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Meet the Staff

Pam Dennison & Beau, Shadow, & Emma
Photo by Louis B. Ruediger

Pam Dennison - Owner

Pam Dennison, CDBC is a member of the APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers), DWAA (Dog Writers Association of America) and is a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant with the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) and former member of NADOI (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors).

She has written for many local, national and international magazines on a myriad of topics. Many of her books and articles have been nominated over the years for special awards by the DWAA.

Pam started her own business, Positive Motivation Dog Training, in 1996. Since then she has helped thousands of dogs and handlers build their relationships and solve problems, by teaching basic obedience through competition and working with a myriad of behavioral problems. Pam teaches puppy K, basic obedience through the Canine Good Citizen test, competition obedience, Rally-O and holds regular classes and seminars for aggressive dogs.

Pam is the author five books:

  1. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training, Alpha Books,
  2. Bringing Light to Shadow; A Dog Training Diary, Dogwise Publishing,
  3. How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong, A Roadmap for Rehabilitating Aggressive Dogs, Alpine Publications,
  4. Click Your Way to Rally Obedience, Alpine Publications, and
  5. Civilizing the City Dog, Alpine Publications.

Four DVD’s:

  1. Positive Solutions for Standard Behavior Problems
  2. The R.E.W.A.R.D Zone for Aggressive Dogs, (updated version coming soon!),
  3. The Magic of Shaping; Explore the Possibilities, Tawzer Dog
  4. Training the Whistle Recall

Five ONLINE classes:

  1. Managing the Multiple Dog Household, Part 1
  2. Managing the Multiple Dog Household, Part 2
  3. The Complete idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training Online Class
  4. Cleaning Up Your Act; The fussy and meticulous behaviors needed for competition obedience, rally, CDSP, Part 1
  5. Cleaning Up Your Act; The fussy and meticulous behaviors needed for competition obedience, rally, CDSP. Part 2 COMING SOON!

And Four Webinars:

  1. Setting Up Your Own Aggressive Dog Classes (presented through dog ibox)
  2. Animal Husbandry; Helping to Create a Bomb Proof Dog (presented through dog ibox)
  3. Finding a Dog Trainer (presented through dog ibox)
  4. Finding a Reputable Rescue Group (presented through dog ibox)

She speaks on a myriad of topics, including positive training, competition, shaping, Rally obedience and aggression (R.E.W.A.R.D. Zone) to the general public, many Kennel Clubs, Off Lead Training Expo, IAABC in 2005 at their first annual conference, the American Boarding Kennel Association, as well as to Therapy Dog Groups across the country and abroad.

She currently lives with four rescued dogs (2 Border Collies and 2 Shetland Sheepdogs) and trains them all for competition. A few of her past successes include:

  • She and her Sheltie Cody qualified and competed in the Eastern United States Dog Obedience Championships held in Bethlehem, PA in 1996.
  • Cody was also in a Milkbone print ad.
  • Her Border collie, Beau was in a Mack Truck print ad,
  • Border collie Emma was in an Olympic Paint TV commercial and
  • Beau and Pam were in the movie, I am Legend.

Pam competes successfully with all of her dogs in competition obedience and Rally (to date: seven CD titles, four CDX, two UD's, three ARCH’s, three ARCHX’s, two ARCHEX’s, three R1MCL, one RL1, one R2MCL and one R2CL, two RL3, with almost every leg in both sports being a placement), and agility, (o date: one NJC, two NAJ and two NA, all first placements) plus six CGC certificates, one TDI and three TSW’s (Canine Water Sports) and she continues to train for competition obedience, sheep herding, tracking and carting.

Be sure to check out Pam in the kitchen!

Erica Gardner, Instructor

A life-long animal lover, Erica Gardner grew up caring for pets ranging from hedgehogs, ferrets, snakes and mice to the more mainstream cats and dogs. Volunteering at a no-kill shelter in her teenage years sparked a passion for the ethical treatment of animals, in particular dogs.

After adopting Twizz, a young, deaf American Staffordshire Terrier/ Boxer, Erica set out to find a training method that relied solely on positive interaction because trust is so critical in the human-dog relationship, and even more so with a deaf dog. She was aware that physical manipulation, punishment and adversarial methods could severely damage the bond with a dog that relies so heavily on touch, and was excited to begin working with Pam Dennison at Positive Motivation Dog Training.

Several years later, Erica is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and a registered instructor for the APDT Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) program. She has learned the ins and outs of positive training and enthusiastically furthers her understanding of animal behavior and training methods to keep up to date on current techniques and studies.

Erica and Twizz are working towards competing in Rally Obedience, CDSP Obedience and passing the C.L.A.S.S evaluation, despite some physical issues that have delayed progress. Erica recently adopted Primo, an Australian Cattle Dog she had found as a stray, and will be competing in agility, CDSP Obedience and graduating the C.L.A.S.S. program.

The Most Important Members of Our Team!
** Photos by Louis B. Ruediger

A-UD, ARCHEX, Surely Ewe Beau Jest,

A-UD, ARCHX Emma Ewe Found Me,

I named her after the movie The Saint where Emma always asks Simon, "But how will I find you?" and he always replies, "Don't worry, I'll find you - you found me."

She is a three year old Border Collie and is just darling. A tad rough around the edges, but very wonderful all the same. She will be up to speed soon for her new jobs - demo dog, trail walk companion, friend of Beau and Shadow, agility, competition obedience, Rally, etc.

Dreamer - Pinnacle's Dream a Little Dream of Ewe

1 year old Shetland Sheepdog, she is a dream. She's very smart, funny and cute! I'm looking forward to a bright future with her.

ARCH, Finnish What Ewe Started,
CGC, RL3 (levels 1-2-3 all with AOE)
Nationally Ranked 8th for ARCH in WCR Rally for 2013!

I rescued Finn in March of 2012 and he's now 2 years old. He has a natural sensitivity when being a neutral dog, is hysterically funny, loves to be a demo dog and everyone that sees him falls in love. And even my big dogs love him and let him get away with almost everything. His nickname is Guido the Mosquito!

A-CD Commander Cody's Great Escape,
October 17, 1992 - June 6, 2005
Photo by Laurie Shuren Lshuren@interactive.net

ARCHEX Ewe Are Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt,
May 17, 1999 - December 24, 2012
Read Shadow's Book Intro
/ View the full-sized slideshow
Cody was the best all around dog - great with dogs, people, kids, puppies. Solid, dependable, gentle, handsome, smart and loving. He loved being a demo dog because he was able to mooch extra treats just by his good looks and charm. He will be sorely missed and loved forever. Shadow touched so many lives with his story and recovery - mine more than anyone. He taught me much more than I ever taught him and I wouldn't be the person/trainer I am today if he hadn't come into my life 12-1/2 years ago. Shadow continues to bring hope to people with aggressive dogs and his legacy will live on forever.

True story: A few years ago, I spoke with an animal communicator because I had questions for all of the dogs. I asked Shadow (because at the time, there was still a hesitation when meeting new people), "Is it a trust issue that you can't get more comfortable with new people (trust in me to keep him safe)?" His answer: "I do trust you, I just need my space sometimes." So then I asked him; "So how come when I'm doing Camp REWARD seminars, you run up to everyone and jump in their laps?" His answer: "Because I want them to know that there is hope for their own aggressive dogs."

Those of you that have been to camp here in NJ, know this to be true!

He was funny, smart, a pain in the ass sometimes, sweet, loving and even though in the beginning he wanted to be good, he didn't know how. But as the years went by, he truly became the dog he wanted to be, loving up complete strangers that came to the house.

He will forever be my shadow.