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Meredith Minkin, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Meredith Minkin, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA

Owner and Behavior Consultant

Meredith Minkin, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA is an internationally certified behavior consultant. She understands the science of behavior modification, classical and operant conditioning. She is a certified through International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and completed her post-baccalaureate education at Tufts University. Meredith is one of 94 Certified Behavior Canine Consultants in the world. She works closely with Veterinary Behaviorists in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Meredith was appointed by The Fulton County Board Of Commissioners to the Animal Control Hearing Board. She will serve the City of Atlanta and Fulton County as a professional expert, who will render advisory opinions involving pets that have been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous by an animal control officer.

Meredith was responsible in helping to create Canine CellMates, the jail dog program at Fulton County Jail.

Meredith is an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy evaluator and an AKC® Canine Good Citizen Evaluator®. Meredith is a creative problem-solver who works with dogs with severe behavior disorders (e.g. phobias, separation anxiety, and aggression). Meredith regularly conducts behavior evaluations of shelter dogs for rescue groups and local animal control agencies. She has rehabilitated abused and aggressive dogs, worked with special needs dogs, and has handled dogs in the confirmation ring. Meredith has experience as the Event and Fund-raising Coordinator for a non-profit 501(c)(3), no kill, rescue group whose main focus is to save high-risk animals from life on the streets, shelters and gas chambers. She has been a guest on the Animal Hour/1620 a.m. radio, has hosted interviews on WSB radio and Q-100. She has also appeared on Channel 2 and 11 speaking about the plight of homeless pets in Metro-Atlanta. She was also featured on CBS Atlanta’s morning show, Better Mornings Atlanta. She has also appeared on CNN, 11-Alive, and Fox News as a pet expert. http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/22997085/index.html

In January 2012 and 2013, Meredith traveled to India to sharpen her pet dog training skills and completed courses in search and rescue, explosive detection, cadaver detection, tracking, gun dog training, guide dog work, and hearing dog work.

Meredith has trained multiple species of animals including, dolphins, parrots, rats, chickens, guinea pigs, coyotes, wolves, and cats. She completed an internship at Zoo Atlanta, and worked exclusively with the resident elephants, Kelly and Tara.

Meredith has worked with many celebrity clients including Usher, Emily Sailers from the Indigo Girls, Sean Mullins, and Falcons’s offensive guard, Andy Levitre, just to name a few.

Meredith has worked with celebrity dog trainer, Victoria Stillwell and has appeared on the show, Its Me Or The Dog. Meredith has appeared on the cover of the Atlanta Journal Constitution with her Jack Russell Terrier, Bullet. She has lectured at the Atlanta Kennel Club, and several elementary schools as a pet expert. For the past four years, Meredith has worked with the District Attorney of Dekalb County to develop PAWS FOR THE CAUSE, an event focused on creating awareness for the abused and neglected animals of Dekalb County. Meredith continues to play an active role in animal advocacy, fund raising, and training for various animal welfare organizations in Atlanta. She has personally placed 1000+ dogs in responsible, loving homes over the past 18 years.

Meredith is currently a mentor for Victoria Stillwell’s Positively Trainers and CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. In addition, local dog trainers, behavior consultants, and veterinarians, attend her classes and seminars, and often refer their difficult behavior cases to her. Meredith works closely with Veterinarian Behaviorists. Several veterinarian students from Auburn University The University of Georgia have completed externships in behavior with Meredith.

Meredith’s personal dogs participate in nose work, tracking, rally obedience, toss and fetch (disc dog), flyball, agility, steeple chase racing, dock-diving, lure coursing, go-to-ground, super-earth, barn and brush hunt. Most recently, they have added "herding" to their resume.

In 2011 and 2012, Bullet was invited to race at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Bullet has earned multiple titles, including "champion" in barn hunt, go-to-ground, super earth and lure coursing. She is the first dog in the United States to earn gold, silver and bronze metals in rally working trials.

In December 2013, Meredith became a Judge for Barn Hunt, LLC. She has previously judged Brush Hunt events for the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.

Meredith volunteers with PAWS Atlanta, Atlanta Dog Squad, Atlanta Pet Rescue, Saving Shelter Pets, Atlanta Boxer Rescue, AARF-Atlanta, DREAM Dachshund Rescue, Lifeline Animal Project, Atlanta Weimaraner Rescue, Shelter Angels Pit Bull Rescue, BullsEye Rescue, Angels Among Us, and other private rescue groups. She also volunteers for Dekalb County Animal Control and Fulton County Animal Services.

Meredith is Pet Tech certified in CPR and First Aid.

Betty Emrey, CPDT-KA

Betty Emrey, CPDT-KA


Betty began the journey into dog training through volunteer work at the ASPCA in New York City. Over five years there, she walked shelter dogs, taught other volunteers how to walk shelter dogs, introduced dogs to potential adopters, and apprenticed as a trainer.

