Instructors

KAREN GORMAN Owner & Trainer


Karen graduated from Essex Agricultural and Technical School in 1991. With her dog grooming certification, Karen’s career and love for dogs became a life style. Shortly thereafter Karen bought Tess, her German Shepherd dog and first agility dog, which opened many doors for her. Tess was a very special dog and she is missed greatly. Tess was known around the Agility circuit as “That German Shepherd from New England”. Tess had a very fast and flashy weave pole performance; they also used to say she was a Border Collie in Shepherd clothing! Visit our About Us page to see more about Karen’s dogs!

In 1995, Karen graduated from Julie Daniel’s 5 day instructor certification course held at the White Mountain School of Agility in New Hampshire. In 1996, she attended a 3 day Teaching Dog Agility seminar at All Dogs Gym in New Hampshire, taught by Jean McKenzie and Gail Fisher. Since then Karen has been teaching weekly classes and attending many agility camps and seminars. Karen has worked with many of the well-known agility icons: Elicia Calhoon, Monica Percival, Susan Garrett, Jen Pinder, Rhonda Carter, Brenda Buja, Marco Mouwen, and Julie Daniels.

Karen’s favorite things to do include hiking with her husband, John, and the dogs in the White Mountains. She especially enjoys Crawford Notch and Mount Cranmore. The dogs’ favorite thing is swimming in the lake after a nice hike.

MADELYN CIRINNA


Madelyn Cirinna is a well-known local expert in dog behavior who brings a rich and diverse background to Fit-n-Trim. She was an early childhood and special education teacher for over 20 years. She was an Animal Care and Control Officer for 25 years. She is trained for Emergency and Disaster Response and gives talks on Bite prevention, Disaster preparedness, and Emergency First Aid.  For the past 30 years, she has also been an obedience and agility instructor.

Madelyn’s background and experience have instilled in her the importance of starting dogs out right from the time they are puppies.  She always seems to have a puppy in the household.  She has had several rescue and kennel dogs to help become loved household pets with new behaviors and training.  Madelyn has titled dogs in obedience, agility, confirmation, rally-o, herding, hunt tests, trick dog, Canine Good Citizen & therapy.  She has MACH, UD, and Champion dogs.  She has bred Shetland Sheepdogs and Border Collies and is an ACK Breeder of Merit.

At Fit-n-Trim Madelyn brings her many years of experience working with dogs and their owners’ positive methods to build a strong relationship and the foundation they need to have a dog that is a great family companion.  Madelyn is an AKC Evaluator for CGC, CGCA, and Trick dog titles.  She believes training must be fun and that every moment spent with your dog is training.  Obedience training is not simply a dog learning commands, but a dog learning to learn and an owner learning to teach the dog in a way the dog can understand.

ROSEMARY DECIE


Rosemary Decie has always had a dog in her life, often more than one. Growing up she also her pets also included rabbits, cats and a horse. Rosemary’s dog agility and dog sport competition began several years ago when she took in a two-year old Jack Russell. This led to her Lab, Rhys, who came to her through her agility instructor who also happened to be a breeder.

In 2009, Rhys and Rosemary started to learn scent work, attending classes taught by Jean MacKenzie, Gail McCarthy and Carolyn Barney. It was a learning experience for both of them when they entered their first NASCW trial. Wanting to study more about this new sport she attended seminars by Amy Herot, Diana Santos, and Stacy Barnett. It was such an interesting sport that she applied to be a scent trial judge and started teaching.

Rhys received his NW1 title and has gone on to title and compete in PSD and USCSS trials. In addition to Rhys, Rosemary has another Lab, Chip, and a border/whippet, Milo. They all compete in various dog sports which keeps her very busy.

DIANE HANLEY


Diane is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) thru the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainersand a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.  She is a certified AKC®Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Licensed Wag It Games®  Instructor.

Diane’s skills range from socialization, evaluation and training of puppies to Basic Obedience through Advanced Obedience for dogs of all ages. She conducts behavioral assessments and behavior modification, and has worked often with reactive dogs. She has volunteered her training skills to many dogs at the NH Humane Society. She has a life-long interest in animal behavior, nature and earth science. Diane has formerly worked as an environmental consultant, associate professor of earth science at NH Community College in Laconia, and as an adjunct professor at Plymouth State University.

Why become a dog trainer?

“My husband and I lived for 15 years with a beautiful, but crazy, shepherd mix rescue named Miss Shelby. Shelby was a leash puller, barked at other dogs, disliked family members, strangers, veterinarians, kids, gunfire, thunderstorms and fireworks! I loved her. It took years to finally find training that made a difference. The right training turned out to be positive reinforcement techniques and they transformed our relationship from confusion and frustration to one of trust and effective communication. Miss Shelby was indeed trainable, very attentive and an eager learner.”

