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About Your Dog Advisor

Your Dog Advisor’s mission is to be the trusted authority on dogs.

Written for the current or prospective dog owner who wants to learn how to better care for his or her dogs, each piece of content we publish is:

  • Research-backed
  • Carefully fact-checked
  • Written only by dog experts with significant experience. Our editorial team includes veterinarians, dog groomers, specialists and dog owners with many years of personal and professional experience caring for dogs.

We also advocate for responsible dog ownership and seek to build a global community of informed and caring dog owners.

On this blog you will find:

  • Dog Breed Information
  • Dog Health Information
  • Dog Training Guides
  • Answers to frequently asked questions from our readers such as “Why does my dog keep licking me?”, “Why does my dog keep chasing its tail?” or “What to do if my Dog Likes to Eat Poop?”

And much, much more!

Jen Jones
Editor in Chief

Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. She has worked with many of the world's leading dog behaviorists and volunteers frequently with local animal shelters and rescue groups. Her training style emphasizes positive reinforcement, and force-free / fear-free training techniques. She is also an educator, author and speaker who has contributed to The Bark, Forbes, Fast Company, MindBodyGreen and numerous other leading industry publications.

Sara Seitz
Expert Dog Trainer

Sara Seitz has spent most of her life in the pet industry and has a bachelors in animal behavior from Colorado State University. Sara started working with dogs and cats as a high schooler at a rural boarding kennel. There she learned a lot about the bad and the ugly of the pet service industry. But not even the toughest day at that job would dissuade Sara from following her dream of working with animals.

In college, Sara got a job at a dog daycare and boarding facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her new career provided even more opportunities for learning about dog behavior than her classes did. As general manager of the daycare, Sara helped the company launch a new in-home pet sitting branch and trained to become a certified dog trainer. Between shifts taking care of peoples pets in-home and supervising dogs during playtime at the daycare, Sara organized and taught obedience classes.

Sara has always been passionate about bettering the lives of our canine companions. She soon found that advocating for and educating owners in the power of positive reinforcement training was one of the best ways to help dogs and their owners live happier lives.

In addition to her work, Sara also spent much of her time volunteering at the local humane society and teaching Pet First Aid and CPR classes for the Red Cross. She is passionate about rescue dogs and has worked with many rescues to find homeless pets a better life.

Kim Mayes
Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Stunt Dog Judge

Kim Mayes has been training, performing and competing with her dogs for over 20 years. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and Stunt Dog Judge (SDJ) amongst her many certifications. She is a published author in the area of training and behavior, writing books such as "Getting Braver" and "Hyper Dog 101" and owns Rockin' Dawgs Positive Dog Training LLC in Rockledge, FL. She is also a proud member of the Pet Professional Guild which promotes the importance of using force-free training.

Kim resides in Brevard County, Florida with her 3 Siberian Huskies, Seppala, Rocket and SuperNova, and her Chinese Crested Dog, Loki. Her wonderful rescue pack has gone on to achieve Champion titles and even hold world records in the trick and stunt world.

Tara Schatz
Dog Trainer / Photographer

Tara spends much of her time raising puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She has been volunteering with Guiding Eyes for the past 12 years, and is currently raising her 9th puppy, a frisky German shepherd named Gatsby. Tara will work with Gatsby for a year, providing him with a loving home, obedience training, and many new experiences to help him become a guide dog.  

Tara has been a passionate animal lover since she was a little girl. She got her first dog when she was four years old, and has lived with a rotating cast of animals ever since. She is fascinated by the complex bonds that develop between human and animals, and is dedicated to helping people use humane and effective training methods to build deeper relationships with their pets.

Gemma Johnstone
Dog Trainer

Gemma is an official dog nut and passionate traveller. Originally from the wonderful city of Edinburgh in Scotland, Gemma is now wandering across Europe with her rescue dog Annie. For ten years Gemma loved being surrounded by all things canine 24/7 whilst she ran a specialist doggy shop. The shop was a great community hub and, along with working closely with local rescues, Gemma provided customer support relating to canine behaviour and nutrition. It was a passion project and one that Gemma felt privileged to have created. She is also studying towards an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour and is a huge advocate of dog rescue and promoting scientific methods of dog training.

