About The Trainers
Good Start Puppy Training, LLC is an affiliated network of dog trainers. We benefit from sharing the vast knowledge base and diversity that each trainer brings to Good Start. All Good Start Puppy Trainers utilize positive reinforcement training methods. All of our trainers adhere to the principle of LIMA when training puppies. LIMA is an acrynym that stands for "Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive." "LIMA does not justify the use of punishment in lieu of other effective interventions and strategies." - IAABC.org
My name is Julie Bastis. I live in rural western Northern Virginia on our little farm with my husband and children. We have two adult Sheepadoodle sisters, Daisy and Clover. Daisy was born deaf and Clover acts as her ears. They are both trained in sign language. The comic relief on our farm comes from 5 exceedingly friendly goats, not quite so affectionate chickens, curious cows and bees (best enjoyed at a distance!)
I trained my first puppy when I was about 10 years old under the guidance of my veterinarian father. I informally trained many other puppies through the years. In 2018, training puppies became my full time job.
My training approach is positive reinforcement and LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) methods.
I am a member of APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) and regularly complete continuing education.
My name is Wendy Lott. I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer. During my time in Law Enforcement I spent 4 years in the K9 unit handling a single purpose Explosive Ordinance Detection K9 named Nemo. During this time I went to several K9 schools. In 2007 I completed the K9 Train the Trainers Program at Tarheel Canine Academy. I became a certified K9 trainer for EOD K9's. I assisted with training other K9's within my department and other agencies. After Nemo was retired, I continued to work him with a private security company for 5 more years.
I was a member of the United States Police Canine Association and The North American Police Work Dog Association. I am currently a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and I continue to complete continuing education. I have trained under one of the top trainers in the Schutzhund Sport World, Butch Henderson. The sport consists of tracking, obedience and protection training. I love training puppies and providing a solid foundation for them to transition into their forever homes.
My name is Samantha St.Clair. My passion for training dogs began with my heart dog, Tucker, over 14 years ago. Tucker inspired me to learn more about dog behavior and training. We earned several agility and trick dog titles together over the years. I spend most of my free time reading books and watching videos about dog training, have volunteered at several animal shelters and began a career working with dogs (and other animals) through pet photography and publishing. Every time I interact with dogs, I carry my philosophy of creating a bond with them through positive reinforcement.
I continue my education through professional training conferences such as ClickerExpo, am active in a variety of training groups, and currently volunteer as a puppy raiser for a service dog organization. I share my home with PAD Cody, who is currently on a path to becoming a mobility assistance dog. He goes everywhere with me and has been such a joy to raise. I cannot wait for your puppy to start their journey with me!
Melanie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) with a wealth of training and behavior modification experience. She has more than a decade of experience training dogs and has worked both privately and in classes with owners. Melanie graduated with distinction as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), is a Fear Free Certified Trainer and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She is committed to science-based, force-free training methods, uses positive reinforcement to keep dogs and their people happy and strives to teach simple, effective methods to achieve goals. Melanie is committed to providing the most effective, convenient solutions to her clients' dog training needs. She avidly pursues ongoing continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars per year and keeping current on industry literature. When not helping clients to enjoy easier lives with their canine companions, Melanie takes her dogs to therapy visits and participates in agility.
Kate Clymer has been working with dogs formally for more than 11 years. Kate operated a New York City canine care and overnight service for five years. She enjoyed caring for, training and socializing dogs as she strived to provide smooth transitions from her care back to their owners. During this time Kate gained a strong working knowledge of positive reinforcement practices and their effectiveness. She honed her training skills through city-life's diverse puppy and client population.
Kate is now located in Pennsylvania with her family. She and her daughter enjoy being a Doggy Doula for Goldendoodle puppies, caring for them during the day. She enjoys working with children and their dogs to build communication styles that foster confidence and good manners.
Kate continues to take advantage of opportunities to enhance her knowledge of dog behavior through education and hands on experience. Kate adheres to positive reinforcement and LIMA training methods.