MEET THE WAGS TEAM

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BOBBIE WEGEL

(She / Her)

Trainer

Born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia, Bobbie has had a long career working with dogs in shelters, and as a professional dog trainer teaching group classes and private lessons. Her nine-year tenure as manager of the behavior program at Angels of Assisi afforded her the opportunity to work with a wide range of dogs, especially dogs with complex behavior issues. Bobbie is the former manager of the “In Custody” training program at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection, a program which teaches prisoners how to train basic obedience skills.

Bobbie holds her professional certifications as a dog trainer and shelter evaluator through the Animal Behavior College. She is also a Fear Free Certified Trainer, and has completed the Fear Free course for shelter workers. Her certifications, education, and experience provide her with the skills necessary to help dogs and their humans become better teammates, while keeping alive the spark that makes our dogs so special to us.

COURTNEY ROSE

(She / Her)

Trainer

Courtney Rose is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with an extensive background in animal care and training. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2020 with her bachelor’s degree in Companion Animal Science from Virginia Tech. Courtney is a rewards based trainer who uses science to guide her understanding of how dogs function in the modern world. She does not use aversive methods in her training protocols, but instead uses a force free approach to training. Courtney does not use force, intimidation, pain, threats or coercion. Courtney believes that all dogs have the right to exist in their natural states of mind and behavior and their training protocols should reflect that. She is committed to the highest standards of the industry and strives to work toward those with each client. She is committed to continuing to learn as reliable information is presented to the industry and to accommodate her methods as ethically as she can. Courtney specializes in obedience training and behavior modification, and is interested in agility and nosework.

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AUSTIN STEWART

(He / Him)

Training Apprentice

Though he’s relatively new to the training world, Austin is not at all unfamiliar with dogs and their many quirks, nor is he unfamiliar with how stressful life can be when humans and their furry friends are struggling to find harmony. As life has pushed many reactive dogs his way, Austin tends to be quite fond of dogs who aren't necessarily fond of others, or even of him. As a trainer, Austin hopes to be able to facilitate healthy relationships between dogs and their humans, as well as to help dogs develop the skills needed to navigate the world with less stress, less fear, and ideally, with a lot more wags!

KIT BYERS

(They / Them)

Grooming + Cooperative Care Apprentice

Kit Byers is a nature enthusiast and pet advocate with an interest in behavior, psychology, and wellness. While still in the learning and certifications process, Kit intends to fulfill these interests by becoming a Fear Free Certified pet groomer. Kit has extensive amateur experience raising and working with animals from all over the animal kingdom; it is this experience that has made them realize that the hygiene and health of an animal’s exterior is just as important as their internal health. Kit believes that grooming and hygiene is necessary for all animals, and is seeking to create a safe and comfortable grooming experience for all clients -- including those with pets that the big box companies may mishandle or shame.

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