Who Are We?

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

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

Owner and Head Trainer

Meredith Minkin has extensive qualifications and expertise as a professional dog trainer. A Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, she has appeared as a dog training expert on numerous Metro-Atlanta area television and radio programs, including Victoria Stillwell’s “It’s Me or the Dog.” Meredith specializes in solving severe dog behavior disorders such as aggression, anxiety, and phobias, and has many years of experience working with a broad range of breeds in a wide variety of environments.

Meredith is on the Board of Directors of the Dogwood Jack Russell Terrier Club, and has been active in many civic projects, from building a dog park to helping develop Paws for the Cause. She volunteers as a behavior evaluator for over a dozen animal rescue organizations in the Metro-Atlanta area, and has personally found homes for more than 1,000 dogs with loving families.

Meredith is one of the founders of Canine CellMates, A Fulton County Jail Dog Program. As part of the Fulton County Jail’s dog program, Meredith evaluates and places dogs from Fulton County Animal Control with prisoners so they can train them as part of their rehabilitation. She also serves the City of Atlanta and Fulton County as a professional expert on the Animal Control Hearing Board, rendering advisory opinions involving pets that have been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous by an animal control officer.

Recently, 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’s dogs compete in many activities, and her dog 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 medals in rally working trials.

In 2011 and 2012, Bullet was invited to race at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Meredith’s 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, superearth, barn and brush hunt. Most recently, they have added "herding" to their resume! Meredith earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art from Mount Holyoke College, and completed her post-baccalaureate art education at Tufts University. She has drawn illustrations for books, magazines, and a greeting card company that she co-founded.

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 has turned a lifelong love of dogs into a passion for training. Her interest first arose while preparing for a companion dog of her own. She sought to gain a true understanding of how dogs learn, as well as their methods of communication and perception of their environments.

The more research she conducted, the stronger her desire to work with dogs on a daily basis, and equip them with the tools needed to thrive in a human world. Wanting to further her education and fully develop her skills as a dog trainer, MarLee entered into an apprenticeship with Meredith Minkin, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA.

During her apprenticeship, MarLee intensely studied the principles of classical and operant conditioning, and behavior modification. She gained valuable hands-on experience with many breeds and types of dogs, including those who are fearful, anxious, or aggressive.

Upon successfully completing the training requirements of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, MarLee became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed.

Lennox Gavin, CPDT-KSA

Lennox Gavin, CPDT-KSA

Lennox has over 15 years of experience training dogs. His career started at the Animal Protection Society in Mebane, NC, where he volunteered and taught classes. When Lennox moved to Atlanta in 2002, he became a trainer at PetSmart and worked for them for 4 years. His next position was at Petco, where he became the Atlanta District Dog Training Mentor. In this role, he trained all new dog trainers entering the Petco Atlanta market in a twelve week instructors course, which included classroom and hands-on training. Lennox was responsible for developing the company‘s final written dog trainer’s exam with National Dog Training Lead, Fanna Easter. In 2012, Lennox was appointed to Director of Training for the Canine Cellmates Program at the Fulton County Jail. Lennox is still a volunteer with Canine Cellmates, and he currently is the Director of Training for the Post Adoption Team. Lennox is the lead trainer of Canine PhD’s day-training and play-training programs. He also teaches classes and private lessons. In his free time, Lennox enjoys cooking. His specialty is Cajun!

Becca Hancock, ABCDT

Becca Hancock, ABCDT

Becca is a graduate of the Animal Behavior College, and has been working as a Certified Dog Trainer since 2008. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Outdoor Education and completed an apprenticeship with an Animal Behaviorist. Becca previously taught group classes and private lessons at PetSmart. Becca has a brilliant blend of knowledge in both behavior and performance dog work, but she is most passionate about canine fitness and conditioning. She is active in extreme distance, freestyle disc and dock diving with her personal dogs. She is a 20 time World Finalist in Disc (Skyhoundz and USDDN) and is currently 4th in the World in Women’s Microdog Xtreme Distance. She will be be competing at the World Championship for Skyhoundz Disc in September with three qualified dogs. Becca and Eclipse are also World Finalists in NADD (North American Dock Diving) and will be competing at the World Championships at Eukanuaba in Orlando in December. In addition to her canine fitness activities, Becca will be teaching our agility classes, sports foundations classes, and she will eventually be teaching dock diving and disc dog at our new location in Decatur, GA.