Frank Bonomo has been one of New York's premier dog trainers for more than a decade. President and founder of Best Friends Dog Training (www.muttmanners.com), as well as owner of the New York Academy for Dog Trainers (www.nyadt.com), he has not only trained thousands of dogs, but has also gained a reputation as "trainer to the trainers" with his comprehensive New York Academy for Dog Trainers curriculum.
Frank founded Best Friends Dog Training in 1999 after completing his initial apprenticeship in obedience and protection training. He quickly made a name for himself in the dog training field, both for his ability to take on "problem dogs" that everyone else had given up on, and for his unique lifetime training program that provided one price "lifetime training" for all clients. His motto, "As long as you keep coming, I'll keep teaching," earned him numerous regular clients who stuck around for months and even years, and his weekly group classes quickly became so popular, he had to expand both the frequency and geographic reach. Before long, he was offering three weekly classes at locations throughout Long Island and Queens.
As his business continued to grow, he expanded his offerings even further, providing training for residents of Manhattan, Westchester, Saratoga Springs, New Jersey and Connecticut - and has even had clients fly him out to France to do private training work. He has trained service dogs, rescue dogs and numerous dogs that were deemed "hopeless," and is an active supporter of the Therapy Dog program.
Frank built his business on the idea that trainers need to continually evolve, and as such, he has studied virtually every major training methodology. Unlike many trainers, who take a "one-size-fits-all" approach to dog training, he believes that there is no one "right" way to train, but rather, the training method must fit the individual dog and the dog's needs, as well as the handler's capabilities.
Recognizing that many dog trainers end up trapped in the "one way only" training rut, he opened the New York Academy for Dog Trainers, with the goal of furthering the education of dog trainers from all over the U.S. To address the needs of new dog trainers, as
well as trainers looking to broaden their training horizons and grow their businesses, he developed a comprehensive curriculum covering puppy issues (housebreaking, teething, socialization), basic dog behavior, body language and temperament, principles of obedience and behavior, clicker/marker training, treat training, leash training, remote training, problem behaviors and solutions, working dogs/dogs in drive, health and safety issues, as well as a host of business-related issues that dog trainers need to be successful in today's competitive marketplace.
Frank holds certifications for narcotics and scent-detection training, has titled dogs in protection sports and does continuing education on a regular basis at various locations throughout the U.S. He has authored a regular column for LongIsland.com and hosts and assists with seminars for both family pet owners and Police-Only training seminars. He lives in Bellmore, NY with his malinois, Trinity, a malinois/Labrador cross, Hemi, a Dutch Shepherd puppy named Baci and a bichon named Boomer.
Dr. Laurie Coger, Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Laurie S. Coger's interest in animals began early in life. Growing up in New York's Catskill Mountains, she spent much time training, caring for, and competing with both dogs and horses. These experiences helped her develop a deep appreciation for the health and well being of her animals. She has successfully competed in conformation, obedience, and herding events, achieving many American Kennel Club titles with her dogs. In fact her first Labrador, Cricket, achieved her Companion Dog title when Dr. Coger was just 12 years old.
A career in veterinary medicine was her aspiration from an early age. She graduated with honors from Cornell University's College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, majoring in Animal Science, with a special interest and advanced training in nutrition. She received her DVM degree from Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. As she began her veterinary private practice career, she continued her interest in show and performance dogs.
Dr. Coger is on staff at Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital, a progressive veterinary hospital near Albany, NY, as well as Wizard of Paws Physical Rehabilitation for Animals, where she provides nutrition support and long distance support for owners. She also provides on-site veterinary care at dog competitions, with the combined perspective of both a competitor and a veterinarian. She is a frequent speaker at animal interest events, and has served as both the obedience and veterinary section editor for an award winning national magazine, the Australian Shepherd Journal. She currently writes for DogSport Magazine, as well as a weekly blog for the Times Union newspaper's website, focusing on natural care for pets.
