While working at the shelter she discovered that adorable puppies adopted today were often returned within a few months as unruly adult dogs. The bad behavior was typically due to a lack of appropriate training or lack of timely socialization. Often these “bad” dogs were euthanized.
In 2010, Michelle completed the Assistant Trainers course offered by the Greater St. Louis Training Club, and learned the magic of positive reinforcement dog training. Ultimately R+ training is about teaching pets and their people how to communicate with each other. In 2013, Michelle completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Program, and in 2014, she earned her Animal Welfare Certificate through the St. Louis Community College. In 2017 she completed the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification.
Michelle is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and Fear Free Pets whose mission is “to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.” She lives with her three rescued pups, Ava, Lily and Oreo.