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After getting married, Melissa and her husband found their first puppy together and began identifying concerning behavioral issues at five months of age. They sought out assistance from a professional dog trainer to help modify and manage her dog’s fearfulness, reactivity and social anxiety.


Through this training, Melissa began working alongside inspiring professionals who offered valuable insight past training alone. This process led her to create and implement a unique dog walking business in Philadelphia, Reactive Rover Dog Walking, which was tailored towards handling inner city dogs presented with special behavioral needs. Through this work, Melissa has gained invaluable experience helping a variety of behaviorally challenged dogs through their everyday lives in a stimulating urban environment.


Most recently, Melissa and her husband have added three children to their family which challenges her to balance the demands of being both a dog mom and a mom to her three daughters. Her innate love for children and dogs forces Melissa to think outside the box for ways to include all family members – ultimately working towards fostering a family that is dog aware.


Melissa is committed to teaching all family members to understand dog body language while also building confidence, empathy and patience in her daughters’ daily dog interactions.


Melissa believes every individual - both human and dog - is different, dependent upon their learning style, past experiences, current lifestyle and goals. Melissa is excited to help you acquire the knowledge, skills, and accountability systems to help you find the right balance for you and your dog.


Katrin Patergin 

From a young age, dogs have always held a special place in Katrin's heart. Their intelligence and unique personalities have captivated her throughout her life. Besides her professional pursuits, Katrin also dedicates her time as a volunteer at the local rescue, where she works as a dog trainer. She has been walking dogs for many years as well.

Katrin's academic journey started at the Animal Behavior College, where she acquired valuable knowledge. She then further enriched her expertise at the Nordic Education Centre for Dog Trainers School. As a dedicated advocate for positive reinforcement techniques, she has developed a particular fondness for dog enrichment and recreational nose work. Through her training methods, Katrin aims to foster and strengthen the deep bond between pets and their owners.

Currently, Katrin resides in the town of Crozet with her husband, two children, and their beloved family dog. She cherishes every moment spent with her family, whether they are traveling, hiking, or simply exploring new places.

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