Stacy pursued her lifelong interest in animal behavior through a Master's degree at a research laboratory, Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Lab (KBMML, now called The Dolphin Institute) in Hawaii, studying dolphin cognition and intelligence. At the lab, she learned to train dolphins for research and exercise, using the same modern techniques that are now used with pet dogs. She designed and ran a research project investigating how creative dolphins could be and how they coordinate their movements with each other. As a staff member at the lab, one of her duties was to teach dolphin training to new volunteers and students.
When she returned to her native California she began transferring her animal-training and student-teaching skills to teaching pet owners how to train their dogs. She was asked to help develop and teach the first clicker training classes at the San Francisco SPCA, before moving to San Jose.
She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), an organization that encourages the exchange of ideas and continuing education of pet dog trainers. In 2001, she was awarded Member of the Year, and in 2002 she earned a Level 1 Certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the first national certification for dog trainers in history. Over the years she has attended the Marin Humane Society Dog Trainers Academy and Dogs Of Course's Advanced Instructor Training Course.
In January 2005, Stacy achieved Kay Lawrence's Competency Assessment Programme(CAP) test at the second level "with distinction". CAP tests the trainer, not the dog. The trainer must demonstrate her decision-making prowess, and her ability to communicate with the dog, use a target, shape, fade lures and targets, use hand signals or verbal commands, capture and shape new behaviors. Stacy was among the first in the USA to attain CAP certification. In 2006 Stacy was asked to become a member of the Board of Directors as well as a presenter for KADIE (Kids and Dogs Interactive Education), to help develop and promote an educational program to reduce dog bites to children.
Stacy's writing on dog training and animal behavior has appeared in several publications, from the Association of Pet Dog Trainer's Chronicle of the Dog and The Clicker Journal, to local club newsletters like the Prairielands Bloodhound Club "Puppy Issue", the Arizona Pointing Dog Club, and the Los Vast, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Insturcteurs in Honden (the Dutch Dog Training Club). References to her writing are found in several books, including Peggy Tillman's Clicking With Your Dog, and she has a chapter in The Dog Trainer's Resource published in 2006. She is an instructor for several Telecourses (telephone conference-call seminars) for Raising Canine, an international resource for dog-training and teaching seminars.
Stacy has worked closely with the Humane Society Silicon Valley, socializing dogs awaiting adoption, teaching staff and volunteer socializers, and fostering puppies and "issue-challenged" dogs. She has lived with Shelties and an "All-American" (mutt), as well as rats, hamsters, and numerous fish, and of course she worked with four great bottlenosed dolphins. She began her business with the help of Flipper, an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix adopted from the Humane Society in September 1999, and now carries on with Fletcher, a red border collie rescued by the Marin Humane Society in 2015. She also lives with her husband and a daughter born in 2003, giving her a better understanding of the issues faced by families with young children!
Stacy is dedicated to using methods that are humane and effective. She subscribes to the “LIMA” training philosophy, which means she has a commitment to use the “Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive” methods and techniques that will be effective for each client. All dogs and their situations are different, but all dogs follow the laws of learning, and Stacy is dedicated to using positive reinforcement techniques. Stacy says, "You can do anything to me that I might suggest doing to your dog - except feed me liver treats"!
"Stacy has a gift for teaching and for communicating with other species"
— from a class evaluation (anonymous)
Contact Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.