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    Our Instructors

Valerie Bernhardt - I started in dogs in 1971 after finally moving to Pa. Working and having dogs was a childhood dream that after 40 plus years still remains my passion. I love training dogs and building a working/bond relationship with them. To date I have owned and trained over 20 Flat-coated retrievers and 9 English cocker spaniels to over 16 bench championships ( most were owner handled), over 30 obedience titles in various venues, 12 working certificates, 4 working certificate excellent, 9 junior hunters, 1 senior hunter plus over 20 titles in Rally both in the US and Canada. I have also run multiple dogs in agility gaining over 15 agility titles also in various registries. In addition some of the dogs have placed and won sporting groups, 3 achieved high in specialty trials awards and many have been nationally rated in various registries.

I have been training for TSDOC since the mid- 70's having apprenticed under some of the best trainers during that period. I try to keep current with training methods by attending seminars yearly. I am past president of the Flat-coated Retriever Society of America. I was a delegate to the AKC for many years and am currently secretary for the Westchester Retriever Club. After all of these years I still get the most satisfaction out of teaching the beginners class and watching dog and handlers become working teams.


Joan Clemmons - AKC RALLY INSTRUCTOR FOR 4 YEARS-
Before my involvement with dogs I worked with horses most of my life. During that time I owned, trained, showed and instructed. In 1996 I took my first obedience class at TSDOC with my German Shepherd because I wanted a well behaved dog. Later, I began training my Pug, Rosie. This is when my interest in training dogs for competition began. Rosie and I earned titles in Rally, Obedience and Agility. We are currently working towards her U.D. and excellent agility titles. My English Bulldog, Holly, has earned AKC Rally and C.D. titles and is now working towards her C.D.X.

I own six dogs, ranging from a Chihauhua to a Great Dane. My husband and I, along with our children started a 4-H dog club called K-9 Frenzy. I was lucky to start AKC Rally at its inception and attended seminars while working through my Novice to Excellent titles. I was asked to teach a class at TSDOC and found I really enjoyed the challenge.

Overall, for me, it is not the titles that are most important, but the people I have met and helped along the way, especially those who have helped and supported me.


Sue Frisch, CNWI - a professional dog trainer with 25+ years of experience working with dogs and their owners. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and Tri-State Dog Obedience Club (TSDOC).

After 25 years managing an animal shelter while also running a dog boarding business at her farm and teaching training classes at night, Sue’s expertise includes everything from basic manners training and behavior modification to dog psychology, nutrition, and exercise. Over the years she has worked with hundreds of families and their pet dogs.

Sue knows that the science of canine behavior and training—and the resulting training techniques—is a field in constant development, and she makes sure to keep abreast of the latest discoveries. She regularly attends seminars with eminent behaviorists and dog trainers, and reads every significant book and publication on relevant topics. She is currently an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, is in the instructors training course for K9 Nose Work and studying to become a C.L.A.S.S. evaluator for the APDT’s Canine Life and Social Skills program.

Sue lives in Honesdale, PA, with her four dogs, Mackie, April, Mystery, and Monkey.


Pauline Imbro-Allen - has grown up with dogs always in her life. She was a trainer for the Pocono Mountain Kennel Club from 1994 through 2002 and occasionally called in to teach there.

Pauline teaches Puppy Kindergarten, Beginners as well as Advanced programs for them. She is currently a member of Tri-state Dog Obedience Club, First Dog Obedience Club of No. NJ, The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), National Association of Canine Nose Work (NACNW). She is Certified Pet Tech Instructor #1510 and teaches Pet CPR and First Aid classes. Star Puppy & Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for AKC, as well as recently becoming an evaluator for Therapy Dog International.

She has put Rally and Obedience titles on small and large breed dogs from Novice through Utility both in the United States and Canada and Champion Titles on her Yorkshire Terriers. Pauline has been an Instructor for Tri-State teaching Pre-novice level classes as well as Therapy team work. She currently has a Therapy dog named Twiggy who volunteers up at the Hawley Library and the Wallenpaupack School district in the Reading Programs. Her dogs have been featured on Animal Planet's Dog's 101, The Yorkshire Terrier series, as well as her Puppies in the series on Puppies. Her yorkies appear in Dogs.com catalogs, For the Love of Yorkies calendar and much more. You'll enjoy working in her classes.