Dr. Coger's practice and dog care philosophy emphasizes natural methods and care. She regularly integrates chiropractic, low level laser, herbal, nutritional, and physical therapy techniques into her treatment plans. She strongly believes in educating and empowering owners to make informed decisions for their dog's health. Her new book, "Vaccines Explained: The Wholistic Vet's Guide to Vaccinating Your Dog" is available on Amazon or simply subscribe to the book mailing list at DrLaurieCoger.com.
Dr. Laura Fiore, Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Laura Fiore was born and raised on Long Island and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Stony Brook University. She completed an internship at The Philadelphia Zoo prior to gaining admission to St. George's University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada, West Indies from which she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Following completion of her veterinary studies, Dr. Fiore was accepted into the 2007-2008 intern class at The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care (currently BrightHeart Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center) in Westbury, NY.
After completing her internship year, Dr. Fiore accepted a position as an Associate Veterinarian at Massapequa Pet Vet where she has been treating a wide variety of small animals, exotic pets, and wildlife for the past three years.
Dr. Fiore is very excited to have been a part of Pet Vet's recent move to a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility on Merrick Road, a long-time vision of its owner, Dr. Ned Horowitz. She has a special interest in internal and emergency medicine and the new hospital has allowed for an increased capacity to diagnose and treat a wide-variety of both medical and surgical conditions. In addition to working at Massapequa Pet Vet, Dr. Fiore has worked extensively in the emergency field at various Long Island 24-hour care facilities, and also participated in several spay/neuter and low-cost vaccination programs.
Dr. Fiore is a member in good standing of The American Veterinary Medical Association, The New York State Veterinary Medical Association, and The Long Island Veterinary Medical Association and is a USDA accredited veterinarian. In the coming year, she plans to work towards diplomacy with The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Canine and Feline Medicine.
When not seeing patients at Massapequa Pet Vet, Dr. Fiore enjoys reading, staying active outdoors, and spending time with her own four-leggeds, Rudy and Dixie.
Dr. Mary Travers-Smith, PhD, Training & Behavior
Dr. Mary Travers began her apprenticeship in dog training in 2002 after completing her second Masters Degree in Psychology. After completing an 18-month apprenticeship, she began working as a dog trainer at Best Friends Dog Training, providing both one-one-one private training sessions and and group classes, including a special class geared specifically for small dogs.
She continued to work as a trainer while getting her PhD in Clinical and School Psychology at Hofstra University. During her dissertation, which addressed Learning Behavior in Dogs, she worked with more than 40 dogs, including a number of rescue dogs which she has since found homes for.
Since earning her PhD, she has spoken at various conferences across the country, including the Annual Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference in Phoenix, where she presented her work on The Effects of Reinforcing With Combined Food and Praise on Eating and Weight Gain in Dogs.
In 2010, she helped found SuperPaws Dog Training (http://superpawsk9.com) with husband Chris Smith, where she continues to train dogs throughout Long Island, Manhattan, Westchester and Northern New Jersey. She is also co-founder of The Barking Barracks, a charitable organization that provides long-term, low- or no-cost boarding for U.S. Military Service Members while their duties take them away from home.
She currently shares her home with her husband, baby daughter Killian, Belgian Malinois Katana, Halo and McLovin', Pit bull mix Jake and GSD Justice. She is delighted to be returning to Canine Camp Getaway and is looking forward to seeing old friends and clients, helping guests with their training and behavior questions and taking Katana out to do some lure coursing!
Dr. Lynn Kiaer, Lure Coursing
Canine Club Getaway's "Lure Master" Lynn Kiaer is a lifelong dog lover and owner, having owned (or been owned by) a German Shepherd, a Shetland Sheepdog, an Irish Setter, a Lakeland Terrier, German Shorthaired Pointers, a Cocker Spaniel, a field-bred English Setter, and assorted mostly Terrier mutts.
Lynn met her first Scottish Deerhound when she was a freshman in college, and knew from that moment that someday she would own a Deerhound. The big gray dogs struck a chord that still resonates. For nearly 20 years, she and her husband Charlie have been breeding, raising, training, showing, lure coursing and racing Scottish Deerhounds, and even competing in agility with a couple of them; in the last few years they have added Whippets to the mix as well. Their Cu Liath Deerhounds (Cu Liath means "gray dog" in Gaelic) include some of the most successful dogs in the breed, including Jynx, the only Deerhound ever to win both Best In Field and Best In Show (with Lynn handling!).
