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About Us

Meet the Trainers

Dieuwke van der Velde

Dieuwke (Dee-you-kuh) van der Velde, certified positive reinforcement trainer through Animal Behavior College, interned at Humane Society of Silicon Valley. With a background as a research technician at Stanford, I believe in continuous learning to learn evolving techniques and tools staying abreast to successfully train dogs.  I fully subscribe to positive reinforcement training and adopt this mode of behavioral training for puppies to adolescent and adult dogs.   I have more then 12 years experience training dogs of all breeds and sizes , which included a three year search & rescue training through CARDA.

I have been fostering through rescue groups since 2009 and have helped puppies and adolescent dogs with varied behavioral issues - from socialization, building confidence, reactivity and have helped the dogs through positive experiences in controlled environments, so they have a structured process to be successfully integrated into their family and community. 

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Vicki Huebner

A Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Vicki Huebner, has been working with dogs since the early 1990s. She teaches obedience and sports classes. In addition to the CPDT-KA certification, she is a professional member of the APDT, and an AKC CGC Certified Examiner. She currently competes with her current dog, Jewel in the odor detection sports including nose work, trailing and locating, antler shed and lost item recovery. She employs only the most modern, dog-friendly (and people-friendly) training methods, adhering to the CCPDT Code of Ethics.

I have been fostering through rescue groups since 2009 and have helped puppies and adolescent dogs with varied behavioral issues - from socialization, building confidence, reactivity and have helped the dogs through positive experiences in controlled environments, so they have a structured process to be successfully integrated into their family and community. 

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Leena Koivuniemi

Leena Koivuniemi is an experienced dog trainer who graduated from Animal Behavior College. She made her externship at Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where she participated with puppy to intermediate dog training classes. Prior to joining the Humane Society Leena was an agility class teacher at Fetch Sam! having taught 3 different agility classes at the center. Leena is a positive reinforcement dog trainer and believes in life long learning as a dog- owner team.

 

Leena has been a dog-lover from a young age. She  started her dog training career 15 years ago with her Jack Russell Terrier, Masi, when they were still living in Finland. They started with puppy training, continued to basic and advanced obedience and beginner agility. 

 

After moving to  California, Leena found a new agility training center for Masi. They trained agility for several years, mostly for fun and to foster their already great connection with each other. When Masi got older, he retired from agility and the pair started trick dog training. During his trick dog years Masi earned novice, intermediate, advanced and expert trick dog titles. Later on they also participated in classes that provided an instinctual outlet for the old terrier to exercise his nose and brains, in this case it was to search for a rat in a quarry. 

Today Leena is a proud owner of a two year old Aussie mix, Topi. Together Leena and Topi train dog Parkour, Urban Agility involving  obstacles found in everyday environments. Leena and Topi are currently participating in Lost Item Recovery and Urban Locating classes and Topi already has a CGC, beginner, intermediate and advanced trick dog titles. In summer 2024 they are planning  to start competitions in “nose work” . Leena is currently  finalizing her  IDPKA (International Dog Parkour Assosiation) instructor and evaluator certification and aiming to complete the course within this year  

 

Leena was born in Finland and moved to California in 2009. She has a masters degree of education and she taught at the Silicon Valley Finnish School teacher for 13 years.  Leena lives in the Bay Area with her husband, teenage son and their dog Topi.

Sangeetha Lakshminarayanan

Foster & Volunteer – The Perfect Dog Rescue (theperfectdog.org)

Community Volunteer – Sustain Our Shelters (susourshelters.wordpress.com) with a mission to support local shelters

 Sangeetha has been a foster for over two decades and with the perfect dog rescue for the last nine years byfostering, training and supporting the rescue in many ways. She loves the time spent in rehabilitating dogs, of all sizes and breeds, with behavioral or medical issues and setting them up for success with a furever family.

Sangeetha started, just over a year ago, a community group, “Sustain our Shelters” with the mission to to create a better life for animals by actively aiding Silicon Valley animal shelters to provide programs, care, and adoption services, and raising awareness of issues that affect our pet and community animals.  As part of this effort, she has worked very closely with the San Jose Animal Care Services in conducting awareness campaigns, low cost microchip and vaccination clinics in support of the shelter animals and volunteers.

She regularly organizes fundraisers in support of rescues and includes educational programs in collaboration with Orion Dog Training.  Outside of her day job and being a foster mom, Sangeetha enjoys watching the “Warriors” and different cuisine dining experiences.

 

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