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. I also became a cat adoption coordinator for Ten Lives Club. I attended training classes with Mojo and realized how important responsible breeding and proper socialization is and the permanent affect these have on behavior even with training. 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.


Upon my graduation, Kim Sauer hired me to work for Sit n’ Stay Pet Services providing private, 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. Together, Kim Sauer and I specialize in helping expectant families with dogs prepare for their baby’s arrival onward through the many stages of becoming a toddler.

In September 2015, I established my own company, Authentic Paws LLC, to provide private, in-home 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 private 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. I am also a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), whose goals are to standardize and support the practice of animal behavior consulting, to provide quality, evidence-based education and peer and supervising mentoring, and to provide resources for pet owners needing advice. The APDT and IAABC support a LIMA (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 the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas and am proud to support my local communities and businesses.


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 12 year old Maltese named Mojo I have an 9 year old Maltese mix named Molly. Our home is also blessed to have 5 cats named Blueberry, Daisy, Jamboree, Ron and Minerva (Mini). Each pet has a purpose and teaches an invaluable lesson. I never stop learning!