Meet our amazing team.
We’re a talented group of creative individuals who LOVE all things dogs.
Alexis holds two master’s degrees, one in Animal Behavior and Conservation and another in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior. She is working towards finishing her PhD and obtaining her certification as an applied animal behaviorist. Her love of all things dog dates back to her pre-verbal years. She has always been fascinated by our canine companions to the point she wrote to Santa to ask for a dog every Christmas. Her first dog was a Standard Poodle named Noel. Of course! She has since shared her life with dogs from boxers to border collies, worked as a dog walker and trainer, and volunteered at animal shelters. And her love of dogs of all shapes and sizes has only grown.
Her goal is to help you have the best relationship with your dog(s) as possible by using positive reinforcement-based methods. She specializes in canine behavior modification and working with difficult cases that need more than the traditional obedience training. She has worked with dogs with aggression issues, bite histories, anxiety, fear, phobias, reactivity, and over-arousal, just to name a few. She will teach you to help your dog by using a variety of reinforcement methods (e.g. food, toys, play, attention, access to the environment), management (e.g. remove access to problem stimuli), and enrichment activities (e.g. giving your dog a chance to be a dog!). She might even recommend sports training for those high-drive, high-energy pups!
From a young age, Michelle was training her family pets to perform tricks, and as a young adult got her first conformation show dog. Michelle progressed into showing poodles and began competing in performance sports. She has been winning titles with her dogs for over three decades and even owns dogs she’s trained in acting that perform in both commercial work and live theater.
In 1998, Michelle joined a Search and Rescue group and began training dogs in all disciplines of search work; tracking/trailing, area search, urban/disaster search and human remains detection. She has certified and deployed four canine partners over the last 23 years, having many successful searches to their credit.
Michelle is also an accomplished horse rider, trainer, and competitor, having grown up with horses, she competed in both English and Western events, as well as driving. She has been known to dabble in some occasional cat training, and is currently working with her newest pet, Fred the rat.
She believes that while teaching our animal friends, we also learn from them. Working with different species, both predator and prey, makes one a well-balanced trainer.
With the philosophy that training is not a “one size fits all”, she structures each program in a way that allows the individual animal to develop at their own pace to maximize their potential.
Michelle and the entire staff of PHRCC look forward to helping you and your dog deepen your bond through better communication and understanding.