CHRIS ONTHANK-OWNER DOG GONE SMART
Chris is the owner and founder of Dog Gone Smart. He has been working with animals for over 30 years and has developed a unique training theory that combines instinct with learning. He is a noted expert in canine behavior who works with dogs and their humans.
Chris’ personal daily practice involves helping dogs with special issues i.e. aggression, separation anxiety, fear, disabilities and training problems. He is often the last hope for many dogs. His outgoing personality and fun approach to learning have made him one of the most popular trainers in the country. His clients (both human and canine) are highly motivated to work and thoroughly enjoy their learning experience. Chris is also the host of his own Canine Master Radio show on Pet Life Radio.
DEBBIE MODICA- GENERAL MANAGER AND CANINE CARE CAPTAIN
Deb is a one of a kind professional multi-tasker. Deb is constantly managing the day to day tasks here at Dog Gone Smart ensuring everything runs optimally and efficiently with the absolute priority always being to provide the best care, safety, and services to your dogs. We think Deb must have a secret twin because we just don't know how she does it all! Deb knows each and every one of our clients both canine and human and prides herself on those personal relationships which allow us to be able to provide your dog with the best experience while in our care. Both Debbie and her family have fostered for the CT Humane Society as well as volunteered at events. Debbie lives in Silvermine with her husband Alex, her son Michael, and her daughter Allison, who is a special needs teacher. They have three rescue dogs: a bichon named Sadie, a Bouvier des Flanders named Kona, a Standard Poodle named Luke, and their newest Rescue, a doodle mix named "Cue"
JAIMEE KELSEY- DIRECTOR OF TRAINING & MARKETING
Jaimee runs the training department at Dog Gone Smart. She has been part of the Dog Gone Smart Family for over 20 years. A resident of Westport, she started as a client who needed help with her rescue dog, and pretty much never left. She went through Chris’ canine behavior and training internship program in 2000, and has been helping pets and their owners ever since as part of our training team, and is now the Director of our Training Program. Jaimee’s love of animals is contagious. Jaimee is also a mother of 2 boys and knows what it takes to keep a household running smoothly for both humans and canines! She specializes in working with families to teach how all can live together harmoniously through playful and positive techniques. Having a pet should be a joyful bonding experience for the entire family! Jaimee heads our training team, and teaches both group classes and private lessons for obedience and behavior shaping. If you are unsure the best training program for your dog, Jaimee will help you navigate your options and make a plan for success. Jaimee has many years experience in both broadcast and social media, as a radio producer and internet brand builder. You can see some of her media appearances HERE and some more fun stuff on the job HERE. She is Dog Gone Smart’s Manager of Training, Marketing and PR. Many refer to her as our "Pet Therapist"and she would love to hear from you! email@example.com
AMANDA - KENNEL MANAGER
LAURIE - SENIOR BEHAVIORAL TRAINER
BETSY - AGILITY & THERAPY AKC TRAINER
Betsy Schwartz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed and an evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is committed to only positive, force-free, dog-friendly training methods, which create a bond of trust and foster teamwork. Training is all about relationships and clear, two-way communication between handler and dog. Betsy believes that training should always be enjoyable for both human and animal alike, and she interjects humor and fun into all her classes.
A lifelong animal lover, Betsy has taught pet training classes in Stamford, CT since 2003. She was Training Coordinator and Assistant Trainer for The Good Dog Foundation for Fairfield and Westchester Counties from 1999-2002, and is currently an administrator of the Pet Therapy Program at Kids in Crisis in Cos Cos, CT. Betsy is very excited to be joining the trainers at Dog Gone Smart to offer Agility for Fun classes, Pet Therapy Skills Course, and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Classes!
Betsy, along with her husband, Will and son, James, are the guardians of two Old English Sheepdogs, Rigby and Eleanor (a.k.a. Ellie Belly), two rescued feral cats, Maizey and KitKat, and a clicker-trainer horse named Sundance.
NIKKI - TRAINER
BEBZ - TRAINER
TODD - SWIM INSTRUCTOR & SOCIALIZATION TRAINER
RYAN - HIKING & TRANSPORT MANAGER
JOURDEN - CONCIERGE, SWIM INSTRUCTOR, & JR. GROOMER
CANDACE - Trainer
FRONT DESK CARE COORDINATORS
BRITTA, SAM, MIREYA, FELICIA, & PAULA
KENNEL CARE STAFF
ROBINSON & SANDRA