Charlotte Dog Training Club

Serving Charlotte area dog owners since 1955

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Our Instructors

CDTC has a dedicated group of volunteer instructors whose goals are to help you and your canine partner become a great team.  Whether you just want to have a well behaved companion or your goal is competition agility, obedience, rally or scent work we want to help you achieve those goals by providing a positive training environment.

Upcoming events

Bobbie Arnold - Agility

I started agility at the Charlotte Dog Training Club in 1998 with my first Flatcoat Retriever, Cache. We were all new to it, but were lucky enough to have Donna Nelson join our club. She was invaluable in the early days and she later made the World Team with her Sheltie, Promise. I lost Cache at 6, but she titled in agility with OA and OAJ. My next dog, Trip, also a FCR, was a wonderful boy who got his MACH and a UD. He remained among the top 10 FCR for two years after he died at 8. Seattle was next. She was an MX,MXJ , but was injured and retired. Now I am competing with my latest Flat coat, Styx. Through the years I have been very fortunate to train with some wonderful professionals, including Stewart Mah and Dudley Fontaine. I hope to pass their experience on to my students.

Victoria Carey - STAR Puppy

I began my dog training adventure at 12 years old when I got my PBGV puppy and continued through high school by training our golden retriever in obedience and certifying her as a therapy dog. Through the encouragement of the great trainers and mentors at CDTC, I was an assistant in the AKC STAR puppy classes. I enjoyed that so much that I became a Canine Good Citizen evaluator and now have fun teaching the STAR puppy classes! I am also active with the local Therapy Dogs International chapter. Currently, my husband and I enjoy taking obedience, tricks, and agility classes and competing in Fast CAT with our two golden retrievers, Luna and Poppy.  

Carol Collins-Clapp - Open & Utility Obedience

  • I have rescued dogs my entire adult life, most from the roads, mountains, ditches, most were rehabbed and placed in good homes. A few I kept.  Life changed when I was called to catch a black, male Chow Chow.  Realizing I had an, unpopular, handful of a breed, I started positive training at Petsmart, found CDTC and CCOA, did years of private lessons with Sally Glei and attended every seminar I could find. When LeoLee, the ChowChow, and I received our CGC & I was hooked on training and showing.  We went on to a CD, a TD (tracking), Rally and agility. With his accomplishments and calm demeanor, he began to be called the “Poster dog for ChowChows”.  More rescues, more venues, more intensity followed. Now, with my BC, Zeke, my only “bought” dog, JennieLee, the Aussie, and Ter-Clare, the terror blend, we are training at multiple venues.  My dogs have earned obedience, rally, agility, herding, tracking, tricks, and of course, CGC titles. In 2019, I was presented with the Outstanding Instructor Award by CDTC.  I also did in-home dog training for 10 years along with teaching at CCOA and CDTC.  After CCOA closed, we opened a dog training business, Dogs Only, in Concord. Presently, I am doing some private training in advanced obedience skills and teaching my 2 favorite courses in obedience, Open & Utility, at CDTC.

Bonnie Conrad - Rally 

I started my dog training career in the 70's and became hooked. I earned my first obedience title in 1981 with my Rottweiler. At present I am still showing but with my Bernese Mountain Dogs. I have been a long time member of Charlotte Dog Training Club and have taught many classes from Puppy to Rally. I have put Obedience/Rally, Canine Good Citizen, and Therapy Dog titles on my dogs. I believe a trained dog is a joy to live with. At present I am owned by my Berners Traveler and Hogan.

Jeff Derr - AKC Canine Good Citizen and Preparation for Therapy Work

Once I retired, I needed something to occupy a bit of my time.  I had gotten into dog training a few years earlier, so when we relocated back to the Lake Wylie area, I found the Charlotte Dog Training Club.  After taking a couple of classes, I was asked to assist in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class.  I ultimately became the class instructor and taught for several years.  I was also an assistant for several years in the Beginner obedience class.  I am now an instructor for the AKC Canine Good Citizen preparation class, as well as the Preparation for Therapy Work class.  I have been an AKC CGC Evaluator for several years.  We have three miniature Poodles – Alex, Chase and Fonzi, and one cat – Miss Ella Jean.

Suzanne Fairbairn - Pet Classes

I started in obedience back in 1980 with a toy poodle.  I have gradually moved to a mini and then a standard.  We have participated in obedience, agility and hunting competing in both AKC and UKC.  Title count so far 2 CH, 9 UD, 13 CDX, 2 HR, 2 SH, 2 JHU, 1 SHUA AXJ, MXJ.  We like to be active.  My poodles are also therapy pets.  I love teaching pet manners both privately and publicly.  A well behaved dog is a delight in your home and out in the public.

Dawn Heath - Scent Work

Dawn has had a passion for obedience and agility training since she was 10 years old and building agility courses in her backyard, using picnic tables and lawn chairs. She began training at CDTC in 2009 with her boxer, Grady. Dawn and Shawn are now owned by 2 boxers, Bauer and Miles, and Dawn is active in Rally, Obedience, Nosework, Agility and Conformation. She was one of the first members of CDTC to earn an AKC Scent Work Title.

Bit Jordan - Pre-Obedience/Rally

I have been training dogs for close to 30 years.  I compete in Agility, Obedience, Rally, and Scentwork, and I do occasional Retriever hunt tests.  I have put multiple championship titles on dogs in agility and obedience.  I designed the Pre-Obedience/Rally classes 101, 202, and 303 to provide a foundation for obedience and rally competition classes, as without a good foundation, the house eventually falls in.  Or, in the case of dogs, holes in the training will show up, usually at the worst times.  I have taught these classes, among others, for many years.  I enjoy seeing my students, both dog and handler, learn and form a closer bond with each other.  My current dogs are Win, a three-year-old Labrador Retriever, and Ziva, a nine-year-old English Cocker Spaniel.

