About me

My name is Kelly Winkie and I've been a professional trainer since 2000. I was fortunate enough to spend the first fifteen years of my career at a well known and popular training facility, allowing me to learn a broad range of skills. All level of obedience training, rehabbing fearful and aggressive dogs, trick training, highly difficult obstacle work, some police K9 training and the opportunity to observe hours and hours of service dog training, as well as training some client dogs in service tasks. I was able to work with several hundred dogs a year on average, every breed imaginable at every age.

Very early in my career, I sparked a love of competition, specifically AKC obedience, rally, and schutzhund (now called IPO). I have also bred German Shepherd Dogs to the rigid SV standard. My interest in competing helped me branch out, attending seminars and learning new and fun techniques to compliment my old ones. In a trial environment, where you can use no reward, no correction, in a high stress environment helped teach me a great deal about how to keep a dog engaged and respectful even when the handler is unable to help or interfere. It's a concept I've found invaluable and highly complimentary to training the average pet.

Some of my accomplishments include:

Fifteen AKC titles, all levels of rally and obedience
Two Schutzhund titles
Rally National Championship qualifier 2016
Top 20 multiple times for GSDCA obedience class rankings
Guest interview on WRLR (listen here: Interview on WRLR radio)
Appeared in the Daily Herald coaching a local FEMA SAR team prior to marching in the inaugural parade

My clients have accomplished over 50 AKC titles, and I've coached multiple junior handlers, and multiple Rally National Championship qualifiers. I also worked extensively with Jiff the Pomeranian, Guiness World Record trick dog and internet sensation with over 1.3 million followers on Facebook.

As a trainer, I firmly believe many tools have a place in dog training, including, but not limited to, clickers, food, toys, prong collars, and e-collars. I also encourage my owners to use the incredible calming power of touch, particularly for reactive dogs and dogs with behavioral problems. While the bulk of my work is positive reinforcement, I incorporate all quadrants of operant conditioning. I do not ascribe to pack theory or use corrections such as alpha rolling or yelling, nor do I encourage associative punishment such as squirt bottles or shake cans. I believe all guidance must come directly from the handler in a calm manner.