Kelly Black
Dog Trainer

Kelly Black is a dog trainer born and raised in Pittsburgh. She remembers two things vividly from her childhood: watching the Pittsburgh Steelers on TV and playing with the family dog, Mindy. When Kelly and her husband married, they moved to Florida and immediately adopted their first dog, a mutt named Heinz. (The name was a tribute to Kelly’s beloved hometown and the fact that the dog had about 57 different breeds in him.)

Four months after Heinz joined the family, an abandoned golden retriever wandered into their garage. After turning him in to the Humane Society where no one claimed him, Kelly and her husband adopted him too and named him Samson. She enjoys writing about dogs and taking pictures of them. She found that getting to know people’s dogs through her photography was a great way to make friends with the owners too. Kelly published her first book in summer 2017. 

Krista Rae Shawley
Dog Guide

Krista Rae Shawley is a dog mom from Boise, Idaho who you will find on the mountain by means of board, bike, or pack, depending on the season. She, alongside her husband Brian and Blue Heeler Pointer mix Sable, reside throughout the Northwest traveling the parks, trails, slopes and waters by campervan. She has mastered the art of the trail dog, as their dog Sable bravely accompanies them on journeys and endeavours that challenge even the best of canines.

Her experience outside has given her some very unique opportunities to connect with dogs in deep ways. Outdoor survival situations have pushed her and her pup countless times and built an unbreakable connection. These events have also shed light on the psyche of the dog and how one is to truly behave as an owner of a dog. The importance of being a proper guide and parent/partner for a dog has powered her to help others with their dog relations. She has spent countless hours in all conditions in command of dogs at their limits.

Stephanie Smith
PhD / Dog Trainer

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. has had dogs since she was four years old.  She did competitive obedience with two dogs (an apricot Poodle and a mix).

Stephanie put a junior hunter on an (English) Pointer.  In addition, she was a marshal for pointing dog hunting tests and field trials.

Stephanie spent a decade doing (English) Pointer rescue.  This required training the rescued dogs and finding good homes for them.  These dogs had already had one bad break and she was determined they would be loved and cared for from now on.  One potential home said he could have adopted a child with less paperwork.

Ana Carmona
Dog Psychologist

Ana Carmona was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where she lives with her sons, husband and their dog Dexter. She has a degree in Social Communication, but her passion for animals made her choose a different path. After finishing her studies she worked in the portuguese Animal Protection Society as a secretary and veterinary assistant, where she learned and practiced the basics of veterinary nursing.

Being a vegan animal rights advocate, Ana joined the political party PPA (Party for the Animals) in 2009. In 2014 the party changed its name to PAN, which means People-Animals-Nature. She was a part of the National Committee from 2016 to 2017.

Justine Solot
Bloodhound Rescue and Sheepadoodle Expert

Justine Solot lives in Denver, Colorado with her Bloodhound rescue and a Sheepadoodle puppy. She received her B.A. from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and then returned home to Boulder, CO to attend law school and graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law.

After practicing criminal defense in Denver, she transitioned to staying home with her three children and two puppies. She loves hiking, skiing, and exploring the Colorado mountains. Her work has been published in Blisss Magazine, the Huffington Post, Mamalode, the Elephant Journal, and Scary Mommy.

Dogs are her passion. She is a self-taught expert in all things dog, especially, dog breeds, training basics, and living with puppies and senior dogs. When she was a little girl she treasured her dog breed books and spent hours flipping through the pages and memorizing unique details of each breed.

 

Michelle Ropp
Beagle Expert

Michelle Ropp is a writer and violin-maker from the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She also writes articles for an animal advocacy nonprofit, Their Voice, and has grown up with dogs all her life. She volunteered for two years at Shy Wolf Sanctuary while living in Florida, and had the incredible opportunity to work with wolves, wolf-dogs, coyotes, foxes, and many other animals one-on-one. At Shy Wolf Sanctuary she was trained in canine behavior, communication, and de-escalation techniques, and led countless educational visitor tours.

