Paul's introduction to dogs came in 1977 when he purchased his first Bernese Mountain Dog, Mon Plaisir's Sundowner a/k/a Buck. Since that time Paul, along with his wife Mary, has bred, raised, shown, trained and loved several generations of Bernese under the kennel name Ursli.
Paul began training professionally in 1991 when he joined the instructing staff at Gemini Dog Training. Until founding Family Dog Training in 2008, he was a Senior Instructor and Director of the Pet Dog Training Program. He was one of the first trainers to achieve the status of Certified Professional Dog Trainer when the exam was first offered in September 2001. This certification requires that he actively participate in continuing education to constantly update his knowledge and skills. Paul has spoken both at national dog shows and locally on canine behavior and successful companion dog ownership.
He is a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, former President of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Nashoba Valley (covering the New England states), past Rescue Chair of the BMDCNV, and former (and very first) Draft Work Chairman for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America. Paul is currently the Training Resource Chair for the BMDCNV and a long-time Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America Draft Judge. Paul is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluator and a member of Truly Dog Friendly, a national organization promoting non-violent, dog friendly training methods.
Paul shares his teaching duties between his business, Family Dog Training based in Hudson, Massachusetts, and private training and behavior consultations in the New England region. He also teaches at the MSPCA shelter at Nevins Farm in Methuen, Massachusetts.
"I feel that professional trainers have an obligation to establish relationships with their local shelters and humane societies. Making shelter dogs more adoptable and helping them succeed in their new homes is critical work to the welfare of these dogs and their families."
Bridget has always been passionate about animals. So much so that she earned a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from University of Massachusetts in 1997. Bridget began training dogs professionally when she joined the staff at Gemini Dog Training in 2001. After completing the required hours (300) of apprenticeship and teaching, she tested and earned her certification as a professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) in 2007. In the fall of 2008, she co-founded Family Dog Training with Paul Emerson.
Around 2002, exposure to clicker training reignited Lisa Bert’s long-buried interest in working with animals. After several years of juggling family life with dog-related training, work, and education, Lisa became an instructor with Family Dog Training in Hudson, MA, in 2009. Lisa lives in Westford, MA, with her husband, 2 teenage children, and 2 wonderful adopted mutts that have been perhaps her best teachers.
“My greatest goal is to increase people's understanding and appreciation of dogs as dogs. Empathy follows understanding and lays the foundation for a deeper, more honest, more positive relationship. Positive clicker-based training adds the ability for us to communicate effectively without the need for “dominance” or physical manipulation. Positively trained dogs learn more quickly what’s expected and gain confidence and trust in their owners. Owners are happy to find they can teach their dog manners and other behaviors without resorting to punitive measures. Dogs are happy because their owners are happy – it’s a great upward spiral that leads to a fulfilling relationship for both, and I love knowing I’ve had a hand in getting that started.”
Amy Cameron has been working with animals in different capacities for her entire life. Her formal dog training work started in the beginning of 2010 when she began to assist Paul’s training classes two days a week in addition to shadowing and assisting other instructors and attending multiple training seminars. She is currently working towards earning the teaching hours necessary to become certified as a professional dog trainer. Her favorite part of training is seeing the bond and understanding between people and their dogs become stronger. Her own dog, Maya, has taken several upper-level classes and is currently learning Treibball.
Laurie Schultz's life is intertwined with all types of animals, every day. She has been training dogs with Paul for about fifteen years. On top of the training she has provided over the past decade and a half, Laurie has been a stable and familiar face at Woburn Animal Hospital since 1985, having gotten to know every animal that comes through those doors.
Laurie's passion for animals is a large part of her life and is not limited to just cats and dogs. Pursuing her lingering love for squirrels and raccoons that developed as a child, she obtained her wildlife rehabilitation permit from the state and has been rehabilitating wildlife since 2007. She was instrumental in forming NEWARC, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to helping wildlife.
Over the years, Laurie has always had dogs and has never been a stranger to those with challenges. She has taken in strong willed, difficult pitbulls and rottweilers and given them the love, training and a chance they needed and deserved. She currently lives with "RUFFian" graduate, an eight year old rottweiler named Myka, and a two year old rescued mini poodle named Dougie.
Pam Trefry is a third generation resident of Stow. Her local roots run deep, as does her devotion to her family—both human and canine. She is the mother of four grown children and an elementary school teacher. When not teaching fourth grade or working with her dogs, she spends as much time as possible in her flower and vegetable gardens.
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