Our trainers use motivational techniques emphasizing humane, kind treatment. All have won obedience titles with the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, or the Canadian Kennel Club, as well as Flyball and Agility titles. Training Director Sue Walsh and Mary Peterson are endorsed by the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, Inc. (NADOI). Staci Stanley is endorsed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Mary Peterson and Diane Ellis Manocchia are also members of APDT.
All POC instructors complete an extensive apprenticeship program and attend yearly seminars in dog training, behavior, and care. Several instructors and club members are AKC-endorsed Canine Good Citizen evaluators.
Meet POC's Instructors
SUE WALSH has trained and raised Cocker Spaniels for show since 1981. She joined POC in 1982 and became one of the club's instructors in 1983. She was appointed POC Training Director in 2013. Her dogs have earned titles with the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club and United Kennel Club. She has titled her dogs with CDXs (Companion Dog Excellent) from AKC, UKC, and CKC. All dogs have earned their CGCs (Canine Good Citizen) and she is currently training a dog for her UD (Utility Dog) title. Two of her dogs have earned FDs (Flyball Dog). One has earned TD (Tracking Dog) and another is a certified Therapy Dog. She has also titled her dogs in both Rally Novice and Rally Advanced. She is endorsed by the NADOI (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors). Sue is POC's Training Director and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and she teaches the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program for the club. Her specialty class is Kindergarten Puppy Training (KPT). She does foster work for Cocker Spaniel Rescue. Sue also is a volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog organization called NEADS in Princeton, MA.
MARY PETERSON has trained dogs for POC for 18 years. She has an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire, teaches Technical Writing at UNH, and is also web writer and editor for the Whittemore School's Graduate Programs. For POC, she teaches Basic Obedience, Advanced Basic Obedience, and Canine Good Citizen, and has also taught Puppy, Pre-Novice, and Novice classes. She is an AKC CGC Evaluator. She is a member of the American Chesapeake Club and holds titles of Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog, Tracking Dog, Rally Novice, and Companion Dog on her Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. She currently has four Chesapeakes: Fitzhugh's Kennebago River CGC "Luke," Silvercreek Damask Rose RN CGC "Rosie," Seapoint Doria RN CGC, and Seapoint Julia CGC. Mary is endorsed by the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) and is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). She teaches dog obedience classes at Rangeley, Maine, in the summer. She has attended a dog aggression seminar with Tufts Director of Animal Behavior Dr. Nicholas Dodman and a seminar with noted trainer and author, Jean Donaldson, "Debunking the Dominance Myth," as well as other seminars. She is Treasurer for Piscataqua Obedience Club and competes in AKC Conformation and Obedience.
STACI STANLEY has been training dogs professionally since 1997. She currently teaches Basic Obedience and Rally Obedience, but has also taught Advanced Basic, Canine Good Citizen, and Competition classes. She's an Honors Graduate of UNH, an Active Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and a former CPDT title holder. She has a Bouvier des Flandres, a Papillon, and an American Eskimo dog: Ch.Bridlewood's Poco Osa CDX, RAE, CGC, TDI (Bouvier), Better Behavior's Maki Combo FDX, RE, CGC (Papillon), and Kodi – Accomplished couch potato! (American Eskimo), plus her late Siberian Husky, Yuri of Great Bay CD, CGC. Her Bouvier des Flanders "Osa" and her Papillon "Sushi" were both the first of their breeds in the United States to receive a Rally Title. Staci and Osa continued on to earn the Advanced Excellent Title and become the #3 ranking Bouvier in the country.
LINDA MAY MCKINNON is a new instructor for POC and is qualified to teach all levels of obedience through CDX, and all levels of rally and agility. She has a B.S. in Animal Science from UNH and has been training her own dogs for over 30 years. She has also been a member of POC for 30 years. She is an AKC CGC Evaluator, conducts temperament tests on puppies, and has been a breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis over the past 10 years. The matriarch of her breeding program and the first dog she competed with was the late Sandwynn's Queen Of Hearts CGC CDX RE NA NAJ NAP NJP "Keeley" and her first breed champion was Keeley's daughter, the late CH Wynnmoor's Fire Spirit CGC RA "Korigan." Other dogs she has titled include the late UCD Wynnmoor's Cadi Of Sandwynn CGC CDX RE NAP NJP AX MXJ "Cadi" and her current dog Wynnmoor's Wizard Of Oz CGC CD RE NAP NJP RL1 AOE-L1 "Ozzie" as well as several titles on dogs she co-owns. She is a member of the Tracking Club of Maine, The Agility Club of New Hampshire and competes in AKC Conformation, Obedience, Rally, and Agility as well as in UKC Obedience. Her latest venture has been APDT Rally with Ozzie who is in wheels. She recently attended a seminar on dog aggression, body language, and leash reactivity in dogs at the Happy Tails Training Center in Portland, ME as well as agility handling seminars in Ossipee and Amherst.