Michelle is lucky to have two loving beagles at home and is constantly crafting for them, creating miniature quilts and homemade treats and toys. Both are rescues. The eldest, Gunther, was found as a feral puppy on the streets, half-starved and raiding garbage cans to survive. The shelter deemed him too dangerous for human contact despite the fact that he was only a puppy, but with a lot of convincing (and waiver-signing), he was adopted one day before he would have been put down. In the beginning, he was destructive, defensive, and scared and would lash out often—but with time and love, he has become loving, protective, and incredibly clever.

Melanie Sinfield Pugh
Miniature Schnauzer Expert

Melanie Sinfield Pugh is an animal lover and freelance writer from the UK. She was born and still lives in the Hertfordshire countryside, now with her husband Lee and their miniature schnauzer, Rodney. Her first love was her tomcat, Tizer, who joined her family when she was 8 years old. That was it, she was smitten. An array of different pets followed each of which Melanie lovingly cared for.

After a long career in the Travel Industry, Melanie has taken a step back to fulfill her dream of writing. Since falling for her little dog Rodney, and keen to give him the best life possible, Melanie has been surprised to discover how little is really known about caring for dogs and other animals. From finding a reputable breeder to general health and nutrition, Melanie is alarmed that so many genuine pet loving folk simply aren’t knowledgeable about how to source and look after their animals. She is now on a mission to educate, without patronizing, pet parents across the globe and is passionate about spreading the word so that everyone can enjoy a long, rich, and happy life with their pets.

Emily Swaisland
Whippet Expert

Emily Swaisland has grown up with dogs, and various other furry friends, since she was three years old and has always had a passion for animals and caring for them. When Emily was little, she would go to work with her Nan in the school holidays and help out with the cattery that she worked in. Emily remembers taking along her own little cat cuddly toy and being allowed a spare cattery run if one were to be available.

Dogs have always been the centre of Emily’s world and she is happiest when she is with her own ‘poochie family’ as she likes to call it. Brighton has many beautiful routes to walk dogs along, and her two little whippets love going down to the beach. Emily has learnt all she knows about dogs and their countless breeds through growing up, with both her Mum and Nan having dogs throughout their lives as well. 

Emily’s expertise lies in the knowledge of being a dog owner. She knows the day to day life of being a ‘dog parent’, knows what it means to find the best breed for you and your family, the basics of canine first aid, and can tell you what almost every breed of dog is that she may pass in the street…she thanks her younger self and the countless days of reading her ‘Dog Encyclopedia’ for that one. She would describe herself as the Crazy Dog Lady who ooh’s and ahh’s at every dog she sees. 

Lauren Lee
Animal Rescuer | Bully Breed Advocate

Lauren Lee is an avid animal advocate from Connecticut.  Lauren has volunteered at local area shelters, training some of the more “behaviorally challenged” dogs in order to teach basic skills and manners necessary to find them loving, forever homes.  One of her favorite accomplishments was training a 130-pound Shepherd/Rottweiler mix to stop jumping up and using his teeth, to obey basic commands, and to wait for his walks. She then was able to make sure he was placed in a loving home.  Her other favorite training experience was teaching a deaf pit bull terrier to obey hand signals.

Lauren works with rescues and shelters all over the country to network and cross-post dogs in need of foster homes and permanent, loving homes.  She has written for Urgent Part 2, a nonprofit organization that circulates information about the dogs on the New York Animal Care Center’s nightly “To Be Destroyed List.”

Lauren believes there is no such thing as a bad dog. She works to educate and inform people about the misunderstood bully breeds in an effort to change the stereotypes and misperceptions that surround these dogs.  

Sydney Bair
Labrador Expert
Sydney Bair is an oncology nurse and labrador expert. When she was a child, she loved animals and dreamt of living on a ranch with dogs and horses. She didn’t know what she would do in her grown-up life, only that it needed to include animals. At some point, she thought she would be a veterinarian and help animals overcome illness.
 
