Getting to Know You

We’re building an amazing team of trainers and behavior experts at Willamette Humane Society! In a recent blog, I told you about the CPDT-KA and why you should select trainers with this designation.  In this article, I’ll highlight our current  CPDT-KAs and tell you about the classes they are teaching.

Martha Allen has been a long-time dog enthusiast and has enjoyed teaching and competing in flyball for years.

Martha Allen  (photo used courtesy of the Statesman Journal)
Martha Allen
(photo used courtesy of the Statesman Journal)

She is a committed foster dog parent, often housing the more difficult dogs, in order to give them a chance at a permanent home. She facilitated her dog, Gwen’s, pet column for the Statesman Journal.

Martha completed the Chemeketa  Community College Professional Dog Trainer Certification Preparation course at Willamette Humane last fall and passed her Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge-Assessed exam this spring. Martha works full time as a dog trainer in Salem and teaches two classes for WHS: a training class for foster dog parents and shelter volunteers and a very fun Tricks and Treats class, which begins Tuesday 5/26/2015 @ 6:30 PM at Canine Classroom!

Lee Nichols has been a “jack-of-all-trades” at Willamette Humane Society for 15 years, even continuing to volunteer when he moved out of state for a time. Lee has been instructing classes, fostering dogs, leading playgroups and teaching volunteers, among other things. Recently, Lee was recognized as WHS 2015 Volunteer of the Year for his cheerful commitment and dedicated service.

Photo Credit: adopt-an-oregon-dog.com
Photo Credit: adopt-an-oregon-dog.com

Lee completed the  Chemeketa  Community College Professional Dog Trainer Certification Preparation course at Willamette Humane last fall and passed the CPDT-KA this spring.  Lee is an avid proponent of our Playing for Life playgroups for shelter dogs. He is training our volunteers and staff to run safe playgroups so that we can offer the dogs normal canine socialization opportunities every single day of the week!  Lee is also instrumental in assessing our new dogs so that we are able to inform prospective families about their sociability with other dogs and people.  Currently, Lee instructs DogSmart which is our humans-only class that is a pre-requisite to all our training classes and soon will facilitate the opening of long-requested public playgroups where you can bring your dog and learn about dog body language while your dog safely interacts with other dogs in a supervised setting. Watch for these, starting very soon!

Jessi Keller has been on staff at WHS for 10 years and this year began her “dream job” as Behavior and Training Coordinator. Jessi is instructing our volunteers and staff in the Canine Rx – a program designed to help shelter dogs improve their behaviors while waiting for their forever homes.   Jessi also instructs our Open Paw program and Red Tag training for volunteers, increasing the knowledgeable interactions that our shelter dogs have with people.Jessi  Group classes that Jessi teaches include Check In, Chill Out, our new Family Dog Manners series as well as others.  Jessi also offers fast and effective private lessons for customized basic training. If you are working on leash manners, polite greetings, coming when called and similar obedience, contact Jessi to set up your 30 minute lesson for only $25.  Jessi is currently taking the Chemeketa Professional Dog Trainer course and will sit for her CPDT-KA exam this fall.

We have other trainers offering a variety of classes which I’ll tell you more about, next time, when I describe all the new offerings we have!  Until then, click here for a sneak peak!

Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA

Behavior Program Manager at Willamette Humane Society
Named “the dog lady” by peers in grammar school, Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA first became a California licensed veterinary technician, then finished a BA in Psychology while doing undergraduate research on the human-canine bond at the University of Montana. After that, she was recruited by the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital to develop the ABC puppy school, to assist during veterinary behavior consultations and to help create and instruct the Purdue DOGS! behavior modification course for veterinary staff. Catherine is now an adjunct faculty member at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon and instructor for the state’s only community college level professional dog trainer certification preparation program which began in Fall 2014.
Catherine Comden, CPDT-KA