Linda Husson - Linda has been involved in dog training since 1986. Her first dog was a Shetland Sheepdog named "Kelly", and after attending a Beginners Obedience class at Tri-State Dog Obedience Club, Kelly went on to compete in Obedience trials and became a Utility Dog. While Linda's foundation lies with obedience, her main focus is now Agility.

"I believe that dog training should not be a chore but something that is enjoyed by both dog and human. From basic obedience to the more advanced varieties of training, it's about the journey, not the destination. Positive reinforcement, clarity, consistency & mutual respect are key elements for building a solid & enjoyable relationship."

PAST DOGS
"Kelly" (Sheltie) - Obedience: Novice A to AKC & Canadian UD; Dog World Award
"Teddie" (Sheltie) - Obedience: AKC UD, UDX and OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion), Canadian OTCH.
- Multiple High in Trial & High-Combined awards; 2 Dog World Awards.
- Competed in several regional & national level tournaments, placing 4 times at Gaines Eastern Regional
   Tournaments (once in Novice, and 3 times in Super Dog). In 1990 & 1991, ranked as one of the top 10
   Shelties in AKC Obedience.

- AKC Herding Tested title on sheep
- Agility: USDAA MAD & JM; AKC MX
"Robin" (Border Collie) - Obedience: AKC and Canadian CD.
- Agility: AKC MX & MXJ; USDAA ADCH (Agility Dog Champion) & Lifetime Achievement Award (Bronze)
- 1999 PupPeroni Classic Agility Tournament, 3rd place in the 24" division.
"Toss" (Border Collie) - Obedience: AKC CD Agility: USDAA Agility Dog Champion; AKC MX & MXJ.
- 1999 Eastern Regional PupPeroni Agility Tournament, Winner of 24" division.
"Token" (Border Collie) - Agility: USDAA ADCH (Agility Dog Champion), Tournament Master-Bronze and several other titles; AKC AX, OAJ & XF. Flyball: FMCH (Flyball Master Champion)

RETIRED DOGS
"Tripper" (Border Collie) - Agility: USDAA ADCH & Lifetime Achievement Award (Bronze); AKC MXJ & OA.Flyball: FDX (Flyball Dog Excellent)

CURRENT DOGS
"Dandy" (Border Collie) competes in both Agility and Flyball. He earned his USDAA Master Agility Dog title at age 2, and his Agility Dog Championship at age 3. In Flyball, he has earned his FMX title, and averages 4.0 as start dog.
"Tempo" (Border Collie) competes in Flyball and is in training for Agility.


Sara Jacobs - started training dogs in the early 1980's. She has owned and trained the following breeds St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, and Golden Retriever. She has trained and shown in competition obedience, agility, rally, and conformation.

Sara has also shown in the breed ring and has had 3 champions. She also shows in the field and has placed a JH (Junior Hunter) on her German Shorthaired pointer and a draft title on one of her Newfoundlands.

She has titled dogs in the following disciplines:

  Obedience   Agility   AKC Rally
  •   CD (Companion Dog)
  •   CDX'(Companion Dog Excellent)
  •   UD (Utility Dog)
  •   NA (Novice Agility)
  •   OA (Open Agility)
  •   NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers)
  •   OAJ (Open Agility Jumpers)
  •   RN (Rally Novice)
  •   RA (Rally Advanced)
  •   RE (Rally Excellent)
  •   APDT Rally
  •   Levels 1, 2, 3
  •   ARCH, ARCH X, ARCH EX
Sara has worked in a shelter helping the dogs with basic obedience so they could be adopted our more easily.

"I try to make training fun for the dog and owner. Using food and toys in my training teaches the dog that he can learn by having fun. There is not just one way to teach a dog - if one way doesn't work, we just find another way."