Life would eventually have different plans – and she would, in fact, spend her days with human patients – but in the meantime, at six years old, she yearned for a dog. A canine companion. Her mom finally caved and brought her and her brother to the Animal Humane Society. They walked through the kennel excitedly, but Sydney hadn’t found the dog she was looking for yet.
 
But then, within a chain-linked kennel, she spotted Jericho, whose tail wagged endlessly. It was love at first sight. Jericho was a Labrador-Terrier mix with short, slick black fur. He was an energetic, six-month-old pup who kissed her child-sized hand as if he already knew he was hers. She also cares for her mother’s sweet Doxiepoo and Dachshund.
Laura Ojeda Melchor
German Shepherd Expert

Laura Ojeda Melchor grew up with two beloved German shepherd dogs—Clancy and her daughter, Bella. From the time her family brought Clancy home, Laura took on the duty of pooper-scooper and potty trainer. As a teenager Laura helped her mother care for Clancy during her pregnancy. She still remembers fondly the exciting, frigid winter night when the seven special puppies were born. Laura kept the youngest puppy—Bella—and potty trained her, too. She taught Bella important commands, took her for long walks, and spent hours throwing tennis balls for her. 

In November, Laura brought home a sweet new puppy, Eira Violet. Eira is half Alaskan malamute and half German shepherd, and Laura loves her deeply. She chose not to use a crate to potty train Eira and was pleasantly surprised at the results. She now has a sweet, energetic dog who always uses the potty outside, plays well with Laura’s toddler, and enjoys long family walks in beautiful Alaska. If you were to meet Eira, she’d bound up to you with a wagging tail and get you running around the yard with her in no time.

 

Nilani Thiyagarajah
Shepsky Expert

Nilani Thiyagarajah lives in Chicago, Illinois with her best friend and canine companion, the amazing Jake (named after the amorphous dog in Adventure Time). She has a BS in Biology and a BA in Psychology and English from Case Western Reserve University, as well as minors in Chemistry, French, and Music. Basically, she’s always been interested in everything and can never choose just one when it comes to topics to learn. One thing she is sure of, however, is her love for all animals, especially dogs. Nilani considers herself extremely lucky to have found an opportunity to write about them and potentially improve the lives of dogs and dog owners everywhere.

Nilani loves taking Jake for walks and just sitting around with him when lounging around at home as well. As a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix, he has some interesting qualities and is the inspiration for a lot of her writing on dogs. She knows that every dog who lives in a home is someone’s Jake, and she wants to make sure to put a special effort into every article, as every article could potentially do a lot of good for these dogs and their owners.

Lauren Montgomery
Dog Photography Expert

Lauren Montgomery likes to go by the monoger, Pup Mom, and lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She holds a B.A. in English and a M.S. in criminal justice from The University of Alabama. 

She is happily married to her best friend and together they have four dogs and a cat named Kitticus Maximus, or Kiki for short. Lauren’s four dogs include a Lab-mix (Gracie), a German Shepherd (Athena), a Siberian Husky (Ghost), and a Miniature Australian Shepherd (Bailey). She accepts that she is insanely in love with animals and would love to one day have her own rescue or sanctuary. Lauren’s the most proud of her family, fur and all.

Diana Bocco
Dog Rescue and Pet Nutrition Expert

Diana Bocco is a traveler, adventurer and dog lover who currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic. Before she started writing full-time, Diana worked as a nutritionist in NYC, a language teacher in Siberia, and a journalist in Vietnam.

Dogs and travel have always been Diana’s passions. She adopted a dog in Russia, a second one in Thailand (where she also helped with a sterilization and rescue program for stray dogs) and then eventually drove 7 hours to Slovakia to pick up a third dog from a shelter there. Because what could be more fun than weirdly combining her two passions into a lot of very awkward, expensive travel with dogs (no, wait…)

Diana’s areas of expertise include nutrition and fitness topics (in addition to being a nutritionist, Diana is also a certified personal trainer), debt reduction and stretching your money, travel, and a few other random things. Oh, and anything dog-related, of course. After all, dragging your dogs around the world with you teaches you a few (or a million) things about traveling, nightmarish paperwork, being almost kicked out of airports when your dogs bark non-stop, and patience (lots and lots of patience).

