Heathsville business focuses on improving the relationship between dogs and owners 

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

While the bond between humans and dogs is quite extraordinary, it is not without its challenges.

Whether it is excessive barking, jumping at visitors, or just bad manners, trainer and behavioral expert Dawn Kelley has seen and heard it all. With the opening of Northern Neck Dog Training in Heathsville, she is hoping to help owners and their dogs improve communication and trust which leads to better behavior.

Kelley is a lifelong dog person, having bred and shown border terriers, bull mastiffs and English Labradors, in addition to dog training “since the 70s.” She has a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) certification. 

“While the training industry is unregulated, there are organizations like the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers setting standards,” Kelley said adding that the certification shows knowledge of animal husbandry, ethology (behavior), learning theory, equipment and ethics. A certification as a canine behavior consultant is also in the works.

At her training space at 6954 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville, she typically works individually with dogs and their owners, although group….


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