Barbara Miller - began her interest in dog training in 1979 and her association with Tri-State Dog Obedience Club started shortly thereafter. Barbara's first dog, a corgi cross named Ferdinand, completed his Mixed Breed Companion Dog title at a TSDOC match show back in 1986. Since then Barbara and her dogs have earned well over 100 titles in Obedience, Agility, Herding, Tracking, Flyball and Conformation. She has achieved several breed "firsts" including the first AKC agility title on a Basset Hound and the first VCD1 (CD, NA, NAJ, TD) on an American Foxhound. Her Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Australian Cattle Dogs, Foxhound and Basset Hounds have consistently been top ranked Nationally in Obedience, Rally and Agility.

Barbara teaches Puppy Kindergarten and Agility at Tri-State Dog Obedience Club. She believes that building a strong learning foundation early in a dog's life is crucial to a successful life-long relationship.

"There is no end to what a dog can do when he discovers early on that learning is fun! I get the greatest gratification from seeing an owner returning to Puppy Kindergarten with a new puppy after a long and loving life with one of my graduates from years gone by."


Richard "Mack" Mackintosh - has owned Flat Coated Retrievers since 1976, bred by Valerie Bernhardt. His very first competition dog was in 1977 when he first joined TSDOC. He has brought his dogs to numerous Obedience, Agility and Conformation titles and has always competed since that very first dog. He has competed in Obedience, Conformation, Agility and brought dogs up to their Working Certificate for field work.

Mack taught basic Novice Obedience classes for First Dog Training Club of Northern NJ for 18 years and Novice and CGC classes for the Ramsey High School Adult classes for around 10 years. He was one of the first CGC Evaluators for the AKC, and for a while was an evaluator for Therapy Dog International. He was an instructor for Skyline Agility in Haverstraw, NY for over 10 years. He is still a Certified Animal Control Officer for the State of NJ and for a time was a member of the Bergen County SPCA law enforcement division. When he retired from the Mahwah, NJ Police Department he became an AKC Agility Judge and in 2005 was asked to take on a full time job with the AKC Agility Department as an Agility Field Representative and he is still at it.

He is presently working with his Flat-Coat "Ridley" and they are anxiously getting ready to try for their Utility and Rally Advanced Excellent Titles.

Mack has a passion to be around dogs and feels blessed to be a part of the dog world. "I am a firm believer that dogs were domesticated because of their ability to want to please and work for us. Our job is to show them what pleases us and not spend a whole bunch of time on what doesn't. "


Betty Padgett - CGC Evaluator; started in dogs around 1969 when she brought her collie to obedience classes at TSDOC. She started competing in dog obedience shortly thereafter with her Shetland Sheepdog.  In the 1970's she began competing in sled-dog races with a variety of breeds from Siberian/Alaskan Huskies to Labrador Retrievers and Doberman Pinschers. Her team of Labrador and Dobermans took 2nd place in the Pennsylvania State Sled-dog Championships in 1986.

Three of her dogs, Australian Shepherd – Tucker, and Border Collies - Ben and Jake, qualified for and competed in five Obedience Championship Regionals. Tucker won High in Trial at the Ralston Purina Maritime Obedience Invitational in Nova Scotia Canada in 1993. Ben earned his AKC & ASCA Utility titles and was OTCH pointed.  He also ran lead-dog on her racing sled-dog team. Jake was a multiple High in Trial winner in obedience, earned his VCD2, Utility, Tracking, Excellent agility, Rally Excellent and PT herding titles. 

Currently, her home-bred Border Collie Tarquinn is competing in Agility, Utility Obedience and Advanced Masters Herding.  He came in 4th in the JL Versatility Competition at the 2010 BCSA National Specialty. Her Border Collie Lex is training for Utility Obedience and Advanced Herding.  In August 2012, Lex took 3rd place at the AllStar Dog Obedience Championships Open class.  Lex is a High in Trial winner in obedience and herding. Her young Border Collie Bryer has just finished his Started Herding title and is training for obedience and agility. 

Betty instructs Puppy Kindergarten and CGC/Obedience class


Rose Robischon - At present Rose is the President of the National Owner Handler Association, Inc. Before moving to this area she was president of the Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of the Owner Handler Association as well as their handling instructor in conformation. She has been President of the Tri-County Collie Breeders Association and trained and shown Collies in breed and obedience to their championships. She is a board member and AKC delegate of the Wallkill Kennel Club. She is also Vice President of the Stewards Club of America.