 

 

Caroline Abbott
Cavapoo Expert

Caroline Abbott is a freelance writer who is based in Torquay in Devon, England. It’s a beautiful part of the UK with plenty of beaches and woodlands which are ideal for dog walking. After obtaining a degree in psychology from Exeter University, Caroline spent a decade working as a reporter for local newspapers. 

While she was in Australia, she met her first Cavapoo – known in that country as a Cavoodle. It was love at first sight and she promised herself that one day, she would have a Cavapoo of her own. She had always desperately wanted a dog – probably a Golden Retriever, Border Collie or German Shepherd – and had even been known, as a young child, to drag logs or cuddly toys (depending on whether she was outdoors or indoors) around on a leash. She read books and watched TV programmes and movies about dogs and other animals in her leisure time.

It wasn’t until she was in her early 30s, when she stopped renting a house and got her own place, that she was finally in a position to fulfill her dream of getting a dog, and of course it had to be a Cavapoo. She traveled across the country to pick up her new baby, Ruby, who proved worth the wait and exceeded all expectations.

It was sheer coincidence that Caroline met a partner who also had a Cavapoo, and now she and Ruby are the happiest they have ever been. 

Lila Noffsinger
Schnoodle / Bulldog Expert

Lila Noffsinger is a freelance writer based in the heart of the Silicon Valley. She lives with her husband and their bulldog, who both always keep her laughing.

As a beach town native, a UC Berkeley alumna, and now a Silicon Valley dweller, Lila’s love for California runs deep. She enjoys taking advantage of the beautiful state she lives in, and time not spent reading or writing is, as often as possible, spent outside with her husband and dog.

Her first memory is of adopting an old yellow lab named Biko. Biko was chosen because his docked tail wouldn’t hit Lila and her siblings in the face, and his calm demeanor was the perfect balance to a house of rambunctious kids.

Years later, when Lila’s family was ready for another dog, she began her journey of researching. She was determined to find the perfect dog for their family – accounting for varying tastes, allergies, housing restrictions, and other considerations. They ultimately brought home a Schnoodle named Dusty, who lived with the family for 16 years.

Lila’s love for dogs and research continued, and through it, she fell in love with bulldogs. After years of loving the breed from afar, researching, petting every bulldog she saw, and trying to talk herself out of it, she and her husband brought home an English bulldog, Gimli Dorek.

Sandra Lesniak
Toy Poodle Expert

Sandra Lesniak comes from Toronto, Canada, is the proud owner of Lambo the Toy Poodle. She is a toy poodle expert, affectionate dog mom and has spent many years training her toy poodle. 

Kimberli Brown
Professional Dog Groomer

Kimberli originally became a certified pet groomer as a way to work through college but found that she really loved the job and continued to work as a groomer after finishing her formal education. Kimberli has fostered many dogs from the local pet rescue, and she is currently mom to a small mixed breed rescue pup by the name of Fela, who loves to join her on hiking, camping, and kayaking trips. 

Ashley Deschamps
Certified Financial Planner & Adoption Advocate

Ashley Deschamps is a Certified Financial Planner based in Northern Ontario, Canada. Her writing focuses on the financial aspects of owning a dog. Dog ownership is a commitment that comes with financial responsibilities, and Ashley is passionate about finding ways to maximize your dog's health and happiness without breaking the bank.

Ashley is a lifelong animal lover and adoption advocate, and she grew up helping her mother care for the many rescued and fostered dogs and cats that came through their home. When it came time to add a dog to her own family, Ashley and her husband adopted their 2-year-old Shepherd-mix Kyra from a local animal shelter. 

Ashley and Kyra enjoy being outdoors together, making new dog friends and exploring the beautiful hiking trails and beaches in Northern Ontario. When they aren't working, you'll find them living the good life at the cottage. 

