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Founding Instructors: The Original Seven CNWI

The first seven instructors to complete the instructor certification program began a legacy of excellence in the teaching of K9 Nose Work, and have been vital in the growth and success of the activity and sport.

Ramona is the owner and Training Director of California Academy of Dog Behavior, LLC.
Ramona first became interested in training dogs in 1988 when she became a “puppy raiser” for Guide Dogs of America. She became interested in behavior and all the nuances of dog training when she realized there was more to dog training than just giving commands.

In 1993, she went to work for Guide Dogs of America and in 2002 went to Accord, New York to pursue more dog training skills. To learn more about dog behavior, by training chickens, she went to Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2004 and 2005 and to Sequim, Washington, in 2007.

Because she has fun with her dogs and loves to watch dogs have fun while learning, K9 Nose WorkR was a natural fit. In 2008, Ramona became involved with Fun Nose Work and, in 2009, became one of the first seven Certified Nose WorkR Instructors. She also serves as Trial Judge, Certifying Official and Faculty with the NACSW. She teaches K9 NoseworkR classes and workshops.

Because of her passion for helping people, and their dogs, Ramona continually attends seminars and workshops on training and dog behavior.

Ramona is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a member of the Southern California Dog Trainers Forum and a member of the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She competes with her own dogs in Agility, Obedience, Rally and Nosework Trials.

Ramona’s dog “Anton”, is the second dog to obtain the ‘NW3-Elite’ Nosework title. He has also earned the NW3 Element Titles; NW3-I, NW3-E, NW3-V and NW3-C.


A founding member of NACSW™ and one of the original seven founding instructors (CNWI), Kim has been training since 2007 and competing in K9 Nose Work since its inception. She is an NACSW faculty member, K9 Nose Work Judge and trial Certifying Official. She also runs her own dog training business, Joyride K9, which now focuses exclusively on the sport of K9 Nose Work. Kim and her Belgian Tervuren Oscar were one of the first few teams to title to an NW1 and NW2. She and her Terv Emmy were the very first to have qualified for the challenging NW3 title and the first team in NACSW history to have earned the coveted NW3 Elite title (= NW3 x 3).

Originally from Michigan, Kim has lived in Southern California since 1988. Kim was an active member of the local Animal Shelter, coordinating and helping with programs designed to increase adoptions for the animals in their care. She adopted two shelter dogs, Maude and then Harold, who had many behavior issues to overcome that required creative training solutions.

In 1998, Kim acquired a Belgian Tervuren named Jazz, a 4 year old female who had been returned to her breeder. Jazz opened the door to the world of competitive dog sports, especially agility and sheep herding. Kim continued her dog sport career with a Tervuren puppy named Oscar in 2001. Oscar proved to be an excellent sport partner; when he was just 2 years old he made the finals of the AKC Agility Nationals. They continued their agility adventures with the AKC Agility Invitational, Cynosport World Games and the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Oscar acquired his 3rd AKC Agility Championship in 2008. They also provided agility background scenes for the movie, A Dog Lovers Symphony and participated as a demo team for Animal Planet. Kim and Oscar also trained and competed in AKC obedience, K9 Nose Work® and the sport of Schutzhund, which involves tracking, obedience and protection.

Kim’s love of Belgian Tervuren didn’t stop with Jazz and Oscar and in 2004 Kim brought home a little firecracker named Emmy!  Emmy brought her athleticism to the sport of Agility, Schutzhund and Dock Diving as well as proving that she can also slow down enough to be successful with K9 Nose Work, following in Oscar’s history-making footsteps. Emmy has given Kim the opportunity to travel and participate with the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge and National Diving Dog Tour, as well as being invited to compete internationally at the FMBB Belgian World Championships in 2011 & 2012, both held in Europe.  Kim has a young Tervuren named Zen, who is training in Ringsport and Agility and has begun competing in K9 Nose Work.

While dog training is always at the forefront, Kim still loves the work involved with her contract Interior Design business after 26 years in the systems furniture industry. In 2009, Joyride K9/Kim began a collaboration with Amy Herot on the official NACSW approved product line through All Good Dogs, LLC, the only currently approved odor kit supplier for sanctioned trials and events. Kim is currently teaching K9 Nose Work classes in Southern California and is enthusiastically helping to bring the sport of K9NW to other regions of the US through NACSW hosted workshops and trials.

Barbara’s career as a dog trainer began in 1997 when she found a young dog she named Amanté wandering the streets in need of a warm, dry place to stay (okay, to live). With Amanté, Barbara learned quickly that some dogs have issues that require professional help. Amanté‘s dog-to-dog aggression was overwhelming, so Barbara sought out the assistance of a trainer who specializes in aggression cases.

Barbara’s experience with Amanté and the work of the professional she hired helped her realize that there was much to be learned about the needs of dogs and their human companions. So she began to pursue a career as a canine-training professional.

