What Makes Us
The Experts in Behavior!
Our team of compassionate trainers will help bring harmony to you and your pet through positive-based training and enrichment.
Jenny Falvey, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA
Owner and head trainer, Jenny, is a certified professional dog trainer (CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, VSPDT) and Fear Free Certified through Fear Free LLC with over 28 years of experience. She trains in Poland, Hermitage and Vienna and does private one-on-one training as well as fear and aggression cases. She is also an AKC CGC evaluator an APDT and a C.L.A.S.S. evaluator. She is the former co-owner and co-founder of The Learning Dog Training & Enrichment Center. She is a mentor trainer for Victoria Stillwell Academy, ABC training college and CATCH training academy and is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and The Pet Professional Guild (PPG). She has an extensive background in behavior work with shelter and pet dogs and is an expert in working with fearful dogs. She has a special interest in early puppy development and works to create new and innovative programs for puppies. She teaches educational seminars for the community and has created and implemented Behavior Advisory Committees for local shelters. Jenny is currently a board member of a local humane agency and oversees the Prison Dog Training Programs at Trumbull Correctional Institution. She consults with many shelters on implementing training programs and is the founder of “Rescue Rehab,” an education forum for shelter volunteers and staff. She is an advocate for educating pet owners on fear and force-free training and hopes to see more people recognize that you never have to hurt a dog to train them.
She was raised in Southern California and moved to the area in 2001. She enjoys hiking, photography and spending time with her dogs.
She currently shares her home with her six dogs: Odie, a 2 1/2 year old french bull dog, Vinny, a 3 ½-year-old Bichon, Carli, a 13-year-old Shepherd mix, Rosie, a 12-year-old Shih Tzu, Emi, a 8-year-old Pitbull mix, and Josie, a 7 year-old Maltese mix.
Meet Our Team!
Heather Huff, Trainer
Heather began working with rescue dogs shortly after bringing home her first dog as an adult. For nearly a decade, she has worked in animal welfare. Heather is the former Director of a local Humane Society, a Humane Agent, and still, continues to volunteer with area rescues. Heather has fostered many dogs on their path to their forever home. Her passion for behavior was ignited by a fearful English Mastiff she fostered and later adopted named Blondie. It is Blondie who was her inspiration to become a dog trainer and help dogs and owners work together to build a strong, positive bond. She is the proud mama of six fur kids, four dogs, and two cats. She is currently working to become a CPDT certified trainer. Heather does training in our Poland, Austintown & Vienna locations and is one of our "Drop Off & Train , Day Camp and Private Training instructors She has a special interest and focuses her studies on early puppy development and fear issues. She is a current member of The Pet Professional Guild (PPG).
Sarah Ellis, Trainer
Sarah has loved and connected with dogs her whole life. She first started training in 2012 with her dog, Einstein (a fearful 10-year-old). Today he is proof that an old dog can learn new tricks, change lifelong behaviors, and have fun doing it! Training together made a huge difference in Sarah and Einstein’s relationship. In 2013, Sarah enrolled in C.A.T.C.H. (Canine Trainers Academy) and started working towards her Professional Dog Trainer Certification (CPDT-KA). She has a special interest in trick training. She is a current member of The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is an AKC CGC instructor and evaluator and an AKC CGC Trick Dog Instructor and Evaluator. She teaches beginner thru advanced, tricks and nose and scent class in Poland, Austintown and Canfield locations.
Sarah enjoys helping dogs and their families. She currently resides in Boardman, Ohio with her family of rescued pets: Albert, a beautiful mixed breed that wandered into her garage one morning, Einstein, a terrier mix who came all the way from Louisiana in need of a home and Kitty, who followed her home 15 years ago, and her pet rats.
Stacey Beckinger, CPDT-KA, Trainer
Stacey is a graduate of CATCH Canine Trainers Academy where she was Certified in Dog Training Knowledge, is a certified AKC CGC evaluator, an APDT C.L.A.S.S evaluator, and a Certified Pro Dog Trainer in concept training through Absolute Dogs, and has received her CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed) throught the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers. She has lived with dogs all her life and discovered her passion for dog training and behavior when she adopted one of her dogs who had been taken from a puppy mill with severe fear issues. In learning how to help him, she discovered how much she loved using positive training and behavior modification methods to help dogs and their people live happier lives together. Stacey loves spending time with her dogs enjoying walks, hikes, and dog sports like Treibball, Agility, and Flyball as well as Freestyle. She also volunteers with sheltie rescue.
Rachel Hammond, CPDT-KA, Trainer
Rachel is a life-long animal lover. Her interest in behavior management began when she adopted a lab/pit mix named Mia, who is both people and dog reactive. Rachel’s decision to enroll in CATCH Canine Trainers Academy in 2013, and start a career as a professional dog trainer was inspired by Mia and a lack of area trainers who are willing to take on behavior issues, Rachel enrolled in CATCH in 2013, and graduated in 2015, and has received her CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in the fall of 2018, and is currently working towards her CBCC-KA certification. Rachel is also a certified AKC CGC evaluator, an APDT C.L.A.S.S. instructor and evaluator, a Doggone Safe Presenter, member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), and is certified in Pet First Aid. Rachel teaches many of our classes but, her passion lies in behavior management. She loves working with our client’s reactive and impulsive dogs through classes, Drop off & Train, and private sessions. Rachel’s goal is to help people and their dogs have a happy and fulfilling life together through positive training, education, and understanding. Rachel currently lives in Salem, Ohio, with her husband, four stepchildren, Emmett a 10- year old Beabull, Mia a 7-year old Lab/pit mix, and three cats Bean, Sassafras, and Simba.