Susan Fobes
Expert Dog Blogger

Susan Fobes grew up near Pittsburgh, and animals have always been a part of her family. She and her three sisters had turtles named Eenie, Meenie, and Miny, guinea pigs Trixie and Sparky, hamsters, and of course, dogs and cats. Susan’s family always adopted from the Humane Society, so she was never quite sure what breed mixes she had. Susan’s husband’s family was the opposite. They owned black labs, beagles, and Old English Sheepdogs. Later, they showed Newfoundlands, with three of their five earning championships, and all five earning CDC obedience titles.

When Susan and her husband married and moved to Central Pennsylvania, T.J. the cat and a Siberian Husky named Jarvis became their first “kids.” Jarvis didn’t listen to Susan like he did her husband, so getting him to do what she asked was a challenge. Susan decided she would need to be leader of their small pack, so she and Jarvis found themselves in obedience training. Food rewards helped pave the way, but Susan and Jarvis had so much fun, they began working on both the Canine Good Citizen and Companion Dog Certifications. Yes, you read that right—a Siberian competing in obedience!

Unfortunately, Susan had to retire Jarvis from obedience work after he developed eye trouble. It turned out that this was a symptom of something worse. Susan then became a reluctant expert on autoimmune disorders and glaucoma in dogs. After Jarvis passed away, Susan’s “human” children decided a smaller companion—a Havanese named Uno—should join their family. He completed basic training along with Susan and her daughter.

Susan is an English and business teacher who decided to focus on her own writing the past couple years. Although she published her first short story in The Phoenix in May and has written two more, she loves writing non-fiction pieces about dogs the most.

Shannon Maguire
Dog Rescue Advocate and Expert Dog Sitter

Shannon Maguire is a seasoned traveler, reader, animal lover, rescue advocate and dog mom. Her zest for life and its adventures has always contributed to a deep passion for storytelling. This love of storytelling became intertwined with her love of dogs during the slow summer walks of her childhood with her beloved Golden Retriever named Guinness. As an adult, the special bond she shared with Guinness shines through in all facets of her writing and her life. 

Shannon is a passionate rescue advocate and has fostered many dogs from local shelters. She is a part-time dog sitter and full-time dog lover. Shannon resides in Los Angeles with her two rescues, a 10-pound spaniel mix named Boots and a 100-pound Great Dane/Lab mix named Bear. 

Alice Willis
Cockapoo and Dachshund Expert

Alice Willis comes from Kent in the UK and has grown up around dogs. As she works full time during the week, she is unable to have a dog of her own and so she provides lots of love and attention to the dogs of others. 

Her favourite type of dogs would be cockapoos and dachshunds but she has looked after a range of dogs since she was little. Alice is a member of Borrow My Doggy in the UK, where she gets to meet a range of dogs for playtime, walks and cuddles. Alice currently looks after a Westie named Charlie and a young Cocker Spaniel named Oz in her spare time. She grew up around Labradors, Collies, a Cockapoo and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so she has had lots of experience with the temperaments and personalities of these perfect pooches.

Lorna Mann
Working Breeds Expert & Rescue Dog Advocate

An all-round animal lover, Lorna has owned dogs throughout her life. A writer based in England, she currently enjoys roaming the countryside with her English Cocker Spaniel Alfie.

Owning a cocker spaniel, has taught Lorna how to train high-energy working breeds and keep them entertained. Previously a dog sitter, Lorna has had the opportunity to get to know and understand the traits of many dog breeds from terriers to hounds. Her experience dog sitting has taught her how to care for dogs struggling from anxiety and dog first aid.

Having helped care for many rescue dogs, including her parents Whippet cross, Rupert, Lorna is an advocate for re-homing dogs. It has also taught her a great deal about caring for dogs with behavioural problems, including aggression towards other dogs.

Also Passionate about sustainability and ethical living, Lorna endeavours to make conscious buying choices across her daily life, which she extends to her dogs needs including his diet.