Certified Nose Work Instructor
Certified Canine Athlete Specialist
For over 20 years, I have been professionally dedicated to the training, rehabilitation, and rescue of dogs, all of which has been a large part of my life since I was young. I was involved in rescue for almost 20 years, fostered and trained over 500 dogs in my home, some of which ended up as wonderful additions to my home. I have also testified as an expert against dog abuse as well as on behalf of dog owners.
The fitness and conditioning level of all dogs is one of my biggest passions! Not only is this key in keeping dogs safe and injury free, but there is a direct line connecting fitness, confidence and behavior in dogs!
I am a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist (CCAS) / K9 Fitness Instructor through Northeast K9 Conditioning and a nationally sanctioned Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) and Certifying Official (CO) through the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). I hold training seminars/workshops for both K9 Fitness and K9 Nose Work®, as well as national K9 Nose Work® trials/competitions.
My love for teaching nose work blossoms when I see a dog come out of their shell and discover the confidence and joy in being a dog! Watching each dog dance to the "music" odor creates is one of the most beautiful things to experience!
When I am not training my own dogs, Ziva and Bocelli, both working Belgian Malinois, and/or teaching, I enjoy gardening, reading, exercise, jazz and classical music, and spending time with my family and friends.
Barn Hunt Judge,
AKC Scent Work Expert Judge
Sandra never had a dog until 2010 when she acquired two Shiba Inus as companions, Maluko, a 5-year-old female, and a 9 months old rehome boy, Koji, from a local show breeder. Sandra quickly immersed herself in dog training and all things dog. Sandra competes in multiple dog sports and has achieved many titles with her two Shibas: Agility (MACH4), Rally (RAE), Obedience (BN, CD), Barn Hunt (RATCHX11), Nose Work (ELT-CH in NACSW), Scent Work, Coursing Ability Test (CAA) and Therapy Dog (THD).
Sandra is an avid Nose Work / Scent Work competitor since 2011. She enjoys training and competing with her dogs and has successfully competed with 4 of her five dogs with vastly different temperaments and styles. She also handles her friend’s dogs: Dachshunds, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd occasionally, and has earned many titles and placements.
Sandra has great success with her Shibas in Nose Work:
● Koji earned the NACSW ELT-CH title.
● Maluko earned the NACSW ELT1 title.
● Youngest Shiba, Taiyo, is currently competing in the NW3 level.
Cajun, Sandra's 4-year-old Australian Shepherd, is an extremely talented Nose Work dog:
● passed ORT for all three odors at 6-month-old
● earned NACSW NW1 title at 13-month-old
● earned NACSW NW2 and finished NW3 Elite title at 17-month-old. Cajun earned his NW1, NW2, 3 NW3 (NW3 Elite) titles in 5 trials, qualifying every time he was shown.
For Cajun’s three NW3 attempts, he earned two HITs and one 2nd place overall, and, all with “Pronounced” designation from the judges
● Cajun competed in the NACSW Elite division with many placements and finished his Elite Champion (ELT-CH) title at 2 years old. At 2.5 years old, Cajun earned the prestigious NACSW Summit (SMT) title, with a 3rd placement overall.
Sandra is a licensed Barn Hunt judge and an AKC Scent Work expert judge.