Our Instructors

working-5x7-240Joseph Mendonca

Owner, Obedience Levels I, II, III, Puppy Kindergarten and CGC

A trainer for over 30 years, Joseph has numerous American and Canadian Obedience Titles, including two Dog World Awards. He has been the winner of multiple American and Canadian In-Breed Championships. Joseph is certified for training at all levels, is a certified judge for the U.S. Temperament Test Association, and is an Externship Instructor/Mentor for the Animal Behavior College located in California. In addition, Joseph is a German Shepherd Dog breeder and a lover of all dogs.



Lori Nieves


Lori Nieves has been involved with dogs for over twenty-five years. She has lead agility classes for ten years and has been very successful with her Chihuahua, Squish. Lori has attended the AKC Agility Nationals, AKC Agility Invitationals, and the NADAC Championships. Squish has been in the top five AKC Agility Chihuahuas in the country for the past five years. Lori & Squish are currently working towards their third AKC Master Agility Champion Title! In 2015 Lori and her Papillon, Pink, were winners of the  Master’s Agility Championship at Westminster, 8″ class. In 2018 Lori’ s Papillon Pink won the 8″ class for a second time at the Master’s Agility Championship. Pink was ranked fifth in the 2018 Agility Nationals.                View Lori and Pink’s Championship run in 2015 and Pink’s Championship run in 2018 with Howard Carr through the links below: 

Lori and Pink’s Championship Run 2015

2018 Westminster Championship Runs


michelleMichelle McCafferty


Michelle has been involved in the sport of Rally Obedience since the AKC first started offering Rally-O as a titling companion event. Michelle has successfully competed with two of her dogs in Rally-O for over 7 years now, earning Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) titles on both dogs. She attends Rally seminars whenever possible to sharpen skills and stay current on recent changes to Rally regulations and exercises. Michelle also trains in and competes in the companion sports of Obedience and Agility and participates with her dogs in sanctioned Earthdog and Barn Hunt tests.


nosework 007Tracey Costa

Nose Work ®

Tracey Costa began nose work training with her West Highland White Terrier, Maisie, in April 2010. She has trained with multiple Certified Nose Work instructors as well as a search and rescue expert. 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® and other CNWI. 

Tracey is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWITM).  In 2011, her dog Maisie became the first Westie to earn a NW1 title and she placed third overall at trial. In 2013, Maisie was the second Westie to earn a NW2 title and placed fifth overall at trial. In 2016,Team Maisie became the first Westie to earn the coveted NW 3 Elite title. 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 – advocates for force-free dog training.


imagecrop_01.pngSheila Bennett

Competitive Obedience: Novice Plus, Open, Utility, Private Lessons

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.



Susan JamesSusan James, CNWI

K9 Nose Work®

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 Dwyer 

Nose Work®, Level I , Canine Good Citizen

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.