Meet Our Trainers
I have been involved in the sport of dogs since I was eight years old and checked out Milo Pearsall’s “Obedience Training Your Dog” from the local public library. I was enthralled with the visions that the book opened up for me and proceeded to train, not only my family’s own collies and mutts, but every dog in the neighborhood that happened to venture through our backyard. No fences or leash laws in those days in rural Indiana.
While I was a sophomore at UCLA, I acquired a sheltie mix puppy from the pound, snuck him into my “no dogs allowed” apartment and took him to class with me every day. While passing Stoner Park one evening, I spotted a dog obedience class in session and decided that “Bandit” and I should enroll. I was hooked and Bandit and I went on to attend classes all the way through Utility. In those days, there were no formal degrees for mixed breeds, but we were able to get the equivalent of our All American UD by competing in match competition.
In 1974, my husband and I moved to Malibu and I became an assistant trainer for Haleridge Kennels. Evelyn and Jimmy Hale raised English and Irish Setters and had raised and trained the Irish that were used in the making of “Big Red”. I took over the job of training the dogs of their private clients and assisting with the group classes they taught for the Malibu Township Council. In 1978, the Hales retired to Big Bear and turned their classes over to me. I began teaching for the West Los Angeles Obedience Training Club in 1998 and teach novice, ontermediate novice, advanced novice, competition obedience, open, utility, and conformation handling classes.
Over the years, my methods of dog training have changed considerably, from the old “never use food, or they won’t obey you unless they’re hungry” philosophy to becoming an avowed enthusiast of clicker training. Dogs and the people who love and train them are all different. A method of training which works for one team may not be ideal for another. As a dog AND people trainer, I believe it is my job to help the owner find and effectively use the method which works best for them, as long as the results are positive for dog and owner alike. In my classes, you may well find the dog and handler teams using different methods to accomplish the same goals. I think this flexibility make for a unique and rewarding group training experience.
My current dogs are all Keeshonden. I have been breeding, training, and showing Kees in conformation, obedience, agility, and therapy dog work since 1977 under my “Shoreline” kennel prefix. I have bred 37 conformation champions, 16 CD’s, 5 CDX,s, 1 UD, and numerous agility titles including many MACHs. Several of my dogs also work as therapy dogs. I am the President of the Keeshond Club of Southern California and also serve as the Health Committee Chairman for the Keeshond Club of America.
In my non-dog life, I am a graduate of UCLA with a degree in Psychology and worked as a bureaucrat for the State of California, where I was the Southern California Director for Medi-Cal Disability. I am married to a very patient husband and have a daughter who is also very active in showing dogs and horses.
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or my email at email@example.com
Danielle has put NATCHs on two Australian Shepherds and is close to a NADAC championship on a third Aussie. She came to dog training through horses. For the last twenty years, she has trained horses and taught riding while also competing successfuly on the Paint Horse circuit.
Robyn McNutt has had Keeshonden since she was a teenager. Robyn loves showing in conformation, obedience, rally, agility and has done pet therapy with her dogs. Robyn has shown all her dogs to breed champions and countless other titles. Robyn and her very special dog Mack were the second ever Keeshond to have earned the RACH (Rally Grand Champion) and the first west coast keeshond to earn this title.
Robyn is our beginning/intermediate/advanced rally trainer full of enthusiasm and knowledge about all levels of rally and primarily guides beginner students how to perform the first few levels of rally. Once they learn the basics of rally, students can move up to the excellent/master levels. Students are encouraged to show their dogs if they want and when they are ready WLAOTC trainers and fellow students are very enthusiastic and encouraging to help them get there.
Robyn has been a WLAOTC club member since 2007 and trainer since 2014. She is also available for private training and coaching.
Fun fact... Robyn used to race cars for 20 years and when she isn't playing or showing her dogs, she still loves to get to the track to drive and teach high performance driving with the BMW Car Club.
Robin Roy has been training dogs her whole life, starting as a child following her mother, an American Kennel Club obedience judge, around the ring. She has been training professionally for more than twenty years. Robin has extensive experience with rescue dogs and is also a puppy specialist. She teaches group classes and private lessons, covering obedience skills and behavioral issues of all types. She attends conferences and webinars and networks with other trainers nationally. She currently has a perky, young Giant Schnauzer, a miniature Pinscher mix with spunk, and a Papillon who is definitely smarter than she is--and two cats who come when they're called. She is a member of APDT, IAABC, and PPG and is an AKC CGC and Trick Dog Evaluator. She also mentors new trainers for Animal Behavior College.
Robin's training methods are positive, dog-friendly, fun techniques that work easily--and help you help your fabulous dog. www.robinroy.com
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Sue Howarth, ANWI, Fun Nose Work Instructor
Sue Howarth has had pet dogs throughout her life. However, it wasn’t until Blackie and Biscuit adopted her in 2011 that she joined WLAOTC and became active in Agility and Nose Work. Now, both sports are an obsession for Sue, and she considers herself a card carrying “crazy dog lady.” Sue is active in the National Association of Canine Scent Work both locally and in a national role as Score Room liaison.
Sue spent most of her professional career first as a CPA and later as an insurance broker. However, she is phasing out of those roles and is in the process of becoming a Certified Nose Work Instructor. Although her job title has never been “teacher,” she developed professional education programs for all three of her employers throughout her career. Now, she is excited to work with both canine and human students and to share with them her enthusiasm for K9 Nose Work.
Both Blackie and Biscuit earned their NW3-Elite titles and have competed in the NACSW’s Elite division, with Blackie recently earning her ELT1 title. Sue loves the fact that her small, mixed breed dogs are able to compete at this upper level, proving that all dogs – large or small, old or young – can participate in and enjoy Nose Work!
Last Updated 10/13/2021