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 Diane Ellis Manocchia, 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.

FYI: How to choose a dog trainer.

Meet POC's Instructors

SUE WALSH has trained and raised Cocker Spaniels for 28 years and has been a member of POC for 26 years. 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 she teaches a variety of classes. Her specialty, however, is Kindergarten Puppy Training (KPT). She is also very active in Cocker Spaniel Rescue.

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.

JOHN PITTMAN has been training dogs for Piscataqua Obedience Club for 20 years. He teaches Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Obedience, Advanced Basic Obedience, and Competition. He has German Shorthaired Pointers and Deutsch Kurzhaar dogs, including Riseborough's Daniel Boone CD NAVHDA NA Prize I, Timbertop's Sacagawea CD, Dana On Point, and trained his Labrador Retriever, Scrimshaw Shalimar ("Laika") to a Companion Dog title. He is a member of NADKC, NAVHDA, and NAFA and is working towards certifying Dinah as a big game tracking dog, per NH and F&G rules.

STACI STANLEY has been training for POC for 10 years. 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. Their titles include, Ch. Bridlewood's Poco Osa CDX, RAE, CGC ("Osa"), Better Behavior's Maki Combo FDX, RE, CGC ("Sushi"). Her late dog "Yuri", a Siberian Husky, earned a CD and CGC.


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.

BARBARA BARREIRO is an apprentice instructor for POC. She has been training her own dogs for 15 years in obedience, rally, agility, tracking, and herding. She is a member of the Australian Shepherd Club of America, the Australian Shepherd Club of New England, and the Dog Tracking Club of Maine. She received a Level II certification from the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers in 1998. She has an Australian Shepherd, Lula (Fairoaks Libelula RE NA NAJ JS-N GS-N), and has earned titles on previous dogs: Lyveden White Bear ASCA CDX JV-N AKC CD RN(Flecha) Lyveden Welksin Brave ASCA CD GS-N RS-N JS-O AKC CD OA NAJ (Zen). She attended a positive reinforcement seminar in March 2008.

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. silver and gold, F.M. F.M.X.,F.M.ex.,,Onyx,; Casey—C.D.,C.D.X.,U.K.C.D., U.K.C.D.X.,C.G.C.,F.Fd.,F.D.X.,, and gold.,F.M. and F.M.X; Casey—In training. She is also involved in the sports of Tracking and Herding.


CHERYN BREELING teaches Flyball classes for POC. She has Rottweilers, Australian Cattle Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and a Pug X Tzu. Their titles include: Ch. Welkerhaus Atlas Von Stuttig CGC, HIC, TT; Lyndale's Azriel Von Stuttig CGC, TT; Amer/Can Ch. Von Stuttig's Archon CGC, TT, TDI; Von Stuttig's Aydelvauz CG, CGC, TT, TDI, AD; Von Stuttig's Britta CDX, CGC, TT, TDI, AD; Von Stuttig's Don't Look Back CD, CGC; Eastwood's Star Struck Aurora, CGC; Harbour's Ace of Hearts, CGC. She belongs to the American Rottweiler Club, the Maine Coast Runners Flyball Team, and is active in Conformation, Obedience, Herding, Agility, Tracking, and Flyball.

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