“From that experience, I saw how effective positive reinforcement techniques were for all types of dogs, that people were more comfortable using these humane techniques. Animal behavior has always been an interest of mine so learning that modern animal behavior research is the basis for this method of instruction made it even more interesting. After training with Miss Shelby, I decided to become a dog trainer in 2013.  I completed a training apprenticeship with Dee Ganley and well over 200 hours of coursework and workshops on a variety of topics. The Professional Dog Trainer certification means that I am committed to continuously learning and expanding my knowledge base and to using non-coercive methods.”

“I foster a ‘no judgement’ attitude, build fun into the exercises, and offer flexibility in my instruction. When owners enjoy practicing more with their dogs, then their dogs get more praise and rewards for doing the right thing, which leads to faster learning of the desired behavior.”

“I live in Gilford, NH with my husband Mike and three rescue dogs: Rudy, a 7 year old Havanese; Tilly, a 12 year old Jack Russell Terrier; and Domino, an adolescent “white tornado” mix. Miss Shelby is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge.”

KIM KEZER


Kim grew up in Narragansett, RI and graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS focusing on Aquaculture. She first became involved with animal training at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium, where she worked for 13 years with a variety of seals and sea lions, dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, fish and invertebrates. In 1998, she and her new husband moved to Massachusetts with their Rottweiler and cat. There Kim became a Senior Zoo Keeper with Zoo New England (Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo), where she gained experience with many land species including giraffe, primates, hippos and large cats. She is now the zoos’ Animal Training Advisor, educating staff on training methods and helping them develop training programs.

Kim and her husband now live in Amesbury with their two Irish Water Spaniels (IWS), Fiona and Selchie, and their cat, Diesel. Kim’s earlier experiences with animal training and her experience training her own dogs led her to the show ring with Fiona, her first Water Spaniel, who is now a breed champion with RN and CD titles in obedience. Kim and Fiona will compete at Westminster this year. They are also working on Fiona’s CDX and RA, and, in the field, on her JH (Junior Hunter) title. Fiona is only the 80th IWS in the history of the breed to earn the IWSCA All Around IWS award in recognition of her accomplishments. Fiona is the mother of Kim’s second IWS, Selchie, who was born in March, 2007. Selchie has a natural love of retrieving and has been great fun to train.

Kim began her formal career as a dog trainer after attending puppy classes with Fiona. Since then, she has taught a variety of courses including Tricks, Canine Good Citizen, and Therapy Dog. We are delighted that she is now bringing her wealth of training and competition experience to Fit-N-Trim.

ANGELA LEGERE


Angela is a Victoria Stilwell Academy Certified Dog Trainer and a Fear Free Certified Professional. She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Evaluator with Do More With Your Dog. Her dog, Daisy, has received her Expert Trick Dog Title and is working towards her TDCH!  

Angela’s love of training was discovered when she got her first dog, Daisy, and she wanted to share everything she had learned to help others better understand how their own pups learn. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in World Languages and Cultures and has a background in Educational Studies as a Kindergarten Spanish Teacher and Preschool classroom aide.   

Angela loves nothing more than to spend her free time hiking and exploring with her dog and hopes to spark that joy within other pet guardians as well! Through the use of positive reinforcement for both the dogs and the humans, she aims to keep her classes fun and engaging for everyone involved! 


LINDA MCKINNON

Linda McKinnon, of Berwick, Maine, has been a Piscataqua Obedience Club  member for the last 42 years, and has taught at POC for the last 8 years. Linda is qualified to teach all levels of Rally, Agility Obedience, and Nosework. She has a B.S. in Animal Science from UNH, is an AKC CGC Evaluator and conducts temperament test on puppies.

Linda has attended seminars on dog aggression, body language and leash reactivity in dogs at the Happy Tails Training Center in Portland, ME, dog behavior seminar at UNH with Turid Rugaas and an animal behavior seminar with Temple Grandin, along with many Agility handling seminars in Ossipee and Amherst, several nose work seminars in MA and NH for NACSW, PSD and AKC, and judges seminars in PDS and AKC. She has completed the POC obedience training program for instructors as well as an animal first aid seminar in Kittery, ME. Currently she teaches Nose Work classes at American K9 Country and Ellis Dog Training, in addition to being a PSD judge.

A member of the Agility Club of New Hampshire, Linda competes in AKC Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Agility and Nosework, as well UKC Obedience, Rally and Conformation, World Cynosport Rally, Teacup Agility, The National Association of Canine Scent Work and Performance Scent Dogs.