MERRILLYNN HILL has been teaching for POC 10+ years. She currently teaches Novice and Open Competition. She has been training her own dogs and competing actively for the last 15 years, and has worked with top trainers including Celeste Meade, Terri Arnold, and Sylvia Bishop. In 2005, her Austrailian Shepherd was ranked #3 Novice Obedience Dog in the Australian Shepherd Club of America; that year he was also ranked #8 Novice Obedience dog in his breed in AKC. She currently has one Australian Shepherd and two Border Collies. Her Aussie, Propwash Sealevel Your The One ("Uno") CDX ASCA CD Can CD, has won 14 High in Trials and 2 Front & Finish Platinum awards in Novice. Uno also placed 2nd in Novice at the 2005 All Star Obedience Championships. Her Border Collie, I'm Too Fast N Furious at Nimrod ("Indy"), will make his debut in Novice this year. Previously, Merrillyn's Novice A Labrador Retriever earned his CD and her next Lab, UCDX M & J's High Hopes Tobey AM & CAN CDX was a multiple High in Trial and dog world award winner. Her dogs do agility and herding as well as competitive obedience. A member of the Australian Shepherd Club of America and the Border Collie Club of America, she has been a working participant in Sylvia Bishop's 3-day training seminars, has attended OTCH Camp with Celeste Meade at American K9 Country, attended Open & Utility Seminars, and a dog aggression seminar.
SHIRLEY RAND is head Flyball instructor for POC, and has been training Flyball for 7 years. She has taken several classes with POC over the past 20 years. She is a member of POC, Marshland Obedience Club, York County Kennel Club, and North American Flyball Club. Her German Shepherd dogs are nationally titled in the sport of Flyball, including Abby—C.D.,C.D.X.,U.K.C. C.D. and C.D.X., T.D.I., G.S.D.T.T., F.D.,F.D.X.,F.D.ch.,F.D. silver and gold, F.M. F.M.X.,F.M.ex.,F.M.ch.,Onyx, FG.D.ch.; Casey—C.D.,C.D.X.,U.K.C.D., U.K.C.D.X.,C.G.C.,F.Fd.,F.D.X.,F.D.ch.,F.D.ch.silver and gold.,F.M. and F.M.X; Casey—In training. She is also involved in the sports of Tracking and Herding.
CHERYN BREELING, ANWI teaches Flyball and Canine NoseworkTM classes for POC. She has 1 Rottweiler, 5 Australian Cattle Dogs, 1 Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, 2 Border Collies, and a Pug x Shih Tzu mix. She has been training dogs since she was 11 years old. She started with 4-H Dog Care, training her first GSD in obedience and conformation. Later, she trained another GSD in tracking. After moving to Colorado in 1984 she began herding and weight pulling with several Rottweilers. Back in NH, she returned to the Breed ring with her Rotties and ACDs. Later she was introduced to Flyball, then to Dock Dog - Big Air and Speed Retrieve. Most recently, she discovered the world of scentwork. Most of the dogs Cheryn currently has are rescues. Cheryn now enjoys competing in "games" with her dogs. Each dog is unique; some excel in flyball, others in scentwork, and several dogs are retired from competition.
Cheryn likes to get to know each dog and work toward a goal best suited for that particular dog. She currently competes in flyball with the Maine Coast Runners Flyball Team (since 2000) and Canine NoseworkTM (since 2011). Cheryn has titled many dogs in multiple disciplines since beginning her life with dogs. Some of the many titles attained by Cheryn's dogs include: American/Canadian Conformation Champions, CD, CDX, CGC, TDI, TT, Dock Dog Big Air Masters, Flyball Grand Champion 40,000, Flyball Iron Dog, Nosework 1, 2 and 3 Nosework 3-Vehicles, Exteriors, Containers.
SCOTT MACE has been a member of the Piscataqua Obedience Club since 2010. For the past 20 years, he has been a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Every year he turns in his current dog for advanced training, and the whole process of training a new puppy starts once again. The puppies attend POC training classes from Puppy class up to Canine Good Citizen during their 18 month training periods.
After helping as a volunteer spotter for the POC classes, Scott decided to apprentice and become an instructor. He says, "By working together, our task will be training a well-mannered dog that will have the basic working knowledge of what is expected within his or her family household."
Scott is a Canine Good Citizen evaluator and registered member of Pet Partners, a National Therapy Dog Training Organization. He looks forward to spending many years with the POC while meeting many people and their canines along the way.
JULIE SMITH has been a Lifetime member of Piscataqua Obedience Club since 1994. She is recognized as a Breeder of Merit with the American Kennel Club. Julie has bred, trained and raised German Shorthaired Pointers and Hungarian Vizslas since 1993. She is a Hunt Test Performance Judge as well as a CGC Evaluator with the AKC. She has also been Certified in Canine First Aid and CPR by the American Red Cross. She is also a member of the Vizsla Club of Central New England, the Vizsla Club of America, Katahdin GSP Club of Greater Portland, German Shorthaired Pointer Club ofAmerica, the North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association, the United Kennel Club and the North American Flyball Association. Julie is currently competing and training dogs in Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Agility, Tracking, and Hunt Test. Julie owned and trained the first German Shorthaired Pointer to achieve the Versatility Champion title in the United States. She also has bred and handled two Bred By Champions as well as breeding a multiple Best in Show winner who is currently #7 in the country. Her dogs have earned their CGC designations and Star Puppy, too. She has also titled several dogs in Obedience (AKC and UKC) Rally, Agility, Tracking, Flyball and Hunt Test with several 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place ribbons. Many of Julie's students have gone on to earn titles with placements as well. Julie currently shares her home with 7 dogs: 5 GSPs (a 15 yr old, two 13 yr olds, an 8 yr old and a 6 mos. old) and 2 Vizslas (an 8 yr old and a 1 yr old).