Anne Nored - Scent Work

Anne Nored has been a member of CDTC since 2010 when she and her first Newfoundland puppy, Lizzie, registered for the AKC STAR Puppy class. She has since trained and competed in scent work, rally, obedience, conformation, water rescue, and draft with her three Newfs and Cavalier. Lizzie was the first Newfoundland to title in AKC Scent Work, and Anne has enjoyed teaching this favorite sport with others!

Debbie Sherier - STAR Puppy

Debbie joined Charlotte Dog Training Club in 2011. After titling her two pet collies in Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International she began volunteering in the AKC Star Puppy   program. At this time Debbie also started to show and breed collies. With mentoring from seasoned trainers at CDTC and personal study she became an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Debbie now conducts AKC Star Puppy classes for all breeds of puppies.  She is active in her breed specialty and believes all puppies can be “stars”.

Liz Petko - Pet Classes/Obedience

I have been involved with dog training starting in the 4-H dog program and showing German Shepherds through my teens. I have been a member of CDTC wince 2011 and believe that every dog should have the training and socialization needed to become a valued family member done with positive methods.  I have taught and assisted in pet classes and competition obedience classes.  I have two wonderful dogs, a 9 year old Boxer and a 2 year old Papillon who compete and have titled in obedience, rally, agility and fast CAT.  They also have completed Canine Good Citizen, worked as a Therapy Dog (Boxer) and Trick Dog Titles.  I am also an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (CGC).

Patricia Ray- PreAgility

I have been training dogs for many years and I joined CDTC when I became interested in agility. My Clumber Spaniel, Sandy, was the first clumber to obtain an NA/NAJ and the first clumber to get an Excellent Std leg. I have also competed in Conformation, Obedience, FastCAT, Barn Hunt and Rally. I helped with the the pre-agility class for a while before taking over the class several years ago. I now compete in Agility and Rally with Mick, my Vizsla and have a young Vizsla up and coming.

Debbie Roen - Agility

In 2000 I joined an agility club where I began training in agility with my Labrador, Bailey.  I moved up to assisting in agility classes and then started teaching agility.  During this time Bailey and I also started competing in agility, solidifying my love for the sport.  In 2014 I began taking classes in obedience and agility at CDTC with my current Labrador, Alli.  Shortly thereafter, I was asked to be an assistant in both classes and in 2016 started teaching agility.  Alli and I are currently competing in agility.  I love every minute of training, teaching, and competing. It is not only rewarding to spend time with Alli, but it is also rewarding to watch dogs and their owners transform into a team as they grow and progress through classes.

Jim Saxon /Agility Instructor

Jim has had dogs throughout his life, and has been involved in training in several different dog sports since 1995, including hunt tests, dock diving, tracking, Frisbee, and agility.   He has also had four therapy dogs.   He loves to see his students succeed and their dogs to have fun, and his classes are geared towards those  goals.  Jim’s current dog is Penny, a 3 year old Flat Coated Retriever, who has qualified for both the Agility Nationals and the AKC Agility Invitational in 2020. His previous dog, Jake, was the 2014 UKI US Open Agility Champion in 20”  Select  (Preferred).  Penny is currently the #1 Flat Coat in Agility in the Bad Dog Agility rankings.  Jim enjoys teaching classes in distance work, jumping skills, and short sequences.   

Jeannie Strong - Obedience/Rally

My journey with CDTC began in the early 70’s when I joined the club to train my Chihuahua/Pekingese mix.  While we could not compete at that time (only purebred dogs were allowed) my love of dog sports was fueled by the wonderful CDTC club members and instructors. I continued training with CDTC, earning a CD with my next dog, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Angel. Over the years I have trained a number of Cardigans through CDTC classes in a wide range of sports including Obedience, Rally, Agility, Scent Work, Therapy Dog, CGC, Tracking, Trick Dog, etc.  Currently I am training Veto, my Cardigan, in Rally, Obedience and Scent Work. With the support of the club I have obtained my Rally and Novice Obedience judge's licenses and am currently judging AKC Rally and Novice Obedience trials as well as ASCA rally trials. I have been privileged to teach a variety of classes over the years and love the opportunity to watch dog and handler teams grow, develop, and succeed. Veto and I share the house with my husband, Jon, and his two flat-coated retrievers, Rosie and Baron.

Jake Taylor – AKC Canine Good Citizen and Preparation for Therapy Work

When Jeff and I came back to Lake Wylie in 2007, it didn’t take long for us to find CDTC and get involved in their training classes.  We met up with Maggie Patton who introduced us to the world of therapy dogs and we were off and running.  I assisted for a number of years in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class and then a couple of years ago, was invited to instruct the AKC Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Work preparation classes.  I am the local volunteer coordinator for the Therapy Dogs International certification test process and hold an AKC CGC Evaluator certificate.  Our house is ruled by three miniature Poodles – Alex, Chase and Fonzi, and our orange tabby, Miss Ella Jean.

Tina Whisnant - Pet Classes

I was born in Massachusetts but got down to God's country, at age 9.  I began to research dog training clubs in the 1980's, found CDTC, joined in '84 and have held various positions in the Club.  I've developed and taught at least 8 different classes over the years.  I have titled a German Shepherd, a mini Poodle, Borzoi, and Australian Shepherds.  I have competed and titled in conformation, lure coursing, obedience, rally, nosework, and agility, as well as doing pet therapy with all 10 dogs since 1984 to the present and helping with the therapy dog testing which the Club does three times a year.   As an AKC evaluator I can test for CGC and Tricks and intend to keep going as long as I have a dog to do sports with!

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