For several years, you may have known Brandi Wallwork as an integral part of our Service Dog division. As Director of Service Dog Programs, Brandi played a pivotal role in the growth of our service dog programs, helping match families and individuals who required the benefits offered by a service dog.
An important part of Brandi’s work was building connections and relationships with families, understanding their needs and working with them at all stages of the service dog process. Now, Brandi will be applying all of that experience to a new challenge. Having recently moved to Georgia, she is using her knowledge and skillset to offer behavior modification and other dog training services to clients in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.
In recent months, Brandi has spent time building relationships with dog owners in her new location. She is also launching an upcoming set of group classes, with a group obedience class beginning on April 24th (if you would like more information on the upcoming group classes, please contact Brandi at email@example.com or (678) 488-8060 for details).
We spoke to Brandi to learn more about her move, her dog training philosophy, and what dog owners can expect from her upcoming group classes.
Brandi, how have you found the move to Georgia? Are you enjoying it?
I’ve been looking forward to the move to Georgia for quite a while. After receiving years of experience in dog training at our headquarters in North Carolina, I am excited to be able to offer training back in Georgia now. Working with dogs and their owners in my community is something I have been looking forward to. I feel like I’m able to start building a Highland Canine family here in GA now.
With your experience at Highland for a number of years - and working across many parts of the business – do you think your experience is an advantage for your clients?
After graduating from the School for Dog Trainers, my plan was to move back to Georgia and immediately begin offering my services within that year. However, when I was offered the position of service dog trainer, I was excited for the opportunity and decided to take the job. Looking back, I am so happy in the choices I made because I am now a very confident and experienced dog trainer, having worked with a wide variety of dogs and families.
Tell us a little bit about your philosophy when it comes to dog training.
My dog training philosophy has taken a while to form, shifting now and then as I learned more and more about dog behavior and psychology. Through experience, I have learned that the most important thing when working with dogs is trust, patience, and a strong bond. I strive to teach people how to decipher their dog’s behaviors and, in turn, grow their relationship with their dog
Is your experience as Director of Service Dogs transferrable to your new role, as you work to resolve issues which might be affecting quality of life for families in Atlanta?
While training service dogs, one of the most important aspects of pairing a dog to an individual was teaching them how to communicate and interact with each other. A service dog team is just that – a dog and a person working together as a team to accomplish tasks that help aid a person’s disability. Training pet dogs can actually be very similar, as owning a dog is much more than that. A dog is a family member and it’s important for the dog and owner to understand each other. Teaching people how to create a stronger relationship through training is a passion of mine, and working as the Director of Service Dog Programs gave me a wealth of knowledge and experience in that.
You have group classes beginning towards the end of April. What can people expect from your group classes? What sort of items does the curriculum cover?
My upcoming group class will be focused on essential obedience skills from the basics of sit and down to building a solid recall and mastering the stay command. Building a stronger relationship between dog and owner is a cornerstone of the class, so I am also focused on teaching the owners how to communicate better with their dogs. Owners will gain the skills and knowledge needed to continue on training tricks, discourage unwanted behaviors, and much more.
Which type of dog would be a good fit for your group class? Is it puppies only, or can dogs of any age participate?
The upcoming group class is available to any age, size, and breed of dog. Young puppies to senior pups can benefit from the class. As the group class is also about the owners learning to train and work with their dogs, I encourage all members of the family to join in on the class as well!
What about dogs with serious behavioral issues - would it be better for those families to choose private lessons?
Families who are experiencing behavior problems such as aggression or extreme shyness would be best suited to private lessons, where we can focus on a personalized training plan suited for the rehabilitation of these behaviors.
Brandi’s group obedience class takes place between Saturday, April 24 and Saturday, May 29.
The classes will take place at:
Furry Friends Pet Grooming
8969 Hickory Flat Hwy, Woodstock, GA 30188
Registration is required in advance for our group classes. You can learn more by contacting Brandi at (678) 488-8060 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to register.
We look forward to seeing you at our classes!