Vicki Eberle, CPDT-KA, Owner/Trainer
In 2008 I welcomed a Maltese puppy named Mojo into my family (he’s the serious looking one on the right). My daughter was struggling with learning issues, and I was struggling to do everything I could to help her. I had hope that a dog would give her comfort, strength, companionship, and maybe she would gain confidence from training him. Well, I learned far more than anyone. Mojo came from a local pet store and was bred with congenital defects. He was taken from his mother at too early an age and became overly attached to me. I learned firsthand how the lack of breeding regulations contribute to poor health and behavior problems within the pet industry. I began to volunteer with local groups to educate owners about the problems associated with buying from a pet store or irresponsible breeder, and I also became a cat adoption coordinator for Ten Lives Club. I attended training classes with Mojo and began to see the importance of responsible breeding and proper socialization of dogs and the large affect these have on behavior. It was then that I decided to pursue a career as a dog trainer. In 2012, with a determination to learn as much as possible, I began an online course through Animal Behavior College, which offers a nationally-recognized dog trainer certification program. I completed an externship with a local mentor trainer, Kim Sauer, and graduated with Honors and became a Certified Dog Trainer in October 2013.
MY CREDENTIALS & EXPERIENCE
Upon my graduation, Kim Sauer hired me to work for Sit n’ Stay Pet Services providing in home training services. In 2015, through further education with Family Paws Parent Education, I became a Licensed Educator for the Dogs & Storks and Dogs & Toddlers programs. Today, Kim and I are the only Family Paws Licensed Educators in WNY to help expectant families with dogs prepare for their baby’s arrival and the many stages of the toddler years.
In September 2015, I established my own company, Authentic Paws Pet Services, to provide training and behavior services in the Niagara County and Northern Erie County areas. In December 2016, I completed renovations of a building on my home property and now have a designated training facility to offer the same training and behavior services along with group classes and additional specialized services. With this personalized space I can customize a plan for whatever you need.
In 2016 I achieved my Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed status through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. This organization is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices. I am a member of the Association for Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), whose core purpose is to set standards and advance excellence in the profession of dog training and behavior consulting. The APDT supports a least intrusive, minimally aversive approach to training. I align myself with organizations that promote humane methods, and I strive to help each pet parent discover and embrace their pet’s authentic self by educating them from the pet’s perspective. I am also a member of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and am proud to support my local community and businesses.
MY FUR FAMILY
When I was growing up our family had a Miniature Schnauzer named Smokey. Shortly after Smokey passed, at the age of 16, I found my first dog, a Norwegian Elkhound named Mandy. Mandy passed in 2000, and I grieved for 8 years until I was finally ready in 2008 when Mojo entered my life. Now our home is bursting at the seams! In addition to my 10 year old Maltese named Mojo I have an 8 year old Maltese mix named Molly. Our home is also blessed to have 5 cats named Blueberry, Daisy, Jamboree, Ron and Minerva (Mini). Our foster dog Katie resides with us in the in law suite (see Katie’s story under our Community section), and it isn’t unusual to find a stray cat (or a litter of kittens!) also sharing our home. Each pet has a story and teaches an invaluable lesson. I never stop learning!