Lure coursing is the field sport for sighthounds, and as Lynn and
Charlie believe strongly that form follows function, they have been
very active in the sport, with 10 dual champions (conformation and lure
coursing) over the years.
Lure coursing requires no particular training -- and the vast majority of dogs love to chase! -- but positive experiences are very important. Lynn works with each dog as an individual, usually finding a way to encourage even the most hesitant dogs to chase the lure with enthusiasm. Methods are strictly positive, as lure coursing is meant to be fun for dogs and owners alike.
Lynn's training methods are not focused on service, protection or competitive obedience, but on raising a dog you can live with. Her goal is for the dog to be cooperative rather than necessarily obedient. Because she and her husband live with a large pack (of large dogs!), she is well-versed in pack dynamics, and is an excellent resource for those who want to know more about successfully navigating the multi-dog household.
In her non-doggy life (is there life without dogs?), Lynn is a mathematician. She spent the bulk of her career with GE's Corporate Research Center, has taught at the college level both in traditional classrooms and (currently) online, and is a licensed insurance agent specializing in health and life insurance as well as financial products for seniors.
Marcia Boxenbaum, Agility, Rally Obedience
While many agility instructors are inspired by a love affair with a high-energy border collie or too much time spent on the Animal Planet channel, for Marcia Boxenbaum, it all began on a rainy Saturday afternoon in 1971 when she first saw the Disney film, "Lady and the Tramp." That was the day she decided that one day, she would have a little female cocker spaniel for her very own. While her "dream dog" name changed a million times throughout the years, the breed never did, and 21 years later, Molasses, a 14-week-old buff female cocker spaniel, joined her family.
Much to Molasses' despair, Oliver, a black and tan male cocker, was adopted five years later, and while Molasses preferred the couch potato lifestyle, Oliver's anxiety problems required a greater activity level. Obedience classes soon led to agility classes, and Oliver quickly found his calling.
Bitten by the agility bug, Marcia and Oliver continued agility classes and began competing in 2003. They competed in AKC, NADAC and USDAA where Oliver earned various Novice titles.
Although her dog was a late bloomer, Marcia had found her passion, and she began studying agility under top trainers from all over the East Coast. Before long, she was working as an assistant agility teacher at Best Friend's Dog Training, where she spent several years learning the "teaching ropes." In 2005, she became the primary agility instructor and has since taught all levels of agility from beginner through advanced.
In 2006 Marcia and Oliver became involved in AKC Rally Obedience and by 2007 Oliver had earned his Rally Excellent title.
After Oliver passed away in March 2008, Marcia remained actively is involved in dog events, and before long, a new cocker spaniel came into her life. Vegas has since become her best friend, companion and demo dog at a wide variety of agility and rally events.
Caryn Tindal, Agility, Canine Freestyle Dancing
Since she was a very young girl, canine freestyle dancing and agility instructor Caryn Tindal has always loved animals. She was always bringing home strays and injured animals, hoping to convince her parents to keep them, or taking them to a shelter to find them a forever home. She married her husband Brian in 1979, and together they owned and operated a 70-head, Holstein cattle dairy farm for several years, where Caryn got her first horse.
Caryn trained and showed her own Arabian horses for over 25 years in Saddle Seat Pleasure, and Three Gaited Fine Harness, competing at local, state, regional, and national levels.
In 2000, Caryn started agility with her seven-year-old Corgi, Winston. She fell in love with the sport, and she and Winston were a huge hit at the agility trials, and very successful. Since then, Caryn has trained and competed with her two other Corgis, Charm, and Checkers, her friend's three Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, her Aussie, Cali-Sue, and her current youngster, just starting her agility career, two-year-old Border Collie, Carina.
Caryn competed at mostly NADAC, ASCA, & CPE events, but for the last seven years has competed primarily at American Kennel Club events.
