Pet Pro with 18+years’ Experience

I’m the owner of SouthPaw Pet Sitting, based in Akron, OH. The pet guardians of Akron have been trusting me since 2005 with their beloved pets. Noteworthy features: Fox 8 News segment for new businesses; featured in: AkronLife Magazine, Akron Beacon Journal, and Pet Sitter’s World Magazine; and countless hours attending lectures/webinars/conferences to gain the most up-to-date knowledge in pet care as well as training methodologies. SouthPaw Pet Care + Training is insured & bonded, for added peace of mind. Members of Pet Sitter’s International and Thrive!

Certifications You Can Trust

I graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy as a Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP #69770); am a Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer (FFCP); and I mentored under Melana DeMartini, the industry’s leading expert in Separation Anxiety training, earning my Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer Certification (CSAT). Worldwide, there are less than 300 trainers that have earned this distinction as a CSAT. One of my dogs has SA, so I understand the emotional roller coaster owners find themselves on. My training style leads with empathy and compassion, to help you reach your training goals in a safe, effective environment.

• Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) #69770

• Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT)

• Fear Free Certified Professional (Trainer)

• Better Veterinary Visits Certification, Karen Pryor Academy

• Hesitant Hounds Certification, Karen Pryor Academy

• Puppy Socialization and Adolescent Dog Familiarization Certification, Karen Pryor Academy

Training Methodology

I am dedicated to training dogs without the use of force, fear, and aversive methods. I use reward-based training in all aspects of behavior modification. No shock/ecollars/prongs/choke collars are used…they’re simply not needed. Need more info? Check out the position statement from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior on training:

Many variables affect training length.  I am dedicated to humane science-based methods that are both efficient and effective. Estimates given are based on the dog’s prior learning history, how long the problem behavior has been occurring, genetics and client skill, diligence, availability, and management.  I cannot guarantee that behavior modification for your dog can be completed in the time frame of the package you purchase. 

Consumer Protection Warning

Dog training is unregulated.  There are no standards of care or minimum education requirements. I strongly encourage all those seeking help with their companion to get references and research the methods the trainer is using.  

Dogs, no matter which breed, do not need a heavy hand or harsh punishments to learn what we want them to do.  They are our friends and part of our family.  They are living beings with functioning brains whose potential for learning is awe inspiring.  We owe them a life without pain and fear.  ​

Humane science-based training works because it:  

  • Utilizes your dog’s natural motivation for food, play, toys and life rewards 
  • Keeps your dog eager to keep trying to learn
  • Increases the companion-guardian bond
  • Has no scary side effects, because there is absolutely no fallout if you do it wrong!  

“Thank you so much for your help and guidance. Oliver is SO much easier on walks and at patios now that we have commands and confidence. Oliver loves Charm School and Miss Jackie!”

Jackie Pekar, KPA CTP, FFCP, CSAT
Serving Akron, OH & Beyond

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