After coming back home to Atlanta Betty began offering a variety of group classes, including basic obedience and puppy kindergarten as well as in-home training and consultations. Betty is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, having successfully completed the training requirements of The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

In addition to teaching, Betty also volunteers at the Atlanta Humane Society in adoptions and with the Paws 2 Teach shelter dog classes. She has competed in both Agility and Rally Obedience, but it’s her work with shelter dogs that inspires her as a trainer. So many great dogs wind up in shelters because of behaviors that could have been avoided or fixed with proper training. Her goal is to help dogs and their people stay together. Betty lives with three rescue dogs: a chihuahua from NYC, a rough coat collie from NOLA, and a black and white mix from the streets of Decatur. Betty serves on the Member Relations Committee of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a member of the Georgia Dog Trainer Forum and the Atlanta Rally Club.

MarLee Thompson, CPDT-KA

MarLee Thompson, CPDT-KA


MarLee’s dog training career began in 2012 with an intensive apprenticeship under Meredith Minkin. MarLee quickly gained the knowledge and experience required to earn her certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and AKC STAR Puppy Evaluator.

MarLee works extensively with a variety of dog breeds, and is experienced in rehabilitating fearful, anxious, reactive, and aggressive dogs. She is a skilled instructor of private consultations, lessons, and group classes. She frequently attends continuing education seminars and workshops led by world-renowned trainers and behaviorists. MarLee incorporates fun and good humor in every training session. As an adult with Cerebral Palsy, she is equipped to make training accessible to handlers of any physical ability.

Together with her husband Beau, MarLee lives with a Belgian Malinois named Viktor and a Pug named Gordon. In addition to her love of animals, she has a lifelong passion for literature and is an aspiring novelist.

Rachel Oncay, CCDT

Rachel Oncay, CCDT

Day Training

Rachel has always had a passion for working with animals. When she was younger she worked with horses. After rescuing her first dog, a Yorkie mix named Catalyst, she fell in love working with dogs of all breeds. She has worked in many different areas of the dog world such as veterinary clinics, grooming salons, dog daycares and boarding facilities. Her interest in learning more about dog behavior came when she rescued a Great Pyrenees mix, named Einstein, who was fearful of the world. She wanted to help him become more comfortable in his surroundings.

While Rachel has previously taught basic obedience to dogs at Petco, she left to study more about dog behavior. She enrolled in the CATCH dog trainer’s academy and as a student she was partnered with Meredith Minkin as her mentor. While working under Meredith, Rachel is looking forward to completing her CPDT-KA as well as earning credit with the AKC to become a Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R Puppy evaluater. One of her long term goals is to continue her education to be able to work with agressive and reactive dogs to help them and their families lead happier, healthier, and safer lives.

In her spare time Rachel enjoys volunteering with the Atlanta Humane Society. She also enjoys doing different dog sports and going for hikes up in the north Georgia mountains with her dogs.

Diane Silver

Diane Silver

Agility Instructor

Diane Silver believes a house is not a home without a dog… and that a fun activity will enhance your bond with your dog, making the intersection of dog and home all that much more enjoyable.

Diane has been involved in performance dog events for the past 12 years, teaching, competing and earning titles in agility, lure coursing, rally obedience, conformation and tricks. She has trained under a number of leading and world-class agility competitors.

At Canine PhD, Diane teaches agility and tricks classes and offers private lessons. She also is a certified K9 Fit Club instructor, focusing on conditioning and strength for dogs and people.

Diane began her journey in performance dog events when her young Havanese needed room to run beyond the condo they called home. The mental and physical stimulation of agility helped save their home, and now Diane shares her experience by teaching other dogs and humans the joy of the sport.

When she’s not teaching classes or competing with her dog, Diane is a public relations and social media consultant and creator of the blog To Dog With Love. Diane also works with brands in the pet industry to share her expertise in dog training and fitness, pet-friendly travel, and creating a pet-friendly home. You can find Diane and her current Havanese pup Rocco on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @ToDogWithLove.

Amie Hendrix

Amie Hendrix

Office Manager

Amie first came to Canine PhD in 2016 as a client. She has three rescue dogs - Samus, Starbuck, and Storm, and has been working on their training over the last two years.

After seeing the progress that was made with her own dogs, Amie decided that she wanted to give back to the community. She left the legal field and joined CaninePhD as Office Manager in 2018. Her goal is to earn the necessary qualifications to be a trainer, while studying under Meredith and learning more about the industry. As of now, she is continuing to work on training her own dogs, as well as assisting all of the trainers at CaninePhD.

In her spare time, she enjoys all things sci-fi, anime, and costuming. She also does martial arts and loves to take her dogs hiking!