Before starting Problem Solved! Dog Training, Susie graduated from a rigorous dog training program in Dover, Delaware. This program had a heavy emphasis on mastering leash handling skills and crafting practical goal-oriented training protocols. Though the initial training was necessary to get her started, it was only the beginning of Susie’s professional career.
Susie’s interest in professional dog training began while volunteering at a local shelter. She noticed an alarming trend of dogs being surrendered for trivial things such as “too much energy, jumping, nipping, escaping from the house, failed potty training.” She watched people arrive crying, feeling heartbroken and full of guilt. What was shocking was that many had undergone “professional” dog training. She felt helpless to offer assistance and wanted to find an answer to stop the people’s pain and the dog’s loss of the only family they knew. Her life’s mission is now working with families to keep dogs in their homes by teaching entire families how to properly communicate with their dog.
Susie firmly believes that learning should never stop and prides her business in being open-minded and creative in training styles. While regularly attending seminars, conferences and workshops, she also consults with other seasoned professionals for additional techniques and approaches to enhance her training tool belt. Just to name a few: Robin McFarland’s E-cademy, aggression rehabilitation in British Columbia with Ted Efthymiadis and Sarah Fulcher, Certified Trick Dog Instructor through Kyra Sundance’s “Do More With Your Dog,” Chad Mackin’s socialization for difficult dogs…etc. She is also a proud member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and regularly attends their yearly conference. Every new piece of knowledge is important!
Susie is especially grateful since the addition of Emily Hilgenberg into Problem Solved Dog Training. Emily has opened her eyes to different methods of training, including marker training and the importance of understanding drive-building exercises. Susie loves to watch Emily work her dogs Blossom and Keeva because they look SO happy to work with her!
Emily Hilgenberg believes you can teach old dogs new tricks, and that the dog can enjoy it as much as you do!
Dogs have been her passion since she was a little girl, and she believes that training is what brings dogs and humans together in a way that benefits both species. She shares her life with Mackenzy the Cocker Spaniel mix, Keeva the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and Blossom the Belgian Malinois. She has titled dogs in AKC Obedience, Protection Sport (PSA), and Rally. Her dog Blossom was the PSA 1 Midwest Regional Champion in 2016, taking highest overall score of any level at the trial, and also finished 4th in PSA 1 at the 2016 PSA Nationals. Emily is the Obedience Director for the Midwest Misfists PSA club.
She has a passion for continuing education and is constantly expanding her techniques by studying the best trainers in the field. Her dog training influences include Bob Bailey, Sylvia Trkman, Patricia McConnell, and Lori Waters. Emily loves bringing the science of learning of out of the lab and into real life!
Emily believes in meeting the individual needs of each dog and owner team, and looks at each new student as an opportunity to learn and grow. She especially enjoys working with reactive or otherwise challenging dogs. She prides herself in being friendly, flexible, and practical.