Lori Nieves has been involved with dogs for over 27 years. She has led Agility classes for 11 years and has been very successful with her Chihuahua, Squish. Lori has attended the AKC Agility Nationals, AKC Agility Invitationals, The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, and the NADAC Championships. Squish was the fastest Agility Chihuahua in the country for most of his life and was ranked in the top five in the country. Squish earned four Master Agility Championship titles in his career. In 2015 Lori and her Papillon, Pink, were winners of the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster in the 8-inch class. In 2018 Lori’s Papillon Pink won the 8-in class for a second time at the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster. Pink currently has five Master agility championship titles. Pink has also been to the Agility Nationals and in 2018 took 5th place in the finals and The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Fury, Lori’s border Collie is also a Master Agility Champion. Lori also enjoys dabbling in Competition Obedience, Tricks and Nose Work.
Michelle has been involved in Rally Obedience since the AKC first started offering Rally-O as a titling companion event in 2005. Michelle has earned multiple titles in Rally Obedience with her dogs throughout the years and was invited to compete in the 2022 Rally National Championship with her Border Terrier. Michelle has been teaching the Rally drop-in class at Joseph’s since 2007 and a love of the sport motivates her to continue working with people and their canine partners whether their goal is to eventually enter Rally trials or are just looking for a fun and interactive sport where they can sharpen their canine partner’s obedience skills. Michelle also trains and competes in the companion sports of Obedience and Agility with her Berger Picard and Border Terrier.
Nose Work ®
Tracey Costa began K9 Nose Work® training with her West Highland White Terrier, Maisie, in April 2010. Tracey fell in love with the sport and became a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) in 2015. She has attended six K9 Nose Work® camps. While there, she was immersed in everything nose work and learned the current training methods from the founders of K9 Nose Work. In 2011, her dog Maisie became the first Westie to earn a NW1 title and she placed third overall at trial. She had many “firsts” with Maisie. Team Maisie became the first Westie to earn the coveted NW3 Elite title. In 2021, Team Maisie was the first Westie to become an Elite Champion. Tracey is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), she is also a Certifying Official for the National Association for Canine Scent Work. Tracey is an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and has completed a canine CPR and First Aid course. Tracey is a member of The Pet Professional Guild.
Many years ago Sheila started training in Obedience with a Doberman Pinscher at the Obedience Training Club of Rhode Island. She currently has three Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Riley, Clayton and Declan. Riley has had a fantastic Obedience career including numerous trips to “the Invitational”, now called the Classic and National Obedience Championship. Riley has achieved his OTCH along with many other titles. He is the first Wirehaired Pointer Griffon to achieve the OTCH title. Although he is still capable of handling the rigorous training schedule he used to have, at ten he is now semi-retired. Most of Sheila’s current attention in Obedience is focused on her three-year-old Declan. She uses positive training with her dogs and as a result, they demonstrate to her how much they enjoy their training time with her. Sheila provides her dogs with error free learning, so that they are successful with almost every attempt at an exercise. Besides training her own dogs, Sheila enjoys teaching others to train their dogs. She also judges in the Companion Dog Sports Program venue and does woodworking in her spare time.
K9 training and competition have been an integral part of Sue’s life. In 2011 Sue retired after 34 years on the job as the creator and manager of the K9 Unit for the Police Department for the Town of Duxbury, MA. She trained patrol and narcotic detection dogs with both passive and aggressive alert. Traveling all over the country, Sue and her police K9s competed in United Schutzhund Clubs of America trials, Police WPO and DPO trials, and United States Police Canine Association trials. Sue and her K9 Bob competed in Germany as members of team USA at the 1989 SV-Bundessiegerprufng in Hannover. Early in his career, K9 Bob gained the number 3 spot in a national DPO competition. His titles included DPO I and II, SchH 1, 2, 3, and Police Service Dog I and II, Narcotic Detector Dog, and Tracking Dog. In 1990 Sue spent a month in Germany with K9 Bob living and training at the German Customs Police Dog School learning their methods of canine scent work. Sue’s passion for dogs continued into her retirement and she is currently a K9 Nose Work® Trial judge for the National Association of Canine Scent Work and a certified K9 Nose Work® instructor, CNWI. Representing the NACSW, Sue teaches the fun sport of Nose Work®, so that the public can experience the satisfaction of bonding with their dog first hand, and witness their dogs awe inspiring capabilities. Sue has an established business, Canine Partners of Cape Cod, developed to assist the busy owners of puppies in properly socializing their dogs. Sue has titled two of her dogs and is a regular attendee of numerous obedience related and K9 Nose Work® classes. She has a puppy currently in training.