Linda Gentzy, Trainer
Linda has worked in the pet industry for over 15 years, grooming, working in a veterinary office, and dog training. Linda teaches Obedience classes and Therapy Dog Prep Course in Poland and is the Co-founder of of Pawz for People a community partner of Pet Partners.
In 2007, her two dogs, Georgie Girl, a Bearded Collie and Elvis, a Standard Poodle became registered Pet Therapy Dogs with Pet Partners. After witnessing the power of the human animal bond she went on to become a mentor for other therapy teams and a Licensed Evaluator with Pet Partners. It was volunteering with these dogs, and an adopted Standard Poodle now named Priscilla, that started her interest in dog training. Priscilla was picked up by the dog warden and left in the pound. Her family no longer wanted her, because she kept running away. Linda adopted her and after several years of training, Linda and Priscilla are now a registered therapy team.
Linda and her husband, Steve, live in North Lima. They share their home with their two dogs Priscilla, Lincoln, and her cat
Co Co Kitty.
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
Matthew Ward, Trainer
Matthew grew up on a dairy farm surrounded by animals of all types, cows, horses, cats, chickens and of course, dogs. His love of dogs began there, with his Labrador Retriever, Katie, which he had from the time he was a baby until he was a senior in high school. Beginning in high school, Matthew worked as a Veterinary Technician Assistant for several years. Later in life, Matthew got his current yellow lab mix River, who suffers from severe anxiety. It was because of this he sought help from Jenny, and through her guidance came to realize his passion for helping dogs with behavioral issues. After taking several classes with River, Matthew enrolled in Catch Academy and began training to become a dog trainer through Dogsmartz Unleashed. Matthew now trains at our Poland and Hermitage locations where he teaches Beginner Obedience, Intermediate Obedience, Advanced Obedience and Confidence Building and has a special interest in anxiety issues in dogs. He is working towards becoming a CPDT certified trainer and is a member of PPG (Pet Professional Guild). Matthew lives with his wife, Bethany, and River, at their home in Warren, Ohio.
Samantha Ragan, Trainer
Sam’s love of dogs started when she was young and one of her earliest memories is being excited to read the Dog of the Week in the Sunday paper. It wasn’t long after that she got Sadie, her first family dog, and started a lifelong love of dogs that continues to this day. While attending YSU to get her degree in Biology Sam worked for a local kennel and held the position until she graduated in 2014. In 2015 Sam’s brother got his dog, Riley, and she took the lead on taking Riley to training and behavior classes. It was there she met Jenny and decided to enroll in the Catch Canine Academy. She attended Catch from December 2017 and graduated in January of 2019. While attending the academy she also mentored under Jenny and spent time at Dogsmartz to learn the ropes and get some hands on experience. She started at Dogsmartz as the receptionist in February of 2019 and as a trainer in March. She currently teaches obedience classes at our Poland location. Outside of work, Sam enjoys running, going to concerts, and spending time with her friends and family.
Cassidy Piskorick, CPDT-KA, Trainer
Cassidy began working with dogs professionally at an animal shelter in New York City. Working with the humane cases and more challenging dogs at the shelter is where her interest in positive training and behavior modification began. She has been working with dogs professionally ever since. The trainers she worked under inspired her to work toward her CPDT-KA certification. Cassidy received her CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in Fall 2018 and aspires to one day earn a CBCC-KA certification. Cassidy is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and a Fear Free Certified Trainer. Cassidy teaches a variety of classes but has a special interest in helping fearful dogs, as many of her own dogs are fearful. In her free time, Cassidy also works at a local shelter.
Cassidy and her fiance, Teddy, live in Cornersburg, Ohio. They share their home with their four dogs: Pierogi, Kolachi, Poppy, and Myla; as well as two cats: Belle and Jasper.
Angel Stambaugh, Office Assistant
Angel found a love for dogs when she became a first-time puppy owner. She took her first puppy class out of desperation and continued learning through classes, books, and seminars. This journey led to working as a dog daycare supervisor at The Learning Dog, Baron Pet Care’s dog daycare, and then back to The Learning Dog in the office. She continues to the next chapter at DOGSMARTZ UNLEASHED! She lives with her husband, Bill, her cat, Ashley, and her dog, Bear.
Our Friends and Affiliates
Heather has lived with dogs all her life. When she was a young teen and a family member got a dog named Hank, she began looking into the different aspects of training due to the severity of his behavioral issues. He was the dog that changed it all. At 18, she got her own dog who inspired her to do a speech on the Breed Specific Legislation for one of her college courses. It was that day that she knew where her heart truly belonged. Shortly before the official grand opening of Dogsmartz, she began mentoring with Jenny. She also took a job running the Dog Adoption Floor for Angels for Animals. She worked at the shelter as the Canine Manager for about a year and a half while still mentoring. She also began the Catch Program and started working toward her certification. As time went by her family grew, and with each dog, she learned something new. They gave her first hand experience with fear, reactivity, unconditional love, and so much more. They might not all have been a walk in the park, but she wouldn't change it for the world. She now lives happily with her husband and 3 dogs (Nahla, Jolene, and Kimber) in Kinsman, OH where she continues her education. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, painting, spending quality time with her family and watching her dogs simply enjoy life.