After applying herself to the study of canine behavior and training theory, Barbara began an apprenticeship in 2000 with My Best Friend Obedience in Southern California, and by 2003 was promoted to the position of lead trainer, teaching classes in beginning obedience and Canine Good Citizen preparatory classes, and taking on private consultations. Barbara has been a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator since 2003. She is grateful to have the assistance of her rehabilitated shelter dog, Shadow, a CGC himself, to assist her with evaluations.

Barbara became interested in canine scent work in 2005 after attending a seminar with John Rogerson. She discovered that her Yellow Labrador, Jarrah, showed talent for the sport of tracking, and they both trained for a short period of time with Missing Pet Partners, an organization that trains dogs to find missing pets.

Realizing how much she enjoyed working with dogs and their owners, Barbara spent several years volunteering at a local animal shelter conducting in-home adoptions for first time dog owners. In-home adoptions dramatically increased the success rate of dogs’ staying in their new homes, and Barbara felt she had found her niche, being able to counsel these novice dog owners. She was awarded the Most Valuable Volunteer – Special Support award in 2005 and the Dog Volunteer of the Year award in 2006 from the shelter.

Continuing her education, Barbara earned her CPDT-KA designation in November of 2006, which established her as a nationally certified Pet Dog Trainer.

In July 2007, Barbara and her husband Gerry adopted a young German Shepherd puppy they named Landis. They quickly found out that Landis would not be satisfied with a quiet life as a house pet. In January 2008, Barbara began training Landis with Ron, Amy & Jill through K9 Nose Work classes. In August 2008, Landis placed second overall in the Inaugural Fun Nose Work competition sponsored by the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) and in January of 2009, Landis took first place in the first official NACSW Titling Trial, earning an NW1 with Pronouncement, which designates the demonstration of exceptional handler-dog teamwork. Landis also received the distinguished Harry Award at that trial. Since that first trial, Landis has earned his NW1, NW2, NW3, and NW3 Elite (one of only four earned in the United States thus far) titles and as a team, received Pronouncement ribbons at each level.

Barbara is one of the first seven instructors (also known as a Founding Instructor) to complete her certification in the NACSW Instructors’ program, earning her certification in early 2009. Since that time, she has expanded her role with the NACSW by developing training materials and conducting workshops for students at the NW1, NW2, and NW3 levels throughout the country. In addition to teaching K9 Nose Work classes and conducting workshops, she also serves the organization as a designated Faculty member, Judge, and Certifying Official.

Some of Barbara’s other accomplishments include the founding of Amanté Dog Training, a division of Safe at Home Pet Care, a business Barbara owns with her husband Gerry. They specialize in in-home care of companion animals and have since added professional dog training services. In addition, by day, Barbara is a corporate trainer, helping people to be more effective and efficient in their daily work lives. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Deaf Studies from California State University, Northridge. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the National Association of Canine Scent Work, American Society for Training and Development, Different Spokes of Southern California Cycling Club, Ride on Cycling Cycling Club, and Shifting Gears Cycling Club.

Barbara enjoys long-distance road bicycling, and along with her husband recently (June 2012) completed the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle 11 bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Over 2,200 cyclists raised 12.6 million dollars, which will assist people afflicted with HIV and AIDS who cannot afford to pay for treatment. She shares a home with her very supportive husband, along with 3 dogs and 2 cats, all of whom are still trying to keep up with her frenetic, non-stop pace.

Julie brings to K9 Nose Work instruction a lifetime of K9 education and training. Growing up in a home shared with many a working police K9, Julie quickly built an understanding of the working dog and their unique requirements. Julie prides herself on developing solid working relationships with her K9 partners through mutual understanding and respect.

At the age of 9 Julie won her first competition with her young German Shepherd Dog. That young dog continued a training career that included Schutzhund, a sport that encompasses obedience, tracking and protection elements. Throughout her life, she has worked with German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Belgian Malinois, a Pitbull and a few all American mixed breeds.

Currently, Julie is a professional detection dog handler and is a certified member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators as well as the International Explosive Detection Dog Association. Julie works in the private sector in Southern California as a detection dog trainer/handler. Julie successfully completed schools in both Narcotics and Explosive Detection and attends the California Narcotic Canine Association conference annually. Her passion for dog training goes beyond detection, as a result of this Julie continues to attend many workshops and seminars on dog training and behavior. Julie brings her passion for dogs and for learning to her time instructing K9 Nose Work classes.

Julie has been a Certified Nose Work Instructor since 2008. She has worked with the NACSW judging, certifying and volunteering in many trials in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Alaska. She has also worked with the founders teaching K9 Nose Work Workshops. Julie enjoys every aspect of being part of the K9 Nose Work and NASCW family and is proud to be part of this great canine activity and sport.

Dana Zinn

Desiree Snelleman

Penny Scott-Fox

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