When not doing agility, Caryn is the proud owner of Dazzle Dogs Entertainment, and she and her dogs perform at various venues, including county fairs, New York libraries, senior facilities and special events. She has been training, competing and performing in Canine Freestyle for over eight years.
Caryn notes that Canine Freestyle is a wonderful, FUN dog sport that comes with no pressure, just pure joy, and it's a great way to create better focus, provide mental and physical stimulation and deepen the bond between human and canine. She also sees it as a particularly good sport for older dogs, as it's a great way to keep them engaged in doggie activities without any impact to their bodies.
Caryn and her dogs have been featured on the Dogs 101 corgi show, and her dogs have done commercials and national television shows. She is very much looking forward to this year's camp and spending the week teaching agility and canine freestyle to all of the CCG-NY participants!
Caryn has earned multiple Championships and Titles at the Master's Level with the American Kennel Club. Her Corgi's Charm, and Checkers have qualified for the American Kennel Club National Championship Show the past three years, however, did not compete in them, because they were to far away. She also won the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers National Agility Competition with best friend Nancy's, Toller girl, WINDY, in 2008. She has multiple titles in the Excellent, and Advanced Levels at ASCA, and NADAC venues, and earned many titles with her first agility dog, her beloved Corgi, Winston, at CPE, and Teacup Competitions. Caryn and her Dazzle Dogs are often quite busy in the summer performing, so these accomplishments she has made with her canine partners, she is very proud of, as they only compete about 8-10 times a year.
Caryn has been training on her own at her Cottage Corgis property, in Cossayuna, NY
for the past 4 years. She teaches classes a few evenings a week, and books privates on the weekends.
Lorraine Siena Reid, Trainer, CGC and Therapy Dog Prep, Tricks & Doggie Skateboarding
In February of 2005, Lorraine Siena Reid adopted a two-year-old Harrier named Yogi who she somehow knew would change her life. Part of the adoption agreement required that the dog's obedience training be maintained, and as she pursued that training, Lorraine quickly found that Yogi was not only an excellent student at obedience -- where he quickly garnered his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications -- but also had a knack for learning tricks.
Soon, Yogi was winning "Best Tricks" contests for his skate boarding abilities.
Although Lorraine spent the majority of her professional career as a corporate officer for a brokerage house, a changing economy convinced her it was time to retrain for a new career, and the increasing amounts of time she spent doing training work made the decision an easy one. She would follow what had been a passion of hers since childhood and work with dogs.
She enrolled in the New York Academy for Dog Trainers, where she worked with rescue dogs, saving two dogs from being euthanized by rehabilitating them through training.
Today, she is certified as a First Responder with Noah's Wish, an animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to rescuing and sheltering animals in disasters throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is FEMA certified in disaster response, and holds certifications in pet CPR and First Aid as well as infant, child, and adult CPR and First Aid. She has also completed course work training with dolphins and sea lions.
Lorraine has done freelance training work for Best Friends Dog Training on Long Island, and is currently growing her own training business, Happy Paws K-9 Academy, in the Catskill region in upstate New York. You can visit her website at: www.HappyPawsK9Academy.com
Jessica Stier, Flyball, Frisbee, Agility
Jessica Stier is co-founder and co-captain of Long Island Road Rage Flyball team.She has spent the past seven years teaching and competing in flyball, and she currently teaches flyball at Doggie U K9 Academy in Bayshore, NY. She has also been competing in agility since 2004.
Long Island Road Rage flyball team was founded in the interest of giving her Whippet mix Mysti (who was extremely ball obsessive) an outlet for her energy. After going to a camp with Mysti and discovering the sport of flyball, she was addicted and really wanted to get involved, however there was no team located near her. So after much help and encouragement from other teams, Valerie and Jessica worked to start their own team. The team was successful and went to its first competition in June of 2006, and all six original dogs earned their first flyball title at that competition. Long Island Road Rage is of a few to teams to be created out of all green (inexperienced) dogs and handlers.