Linda was also a breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis for 10 years. The matriarch of her breeding program, and the first dog she competed with was the late Sandwynn’s Queen of Hearts, CGC CDX RE NAJ NAP, NJP “Keeley” Her first breed champion was Keeley’s daughter, the late CH Wynnmoor’s Fire Spirit CGC RA “Korigan.” Other dogs she has titled with include the late UCD Wynnmoor’s Cadi of Sandwynn CGC, CDX RE NAP NJP AX MXJ as well as several other dogs she co-owns.

Linda’s heart dog “Ozzie”, ARCHMX Wynnmoor’s Wizard of Oz CGC CD RE NAP NJP RL1X4 AOE PL1-3 RL2X4 RL3X RLVX TKN NW2 SDE BED BNE SWN introduced Linda to the sport of nose work. Oz was in wheels for 9-1/2 years of his 13-1/2 year lifespan earning all but 4 of his 71 titles after he was paralyzed and became a wheeled Corgi. He is the only dog in the country in wheels to have earned his NW2 and the first Corgi to earn his PSD Excellent Overall title (to date there are only 2). He was also one of the first Corgis to earn his AKC SWN at the age of 13. Oz was a huge ambassador for his breed and all disabled dogs. Linda currently competes with her last remaining dog UCD URO3 ARCHMX2 UCH Sandwynn Catch Me If You Can RLP AOE RL-1-3 RL1X5 RL2X4 RL3X3 UD BN PCDX

LIZ OLCOTT


Liz grew up just down the road from Fit N Trim in Topsfield, MA. Having been obsessed with dogs since practically birth, and growing up with her aunts Black Labrador mix, dog training was always a life-long interest for her. At the age of 11, she got her own Yellow Labrador who really introduced her into the dog training world, especially after he developed some behavioral issues. They worked together to build confidence, and used agility to help strengthen their relationship. While in High School and college, Liz started raising service dogs for two major, worldwide Guide Dog organizations, and successfully raised three working dogs, two who graduated as working guides, and one who ended up working as an explosive detection K9. She continued to grow her training knowledge through working with police canines, as well as severe aggression cases at a behavioral rehabilitation kennel.

Currently Liz has two of her own dogs, a 5 year old Black Labrador named Zharia, and a Red Sable Border Collie puppy named Herja. Zharia has received multiple World Championship invites (and fourth place World Champion status) in Dock Diving, as well as multiple titles in a variety of other sports such as Barn Hunt and Agility, with goals to start trialing in scent work. Herja will hopefully follow in her “big sisters” paw prints in agility, dock diving, and scent work in addition to working towards her therapy dog certification to be able to visit patients in hospitals. In addition to working her own dogs, Liz enjoys attending multiple different seminars and training classes a year, and is always up for the challenge of working with different types of dogs. Her favorite part of training is getting to see the bond between owner and handler become the best that it can be. 

NADINE PERRY


Nadine Perry, grew up with dogs and inherited her love of animals from her father who was always rescuing a stray pup or dog. He would just come home with a new member of the family that someone had given him or was not wanted elsewhere. When she was 5, Nadine brought home her first stray. Happily for the dog her owners located her but even at 5, she was prepared to feed and train her.

Nadine learned about Agility from Julie Daniels, a well-know trainer and competitor and ultimately joined an agility club and began teaching agility. Nadine has taught at Bo-Gee, New England Agility Team (NEAT), and Riverside Canine as well as at the Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation Department in Washington.

She has competed with her dogs, Coco and Rubens, at USDAA, NADAC, and AKC trials. Coco has earned her USDAA Masters titles in Standard, Snooker, and Jumpers and also her NADAC Elite titles. Rubens earned his AKC and NADAC Novice titles before having to retire due to an injury. Nadine is now preparing her newest dog, Twinkie, for competition. Twinkie is a newly-certified Therapy Dog, who recently earned her TDI. She needs only 3 more points to finish her breed championship. She has gone Best of Breed over Specials at her 4 most recent trials.

BIANCA PIEMONTE


Bianca couldn’t dream of living without animals in her life. She grew up in Rockport, MA and got
her Bachelors at Bridgewater State University. She had always danced with the idea of working
with animals but it wasn’t until she discovered comparative psychology in college that she
became driven to become a certified veterinary technician. After three years of working in the
veterinary medicine field she felt a calling to better understand and communicate better with
dogs and their people. It was then that she realized she needed to spend more time with dogs
and changed course to becoming a dog trainer as she walked dogs for a living. It was this
experience and the dog trainers she met along the way that got her hooked on the idea of
helping people strengthen their relationships with their doggies.

