKC Trick Dog titles. She offers group and private training sessions. She works with dogs that are learning their basic cues, to dogs with fear and aggression issues. All dogs benefit from information delivered in a clear and kind manner. Kindness is key. Helping people build a stronger bond with their dog is her joy and her passion.

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Cindy Hoppes

Cindy Hoppes believes that trained dogs = happy owners.  But she also believes that trained dogs lead better lives and are happier than their untrained brethren.  That is why she enjoys helping people train their dogs.  She is certified through International Association of Canine Professionals, referred to by multiple vet clinics, supports Canine Companions for Independence and The Rescue Inn is an AKC CGC evaluator and a certified Trick Dog Instructor and has been training professionally since 2006.  In addition to obedience training, Cindy does behavioral work using a system called TBTE (Training Between the Ears) that was developed by Mark McCabe.  This system is ideal for helping dogs who are anxious, hyperactive, fearful or reactive.  

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Maddi

Maddi has been an animal lover all her life. After working with Valarie on training her dogs she was inspired to also become a positive reinforcement dog trainer. She has attached Catch Canine Trainers Academy and is working towards becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Enrichment Technician. Maddi has a special interest in working with puppies and hopes to focus on separation anxiety cases in the future. She is passionate about helping her clients create happy, health, and well-behaved dogs. When not training she enjoys reading, crafts, time with her dogs Jax and Tara, and time with her new husband Chris.

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Jennifer Smith

Jennifer has been involved in the dog training and educating world for over 40 years. Her experience includes: training and showing in obedience , Behavior Analysis, Dog Emotion and Cognition Degree from Duke University ,therapy dog training and work, educational seminars on dog behavior, ownership of a very wide variety of breeds and dog temperaments over the years,  conformation training and showing, consulting with top breeders/handlers on behavioral concerns ,grooming, and in home training programs.

 

Jennifer currently shares her certified therapy Rough Collie dog  (Sindy) with students and adults all over the Cleveland area focusing on anxiety reduction. Jennifer’s 2- Standard Poodles and 2 -Standard Dachshunds are confirmation and obedience trained and anxiously await the opening of dog shows when Covid lifts! All of her dogs are house dogs and  beloved members of her family and community.

Valarie

Valarie has been working with and training animals for as long as she can remember. After fostering a dog named Mitchell, she was inspired by another dog trainer to change career paths. Since that time she has become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and is working towards becoming a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor and Certified Behavior Consultant. Valarie finds working with dogs that struggle with anxiety, fear, reactivity, and aggression very rewarding. She enjoys working one on one with dedicated guardians. When not training she enjoys reading, traveling with her wife Hannah, watching Schitt’s Creek on repeat, kayaking, hiking with her dogs Gracie Bean and Phoenix, and spending time with her horse, Anja.

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