Jessica's All Americans (mix) Mysti (ONYX) and Bob (FMX) play flyball and agility, and her newest addition, a Whippet named Sprite (FDX), is training in flyball and agility.
Jessica can be reached at Orcaj33@aol.com with any questions regarding flyball and you can check out the team at www.liroadrageflyball.com.
Valerie Stier, Flyball, Frisbee, Agility
Valerie Stier has spent the past seven years teaching and competing in flyball. She has been competing in agility since 2004.
Valerie is co-founder and co-captain of Long Island's first successful flyball team: Long Island Road Rage. The team currently has three dogs in the top 10 for their breeds in flyball. She has trained a variety of breeds -- from papillions to bulldogs -- to successfully compete in flyball. Using positive training methods and reinforcement, Valerie's primary focus in training is building the relationship between the dog and owner, as all else follows from that.
Valerie's Mini Australiian Shepherds Indigo (FMCH) and Dahlia (FDCH-S) compete in flyball and agility and her Australian Kelpie Mac competes in agility and is training for Noseworks. Valerie can be reached at Vshadrach@aol.com with any questions regarding flyball and you can check out the team at www.liroadrageflyball.com.
Jeannine Gomiela, Canine/Human CPR, Water Safety, Beginner Agility
Jeannine Gomiela spent nearly 10 years as a New York City paramedic, serving during the 9/11 tragedy before moving to upstate NY, where she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Paramedic Program at Jefferson Community College. She has a Masters degree in Emergency and Disaster Management (something she says comes in handy, as the owner of two trouble-prone Jack Russell Terriers!), and is a former lifeguard and water safety instructor.
Jeannine was a founding member of the Cedar Creek Dog Run Association, and is active in agility and water sports. She also teaches CPR (both human and canine).
When she's not saving lives, she loves to spend time with her two dogs, Merlin and Sherlock, and her Jenday Conure, Einstein, who (apparently unaware that he's a bird) recently learned to bark. While she loves teaching all kinds of classes, she has a special fondness for beginner agility and terriers.
Bob Dealy, Hiking, Lure Coursing
Bob has been leading hikes and working the lure coursing field for
the past three years with the rest of the CCG staff, and he is
convinced that these are two of the best activities at camp. Since
guests don't have to teach dogs to walk or chase, these activities are
stress free for both dogs and owners, allowing everyone to relax and
just enjoy being with their dogs.
"I love watching dogs where they have a certain freedom to be
themselves. Only then can you understand the attributes that make them
such great companions. Watching dogs romp along the trails energizes our
hikers, and a little morning exercise helps both humans and canines get
ready for a full day of activities."
An avid runner who has participated in numerous races, Bob loves to
explore new places and trails, and he finds canine companionship makes
any trip more of an adventure.
Laura Graf, Agility, Frisbee, Flyball, Tricks, Barks & Crafts
The newest and perhaps most
versatile member of the CCG-NY staff, Laura Graf is proficient in agility,
flyball, Frisbee, tricks training and crafts – and this former competitive
swimmer may also be found poolside with the pups.
Laura has been competing in
agility with her six-year-old rescue mutt, Lulu, since 2008, and she currently
holds her CL2-H, CL2-S and CL2-F titles in CPE. She has been a member of the
Long Island Road Rage Flyball team since 2009, and Lulu currently hold six
titles and is at the FMX (Flyball Master Excellent) level. For the past three
years, she has competed in the NAFA Can-Am Nationals, bringing home two
national divisional championships with the LIRR team.
Lulu also trains in Frisbee
and tricks, and Laura notes, “ I believe trick training is an excellent
for mental stimulation to help keep active dogs’ minds busy and sharp.”
Her younger dog Karma, a
six-month old Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie mix, is well on her way to a
shining career in Agility, Flyball, and Frisbee as well, and is training to
become a certified therapy dog. However, Karma’s first order of business is to
recover from injuries sustained in a recent car accident. Fortunately, Laura is
also an American Red Cross-certified First Aid/CPR instructor with a passion
for all things holistic, so Karma is assured the best of care from her doting
Laura has spent years
researching holistic care options, vaccination protocol and dog nutrition, and
is an avid raw feeder. She is also a big believer in the role of exercise in
raising healthy dogs, and notes, “Karma, Lulu, and I are avid hikers, and
living on the beach gives them a great outlet for two of their favorite
activities: swimming, and herding geese!”
