Part of Ali's evolution as a trainer has been to learn how to work more effectively with kids and dog. Having a kid of her own has enabled her to be even more effective in helping families to effectively juggle childrens' and canines' needs in the home, fostering a peaceful existence. Ali's own daughter has earned four titles on her dog before the age of 7.Ali currently competes with her dogs in rally, agility, obedience and scent.
Mardi has been involved in agility for 20+years. She and her husband both compete regularly with their golden retrievers. Her husband is also an AKC agility judge.
Mardi has earned the Master Agility Championship with three of her golden retrievers. She has also done some competing (at a novice level) in obedience and field. Her dog Sassy is her most accomplished dog title wise and has also produced three litters of puppies. Those pups are Mardi's pride and joy and she feels blessed to have seen them go to loving homes where they also get to compete in agility, field, tracking and obedience.
Agility for Mardi is her avocation. She loves to watch dogs learn, especially young pups. The training she enjoys is all positive based and will work with you to create a positive experience for you and your dog while learning agility.
Kailly Muthard started her journey training dogs in 2013 when she adopted a reactive puppy named Ludo. It was because of him that she found Great Companions and the world of clicker training. Because of the need for behavior modification for both Ludo and her late pit bull, Sarah, Kailly gained great knowledge in the areas of reactivity and separation anxiety through experiential learning.
She was approached by Ali to begin an apprenticeship program at Great Companions in 2014 and completed that program in 2017. During that time she also attended and graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy for Training and Behavior, in 2016, as a Dog Trainer Professional. By day, Kailly is a Master's Level Social Worker at a local hospital.
Kailly's goal is to be an ambassador for clicker training and to reach those who would otherwise use traditional training methods. Kailly hopes that others will experience, through her instruction, an improved appreciation and understanding of their pet's learning abilities and, of course, have fun doing it!
Michael Girvin has always had a love of dogs. He spent many hours as a kid with family and neighbor's dogs, whether it was just hanging out on the lawn or taking them as a great fishing partner.
After two years of college, Michael joined the US Army and became a part of the K-9 Corps. He worked with two dogs, one a German Shepherd Dog, the other a Rottweiler. The methods used to train these dogs were harsh (now changing). This never sat well with him. After leaving the Army, Michael quickly joined the civilian police force. During his time as a police officer he started to research different ways to train dogs. He continued to train dogs for family and friends.
After retiring in 2004, Michael was ready to open up his own dog training business, The K-9 Connection LLC, a successful all in-home dog training business in Eastern PA/Western NJ. He has attended an online program, seminars, and webinars, and continually learns the newest techniques in positive reinforcement dog training. Michael is passionate about conducting training by attaining a mutual trust, love and respect with his clients and their dogs. He is currently a professional member of the APDT.