Trainer Profile
APDT Member Since 2016

Plucky Paws, LLC

As a KPA-CTP and CPDT-KSA certified trainer and an ACDBC and CBCC-KA certified behavior consultant, I provide private in-home services with specializations in behavior modification, adopted dogs, and family-friendly training. As a Certified Humane Education Specialist with fifteen years of teaching experience, I use the arts to teach children about important topics like responsible pet ownership, dog bite prevention, and companion animal welfare. My rescue dog Marmalade holds CGC and CGCA titles, and earned therapy dog certification at the national and local levels. She visits a variety of community locations with me as the official Plucky Paws Therapy Dog.
Certifications: CBCC-KA,ACDBC,CPDT-KSA
Designations: CHES, KPA-CTP
Training Equipment: As a relationship-based clicker trainer, I do not use punishing or aversive equipment or techniques. I advocate for use of regular collars, nylon martingale collars, body harnesses, and head halters.
Training Philosophy: I use modern, progressive techniques based in behavior science. I take pride in utilizing family-friendly methods that are safe for everyone in the household to practice, including young children.
Locations Served: Plucky Paws service areas include the cities of Ames, Gilbert, Roland, Story City, Boone, Ankeny, Johnston, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Clive, Waukee, West Des Moines, and select neighborhoods of Des Moines. Locations outside these service areas are subject to a standard travel fee.
I am the only canine professional in the state of Iowa who holds the CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, and CHES credentials. I offer Behavior Solutions and Foundation Skills packages in coaching and day training formats. I also offer Plucky Parents training for expecting and new parents, and Family Training for households with older children who can participate in the training process. In addition to my humane education programs at schools and libraries, I provide therapy dog Birthday Pawty entertainment and customized in-home humane education for kids of all ages. I am passionate about companion animal welfare, and I volunteer with adoptable dogs at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and the PAWS program at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. Previously, I volunteered with the ARL's humane education department and TheraPets program. I have experience with service dogs as a former assistant trainer for the Puppy Jake Foundation. I’ve been a contributing writer for the Pet Professional Guild’s BARKS magazine. I was chosen as a featured trainer for Karen Pryor Academy, and a featured trainer for Pet Professional Guild. During 2019, I am engaging in continuing education with Karen Pryor Academy, Pet Professional Guild, Oregon Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Ken Ramirez, Chirag Patel, Trish McMillan & Michael Shikashio, and doctors Jessica Hekman & Amy Cook. The Plucky Paws logo reflects my practice of planting the seeds of curiosity and knowledge and encouraging growth, so that pets and kids can shine to their fullest potential. As a relationship-based trainer, my philosophy centers on strengthening and celebrating the bond between pet guardians and their dogs. I use only modern, progressive methods based in behavior science. Compassionate training is enjoyable, effective, and promotes a rewarding relationship founded on trust and mutual respect. Training methods that are positive and fun are the only methods that are appropriate for use in a family setting. We listen to our dogs, we respect our dogs, and we acknowledge that they are on a unique path of self discovery, just as we are!
Services Offered
Behavioral Consultation
CGC Training
Clicker Training
Fun Games
In-Home Training
Private Lessons
Private Training