When she’s not training,
competing or traveling with her pups, Laura has spent the past 18 years working
with Developmentally Disabled adults, and also run a program for individuals
with Traumatic Brain Injuries (where Karma has been doing most of her therapy
training). She has also taught a variety of craft classes and is looking
forward to teaching this year’s “Barks & Crafts.” Every bit as athletic as
her dogs, Laura plays in various softball, hockey, and volleyball leagues, and
is looking forward to meeting all of our 2013 campers!
Jonathan Katz, Canine Training, Scent Detection
Jonathan Katz grew up with a love for animals. Any chance he had,
he would play, walk or care for dogs. He began his career rescuing,
rehabilitating and re-homing abused or abandoned dogs, and was always
involved in volunteer work, whether for animals or people.
Upon high school graduation, he went to Israel. While he was there,
a man walked into the center of town and blew himself up. Jonathan was
standing only three blocks away and witnessed the explosion. It was a
turning point in his life, which led to his combining his passions for
dogs and service work in the field of canine explosives detection.
Jonathan attended Triple Crown Dog Academy, where he completed
several canine training courses, including Canine Trainer, Behavior
Specialist and Police K9 Trainers Course. He is also a certified decoy
and acts as a decoy for protection dogs, police K9s and protection sport
In 2006, Jonathan went back to Israel and was deployed as a canine
explosives detection handler/trainer/instructor. He and his dogs worked
at borders, checkpoints and high-risk security detail for high-ranking
foreign officials and diplomats. He has worked hand in hand with the
Israeli Military, Special Forces, Israeli Law Enforcement, Private
Security and Israeli Secret Service.
In 2011, Jonathan and his K9 Uzi had the pleasure of winning Protection
Sport Association Level 2 East Coast Regional Champion and Level 2
Susan Scelzi, CNWI, Canine Nose Work, Agility, Competition Obedience
Susan Scelzi’s love affair with animals began at a very early age. Every year for Christmas and her birthday she would ask for a pony and a dog. Her parents got her a turtle, then a cat. She finally received a dog for her seventh birthday. She never did get the pony.After getting married and owning her first Rhodesian Ridgeback she has been avidly participating in competitive obedience. Starting as a pooper scooper in an obedience class, she worked her way through the ranks to trainer and finally owner of Blue Ribbon Dog Training School in Bohemia, NY. All 4 of her first Roadies have competed in and titled through and the Utility Class of AKC Obedience. Roadie Number 5 is just learning the ropes at the age of 8 months.
Susan competes, trains and has titled dogs in Agility, Rally Obedience, Obedience, Lure Coursing and her new passion K9 Nose Work. She is the only CNWI (Certified Nose Work Instructor) on Long Island, NY. Riki, Roadie number 4, holds the honor of being the first Rhodesian Ridgeback in the US to achieve the NW1 title. Sue and Riki were beaten to the NW2 title by a team from California who earned their NW2 title one week earlier. Nose work is opening new doors for people that believe they could have fun or compete with their dogs. Any dog can participate in this new sport. It is not physically strenuous for handler or dog, but it is mentally challenging for the dog resulting in a tired happy dog. There is little expense required to participate in the sport, and you can have fun with your dog with some boxes, a parked vehicle, a room indoors and an outdoor area.
Home life for Sue, includes a husband of 33 years, two grown children who are still home, two dogs, and a cat named Capone. She hopes to retire soon from the VA hospital in Northport NY after 34 years and expand her business.
Founder Janice Costa has been featured on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, MSNBC.com, Connecticut’s “Pet Talk,” “Pets Teach Us So Much” and “Women Making a Difference” radio shows, as well as in Fido Friendly magazine, Newsday, The New York Daily News, Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine, The Washingtonian, AOL’s Paw Nation, ZooToo.com, DogTipper.com and numerous others.