My dog, Hershey, started it in 2002. She lunged and barked at other dogs, and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to support her so she’d feel safe and not feel the need to react to other dogs. I was volunteering at the Wisconsin Humane Society and fostering with a breed rescue as I started learning about training to help Hershey. Then, I began to spend vacation time from my “real job” learning about dog training and behavior. As Hershey began to come into her own, I did too. As a lifelong dog lover, it was so much fun to learn I’d found my passion. I started college as an education major and eventually shifted course. Now, I’ve come full circle to teaching, only I am teaching people and dogs. In 2011, I started Cold Nose Canine and I’ve been loving my job ever since.
My personal dogs have all added to my training and education. I believe my dogs come to me for a reason, as I learn something different from each one.
I use only positive training techniques, because research and behavior science have shown it’s the most effective way for you and your dog to learn. Plus, it’s fun! We’ll set reasonable expectations and rules for your dog as we train. We’ll use positive techniques, like rewarding with food, toys, touch and praise. What I do takes time, love, respect and consistency—just like any change. My goal is to help you be successful with your dog.
Dogs have always been an integral part of my entire life. From a childhood spent roaming the country side with my two German Shepherds, to winning a contest for having the “smartest dog” with my dog Scottie, when I was 10, to my adult years spent caring for and training my neurotic and lovable Chocolate Lab, George, to my current life spent with my three dogs, Lola, Walter, and Beatrice.
There have been so many dogs, both my own and others, that have taught me so much about life, patience and unfailing love. It is my strong love for dogs (and people too!) that inspired me to make the leap into professional dog training. It was George, my first dog as an adult, who cemented my passion and skill for working with dogs, as well as my introduction into clicker training. I couldn’t believe how quickly, and enthusiastically, he learned! I'm the owner of Radiant Canines and attended the Karen Pryor Academy, graduating with distinction in December of 2016. I’m so happy to be doing what I love and helping people with their beloved companions by teaching classes and doing private consultations.
My love of and passion for dogs extends back to my childhood. I decided to make training dogs part of my profession in 2016 when I founded SideKick Dog Training in Milwaukee, WI. I love every opportunity to get to know both the furry and human end of the leash!
I am whole-heartedly committed to using force-free, reward-based training methods that foster, develop, and strengthen the relationship between a dog and their human. In 2018, I earned my CPDT-KA certification. Additionally, I'm dedicated to continuous education and learning the latest and most effective methods for teaching our furry companions how to navigate this difficult human world.
I currently share my home with one dog, Ruby (pictured), who is often providing me with opportunities to learn and grow as a dog trainer (wink, wink).
Ever since Clairess was little, she’s loved animals, and has owned just about every pet you can think of—cats, fish, birds, turtles, frogs, snakes, gerbils—but never dogs.
In 2015, she finally added her first canine to her life, Alvarado (Alva). Alva was an adorable lab/rott mix puppy that was easy to train, except when it came to her desire to guard high value items. At this point, Clariess began her journey to understand all she could about dog behavior. That same year she began working at doggy day care, which allowed her to learn all about dog body language, dog-play dynamics and how to use positive reinforcement training techniques with a wide variety of dogs.
She is currently seeking her CPDT-KA certification and enjoys working with dogs of all ages and breeds, using positive reinforcement training techniques. In addition to Alva, Clairess’ heart is shared by Harriet (an American Staffordshire Terrier) and her two cats, Gizmo and Velvet.