JUDY REGAN


Judy Regan brings a strong combination of practical competition experience and formal training to Fit-N-Trim. She started training more than a decade ago when she and her husband, Mike, adopted Livey, a beautiful mixed-breed puppy. She first trained Livey in Obedience and then, after watching a demo at the Topsfield Fair, caught the agility bug, which led her to Karen and Fit-N-Trim in 2004. In January of 2009, after only a few years of competition, Judy and Livey brought home a C-ATCH. Judy now has three Border Collies, Reese, Amber and Rush, and she competes in CPE, AKC and USDAA. Reese now has his C-ATCH2 and C-ATE and Amber has her C-ATCH. Reese is working on his Excellent and Masters titles in AKC.

Judy’s interest in training soon made her want to teach…particularly at the Beginner and Advanced Beginner Agility…because she recognized the importance of a strong foundation for dogs starting their agility careers. Since beginning to teach in 2010, she has taken a variety of classes and seminars including Control on Leash and Dealing with Reactive Dogs. She has also taken a series of Prime Time Seminars specifically designed for young dogs just starting agility. Judy has also started training the OneMind method.

EMMA SCHNEIDKRAUT


Emma Schneidkraut began her training career as a training and behavior intern at The Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado where she provided behavior modification for shelter dogs, so that they could become adoption candidates. Emma is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy and a Certified Professional Trainer-Knowledge Assessed through CCPDT. After moving to New England she became a Training and Behavior Coordinator at The New Hampshire SPCA, where she provided training, and enrichment for shelter dogs, group classes, and private training for the public. She currently teaches classes and offers private training through Fit N Trim and operates her own training business, A Dog’s Eye View, based out of Haverhill, MA. 

NAOMI L. SMITH


Naomi L. Smith, CPDT-KA, the owner of The Familiar Canine, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), a Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a professional member of The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) .

Naomi holds an AAS in Business Administration from Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, NY and a BA in Psychology, with a minor in Biology from the University of Southern Maine.

Naomi stays up to date on the latest canine learning and behavior research and dog training best practices by regularly participating in continuing education, including attending conferences, workshops, lectures, and training classes with her own dogs.

Naomi believes that training should be enjoyable for dog and owner alike. She feels that reward based training not only enables dog owners to effectively change behavior but also strengthens the bond they share with their canine companions.

Naomi currently competes in United Kennel Club and World Wide Weight Pull sanctioned events with 2 of her 5 dogs: Troody (URO1 AP UWP Troody Donuts SPOT-ON CGC TKN) and Luci (UWPS AP5 VPU UWPCHX Lucifer Morningstar WPDSW WPDSR)

KRIS THOBER


Kris started with her first dog in 1985, a Rough Collie that did obedience, herding and tracking. Her first Smooth Collie was ranked the #1 obedience Collie in the nation and has over twenty-five all-breed HITs. He was the first Smooth Collie to place in the prestigious Gaines and World Series tournaments and to be invited to the AKC Obedience Nationals.

Kris’s first Border Collie introduced her to the sports of agility and breed competition. Kris has finished four AKC champions herself and has many agility titles. Her focus when teaching obedience and agility is first to ensure that both dog and handler are having fun. She has a keen eye for footwork and body language that enhances the performance of the handler/dog team.

BUNNY WATSON


Bunny has been working with animals almost all her life. As a child she raised and showed English Lop rabbits with the Great Scott 4-H Rabbit and Cavy Club. She also showed horses. Wanting to make animals a career, she majored in animal science at Mount Ida College with a focus on veterinary technology. While at Mount Ida and after graduation, she worked as a vet tech in Topsfield and North Andover. In 1997 she became an animal curator at the Museum of Science in Boston, overseeing the care of its live animal collection. Working at the museum gave Bunny the opportunity to work with a large variety of animals including invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, birds, and amphibians. She has trained many of the animals including a bobcat, woodchuck, opossum, meerkat, porcupines, and chickens.

Bunny’s interest in training dogs began in 1990 when she got her first Belgian Sheepdog, Riggs. Riggs was very special and was a certified Therapy Dog for many years. Her next Belgian, “Strider” came along in 2005. They began training in agility and obedience when Strider was 10 weeks old. Strider has since earned three Rally titles and is now working towards his AKC MACH and CPE C-ATCH titles in agility as well as training in sheep herding. Zev, Bunny’s newest Belgian is a year old and just starting to train in agility. Bunny is also working with her adopted Cocker Spaniel, Wednesday, in agility. In addition to working with wildlife and training her dogs, Bunny has one horse that she competes with in dressage.

Bunny especially enjoys working with beginners and their dogs. She really enjoys watching as they become a team as they have fun learning new skills together.