Theresa has been training and caring for dogs for over 25 years. She has lifetime of relationships and experiences with dogs; leading to an expansive knowledge of how dogs think and why they do the things they do. Theresa is impassioned by the importance of the animal human bond and feels honored to share her knowledge with others.
Her parents were active dog sport enthusiasts meaning most childhood weekends were spent at field trials, hunting tests or dog shows. By the time Theresa was 13, she was competing at trials and assisting her mother with training. Theresa taught her first dog obedience class at 18.
From those early days of observing how most dogs were trained using antiquated methods: shock collars, choke chains, prong collars, and repetitive and increasingly harsh punishments; Theresa knew there had to be a kinder way. She couldn't understand why so many trainers felt they had to use force and punishment to make dogs respond, when dogs want to please. There had to be a better way.
Theresa found that way in 1996, when she attended her first Positive Reinforcement Training and finding a train style that finally made sense. She continued seek out an attending training seminars from top trainers: Ian Dunbar, Roger Abrantes, and Karen Pryor to name a few.
Theresa earned a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology, from Seattle University in 1997, with an emphasis on the study of Behaviorism and the Animal Human Bond. After graduation from college, Theresa obtained a job working for Paws with a Cause; one of the largest assistance dog training companies in the United States. In 2005 Theresa became a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers.
Theresa opened Dynamite Dog on Vashon Island, WA in January 2001, offering a variety of services for dogs and their human partners; services including: obedience classes, private lessons, behavioral modification and assistance dog training.