Margie Wiesman - Founder, Director and Instructor
Margie is a Registered Pet Partner, a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizenship and S.T.A.R Puppy Instructor/Evaluator and an Evaluator for Therapy Pets, Unlimited. She was a founder of Kind Hearts Behavior Center and is past Executive Director of Therapy Partners, Inc. Margie completed Service Dogs Inc.'s' Assistance Dog Training for Professionals in Dripping Springs, Texas and Paws and Stripes Key Elements to Training Service Dogs. She has been an instructor for more than 17 years. Her passion is gentle, motivational training of dogs and their people. She has a yellow lab, named Happy. Happy is the epitome of a dog in training. Happy was an owner turn in at Huntsville's Animal Services. She was digging in their yard with her tail wagging when Margie spotted her. That very day Margie took her to the vet, had her spayed and later took her home. She wasn't house trained and Margie suspects she was kept in a crate or small kennel from a puppy through the time she was bred. Margie met the challenge of house training by creating some new methods, a process that took almost 2 months. Though Happy loved people she wasn't sure about other dogs. Happy was hand shy, ducked at quick movements and refused to go into the yard. Time and patience has helped Happy live up to her name. And she is now the neutral dog for reactive dog group and private classes.
Alisa Spray - Instructor
Alisa has been a group class Instructor for more than 13 years and is a member of APDT and PPG. She believes that dog training should be fun for everyone and strives to integrate humor and lighthearted learning techniques in her classes. Everyone, including our Instructors, love taking her Fun and Games Class and Playground!
Will Miller - Instructor
After taking classes with his Mini Schnauzer (and best friend), Ellie, Will knew that pet training would be a part of his life forever. While Ellie and Will's passion is non-competitive agility, they love learning all kinds of new things together and especially new behaviors to grow their bond and entertain their friends! Will has been teaching for 5 years and can't wait to find out what life has in store for he and Ellie.
Karen Fratesi - Assistant Instructor
Karen loves being as assistant! After 4 years she says she likes to provide one-one-one guidance to help you learn how to train your dog. She has Yorkshire Terriers and is our resident "small dog expert" with lots of tips on the special training of small dogs. Sadie, is a registered Pet Partners Therapy Dog working at HarborChase of Huntsville and Beemer is a retired Therapy Pets Unlimited Therapy Dog. Sadie works with Heart to Heart Pet Therapy, Inc.
Island Dog Training in Huntsville
Island Dog dog training for dogs and their people in Huntsville
Island Dog dog training group and private classes
dog group and private classes in Huntsville
Dog obedience training
obedience dog training
service dog training
Amata Hinkle - Instructor
Amy is a scientist who loves studying canine behavior and learning theory. She trains her Australian Shepherd for Search and Rescue as well as performs tricks and does agility. High energy, high drive dogs need games to play and ways to keep their minds as well as their bodies active. Tricks are also a great way to build the human-canine bond. You "can" teach an old dog new tricks! Amy enjoys teaching tricks and body awareness classes for Island Dog. Training dogs isn't boring - it's FUN! You can follow her and her dog on facebook.com/Edraith
Kay Fluhler - Instructor and Staff Photographer
Kay has been an Instructor for more than 7 years. She has completed the K9 Nosework Instructor certification classes and is a member of APDT and PPG. Kay has 4 rescue dogs and supports various pet rescue organizations. When she's not training dogs you'll find her photographing people, places and pets wherever she goes. Her skills cover many avenues, but her favorite classes to teach may be "Where Is It' and Sensitive Dog Classes.
MariBeth Morgan - Instructor
MariBeth's Tibetan-Sheltie mix, Koda, is a registered Therapy Pets Unlimited Therapy Dog and works with Heart to Heart Pet Therapy, Inc. at HarborChase of Huntsville. She began using traditional obedience training but, after becoming a therapy dog handler, she quickly learned the value of clicker training. She has taken a wide variety of classes with both her dogs since they think "school" is great fun! Playground is a favorite class to teach!
Julie Post - Assistant Instructor
I am blessed to have 4 dogs in my family. The latest edition is Holly who came to me as a little black lab puppy that I raised for a Florida guide dog school. As a puppy raiser I learned the importance of exposing Holly to a variety of people and places. Clicker training was invaluable in teaching Holly the essentials of becoming a polite dog in society in a fun and rewarding way!
Karen Rouse- Instructor
Karen has 3 wonderful - but very different dogs. The 2 youngest , Jake and Jesse, have attended numerous classes at Island Dog with fantastic results. However it was "sensitive dog" Jesse that initially caused Karen to jump down the dog training rabbit hole. She realized that in order to help Jesse overcome her obstacles, she would really have to be able to read and speak "dog". As a result of this experience, she has a real heart for dogs who are sensitive or otherwise challenged, and for their owners who may need help understanding the language of dog.
Mimi Bynum - Administrative Support
Mimi brings to Island Dog a rich combination of administrative experience as well as 40 years of experience teaching dogs and their guardians. She is a co-founder of Therapy Partners, Inc. as well as co-founding Kind Hearts Behavior Center with Margie. She says she can't remember a time she hasn't has a dog in her life. Over the last two decades, Mimi has shared her life with a variety of 'doglets' - Natchez, a chocolate lab, was her first therapy partner, followed by a gentle German Shepherd, Tess and a pair of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lilly, Abbey and Spenser. One of the greatest joys in her life has been the opportunity to work with like-minded folks to honor and deepen the human-animal bond. Currently, her four-legged family consists of a Sally, a Cavalier-mix who came into Mimi's life three years ago and who makes her laugh every day and Luka a Shih Tzu rescue. Luka is a registered Pet Partner Therapy Dog working with Heart to Heart Pet Therapy, Inc.
Michael Wiesman- Facility Manager
Michael custom designed our facility for dog training and maintains the equipment used in our facility. His gentle way with animals has allowed him to meet fabulous dogs all over the world. His sailing adventures and meeting dogs on Caribbean Islands led to the name Island Dog for the training center.
Megan Carper - Instructor
Megan is an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT), an AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R Puppy Instructor/Evaluator, a member of APDT and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABA). She has been an Instructor for more than 4 years. She has 2 rescued dogs Sophie and Bella.