Maureen is a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) and believes training should be fun for both dog and owner. She earned her KPA-CTP with her training partner Abby, who was a 12-year-old Jack Russell terrier. Abby proved you can teach an old dog new tricks and the training enriched her life in her senior years. As an avid advocate and participant in K9 Nose Work®, Maureen also loves introducing new students to the activity and training them on the foundational skills for fun and competition. Maureen and her Australian Shepherd, Bo earned the Nose Work Level 3 (NW3) title. Arrow, Maureen’s foster failure, has earned his ORT (Odor Recognition Test) title and is preparing for his first Nose Work Level 1 (NW1) trial. Arrow has also earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and AKC Community Canine (CGCA). Always curious, Maureen continues to expand her knowledge of dog training and behavior by attending seminars, workshops, and conferences in positive reinforcement training, dog behavior and K9 Nose Work®. Most recently Maureen attended the 2021 ADPT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) Conference. Maureen enjoys training dog owners and their dogs and has an affinity for watching the canine-human bond deepen.
Sheryl has been teaching Tricks, Rally Free, and Freestyle since 2012. She has been the Head Trainer and Training Coordinator for Companion Animal Program(CAP), a Cape Cod Therapy dog organization for the last 9 years. She is also an AKC CGC Evaluator. She has been training and competing with her own dogs for the last 35 years in Obedience, Tracking, Agility, Freestyle, and Nosework. She is currently training her Border Collie, Sophie and Border Terrier, Drew in Nosework and Freestyle. Sheryl believes that having fun while learning is pivotal for a dog. When we engage with a dog’s natural gifts of curiosity and play, the partnership is more enjoyable for the human and the dog. Learning Tricks is fun for both ends of the leash!
Sheryl is also a Reiki Master-Teacher, Zen Shiatsu Therapist, and Intuitive, working with Animals and Humans in practice for over 30 years. Sheryl has an established practice, Sheryl B & Co. The healing work began with her own healing and working with humans. The healing relationship with Animals developed when the human clients began bringing their animals to their own sessions. Soon it became more Animals than Humans.
Laurie Costa is an Animal Behavior College (ABC) Certified Professional Dog Trainer (ABC-CDT). She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College and has worked as a therapist for over 25 years. Over the years, she has spent many years helping clients with Behavior Modification, utilizing operant and classical conditioning, as well as desensitization and cognitive restructuring approaches and techniques.
After many years of training her own dogs as well as friend’s and family dogs, she decided to return to school to combine her 2 loves – animals and Behavior Modification! She attended ABC to complete her coursework and worked as an Intern at Alpha Dog Center in Rhode Island.
Laurie has attended dog training seminars and is a Positive Reinforcement trainer, meaning she uses positive reinforcements (or rewards – treats, praise, etc.) to encourage appropriate canine behavior. Her focus is on teaching and developing skills and communicating them via a trusting human and canine relationship.
In addition to behavior modification, Laurie enjoys teaching puppy classes, basic manners, and pet tricks. She has experience working with many types of behavioral issues (such as resource guarding, reactivity, fear aggression, etc.) Laurie currently works with several rescues and her local shelter to help rescue/shelter animals find homes! Laurie specializes in working with rescue animals with behavioral issues.