Dog Trainer | Horse Trainer | CGC Evaluator | IACP Member | Foster Family
I was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma.
Growing up I was more than an animal lover. I was loved by the animals. I had an understanding and respect about properly caring for the animals so they would in turn take care of me. I was the little girl who was always followed home by stray and injured critters. I grew up around working breed dogs and mutts. Herding breeds and hunting breeds were very common in my community. Our first family dog was a blue heeler mix named Wrangler. He was a gentle boy who helped several of my siblings learn how to walk. I spent hours rubbing his old ears and hand feeding him kibble. He had no training but, he was a well behaved dog. I learned what a dogs tongue feels like, what their snoring sounds like and just how much they can love a very annoying toddler that worships them.
As I got older I observed the cowboys working with and handling their horses. I found these giant beasts dancing in my dreams. Like most little girls, I WANTED A HORSE and I got one. An old retired gray mare, only good for eating grass, was my first horse. I didn’t mind so much, she was all mine and I learned how to care for her. I read books and watched videos on natural horsemanship and imprint training. My old mare passed and I acquired a jug headed gelding who looked pitiful, but had a heart of gold. I started taking in horses that were retired, due to age or illness and I eventually started out as a horse trainer. The horses taught me and I grew to love them for their wisdom and patience in the late years of their lives. Nothing felt more magical than feeling a 1200lb beast respond to my cues with the lightest touch.
When I was 15 years old, a mare came to our home that had been to 3 professional trainers. She “could not be broke” according to the trainers. She was a black beauty with a strong mind. She broke halters, gates, and even bones on humans. I had never had a challenging horse before.
I spent time watching her in the round pen and studying her body language. We made a connection. I saw her prey mindset and how she felt she was preyed upon. This was a key in how to reach her. Ropes, chains and whips (previous trainers had tried) were NOT going to work and I wanted to find a better way for her.
I threw all of the training equipment on the ground and stomped it and then I turned her loose to stomp it with me.
It was a symbolic dance for us to kick and trample the things that caused fear and pain because of misuse.
She was renamed Liberty and a few short weeks later, this mare was wearing full riding gear and allowing me to cue her body to move and yield to my touch.
I knew the moment she stomped on the training equipment with me… I wanted to give this to other animals.
I learned that this mare was not giving humans a hard time with training, she was having a hard time.
My first personal dog was a 60lb rescue mutt, named Snip, who had been left on a bridge with her sister tide up in a bag. Her sister had been hit by a car and died. I watched Snip drag her sisters body from the road and mourn her by howling and circling her body for hours. I didn’t know how to help her, I just stayed with her in the yard. Her mourning was gut wrenching to watch. It was also a fascinating learning experience about dogs and their connections. After we buried her sister, Snip followed me around the property. She ran away when other humans showed up, but she was connected to me. Eventually Snip came running (from seemingly out of nowhere) when I would call for her. She overcame her fear of other humans and was the neighborhood dog. I taught Snip some basic obedience through trial and error and our bond was great. She lived a full life as my best friend for several years. She passed away from a heart condition and I was there for her farewell breath. My heart and soul were crushed and my life went to the dogs, but in the best way possible.
I know what it’s like to be a predator that feels preyed upon, we all do on some level. It took a predator mourning the loss of her sister, for us to make a connection no one else could. I want to make that connection for owners and their dogs.
I want to share understanding and knowledge with families so they stay together instead of face getting rid of the dog.
This is why I am successful with dogs, I am sympathetic to their struggles of being a predator living in the age of technology and being misunderstood. I know they often feel preyed up and their human counterparts don’t see it.
Animals have taught me some valuable lessons about relationships and communication. I have shadowed and interned under several trainers and continue my education each year by attending workshops and studying. My foundation of knowledge comes from a lifetime spent with the animals though.
I have experience as a horse trainer, groomer, veterinary assistant and rescue foster.
I have been training dogs professionally for 3 years now.
Before that I spent time practicing, training and honing my skills on rescue dogs I fostered.
My life has gone to the dogs.
Wife of James H. Greggs and mother of 1 son and 4 step kids.