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MEET THE TRAINER: Maddie Speirs SAPT

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Growing up, I took every opportunity to work with animals that I could find. I volunteered at shelters, worked to ride at the barn, and got my first real job as a doggy daycare attendant in high school. When I got to college, where I chose to dual major in Animal and Environmental Studies, I joined a wildlife rescue team and have saved seabirds, birds of prey, squirrels, possums, and more.

 

On a camping trip during my sophomore year of college, I found a dog who had been dumped on the side of the road. Knowing I couldn’t leave her there, I took her in, and when I couldn’t find her owner or a willing home, I decided to keep her. That dog threw me into the world of dog training, and I never looked back. Both of the dogs that I have shared my life with have come to me with significant behavioral issues, so I have developed plenty of empathy for dog guardians who are struggling with their dog. 

I know how hard it can be to share your life with a dog who is having a hard time, and I am excited to make life easier for both you and your dog! I am a certified SA Pro, so if your dog struggles with alone time or being separated from ‘their person,’ I am here to help! Helping dogs and their people through separation anxiety and similar behaviors is a passion of mine because comfortable alone time is often such a relief for both the humans and the dogs. Because I know how hard life can be with difficult dogs, I am also really passionate about working with dogs through puppyhood and adolescence to create stable and resilient adult dogs. I have become a firm believer in positive reinforcement and consent based training. I want the dogs that I work with to be enthusiastic and unafraid learners who feel comfortable showing me how they really feel. I am a lifelong learner, and I am dedicated to continuing my education, and staying up to date on the most humane and effective ways to train. 

Formal Qualifications

  • Eckerd College

    • Senior (graduating spring of 2023)

    • Dual major in Animal and Environmental Studies

    • Undergraduate Research Assistant - Conservation, Behavior, and Population Ecology 

  • Certified Separation Anxiety Pro (Cert. SAPT)​

 

Experience/Continuing Education

  • Volunteer

    • Providence Animal Center (2017-2019)

    • Red Paw Emergency Relief Team (2019)

    • SPCA Tampa Bay (2021- Present)

    • SWFL House Rabbit Rescue (2021-Present)

  • Research

    • NOAA Atlantic Sturgeon Population Research Assistant (2020)

    • Eckerd Student Research Bioacoustics Lab (2021)

    • Eckerd Student Research Animal Cognition Lab (2022)

  • Work

    • Stable Hand and Riding Instructor, Ashford Farm (2014-2019)

    • Doggy Daycare Attendant, Kiwi Dogz (2018-2019)

    • Rescuer and Rehabber, Birds in Helping Hands (2019-Present)
       

​Continuing Education

  • Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

    • Management for Reactive Dogs

    • Dealing with the Bogeyman: Helping Reactive and Fearful Dogs- The Play Way! 

    • Crate Training Dogs: Happy Crating for Life

    • The Power of YES: Consent in Dog Training

    • The Lemonade Virtual Conference (2022)

  • Michael Shikashio - Aggression in Dogs

    • 3 day Workshop (2022)

  • Trish McMillan 

    • Losing Lulu - Making the Decision for Families (2021)

 

 

 

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Maddie
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