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At University Canine Learning Academy, located in Seattle, we are committed to teaching people how to communicate with their dogs effectively in a manner that is enjoyable for everyone.

Our methods are based in the science of Animal Learning Theory, using two of the four quadrants: positive reinforcement and negative punishment. That means that we use motivational methods to reward dogs for doing those things we like, while removing the “pay off” for those behaviors we don’t want. The use of a clicker or marker word is employed in our classes to mark the desired behavior.

Though food rewards are used in class, we always encourage our students to use real life environmental rewards as well. It could be as simple as moving forward on a walk or as abstract as being allowed to play with other dogs.

Our commitment is the use of effective, humane training methods. Positive does not mean permissive. Dogs repeat behaviors that work and give up those that don’t. Science has shown that success improves learning in dogs and we use this to our clients’ advantage.

Instructors at UCLA Dogs participate in continuing education, including dogTEC’s Dog Walker’s Academy, Terry Ryan’s Poultry in Motion, Pet CPR and First Aid certification, Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dog Aggression telecourse, Veronica Boutelle’s Dog Pro seminar and internationally renowned author Kat Albrecht’s Missing Pet Partnership Lost Dog Recovery lecture. University Canine Learning Academy was nominated for Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington and NBC’s Shine a Light program, and our instructors have authored award winning articles. It is our mission to stay abreast of current training science as well as sharing that knowledge with our clients.
Puppy Grad
Linda McVay, CCS CDW
Linda has always loved dogs and began seriously working with them in 1990. After graduating from the first Canine Studies Program and managing another training facility she decided to strike out on her own. She is a full member of the APDT . She continues to keep abreast of industry literature and attends seminars and lectures as her busy schedule allows. Now embarking on her own venture, she looks forward to continuing to help people effectively communicate with their dogs at Seattle’s own University Canine Learning Academy.

Her compassion for dogs and their owners is evident from the moment you enter her classroom. She brings both reason and joy to the sometimes daunting process of better understanding canine behavior and training.

Continuing Education: "CAAB Chat - Helping Pet Owners Follow Through With Behavior Intervention Plans", Clicker Expo 2015, "Deconstructing The Growl" seminar, presented by Dr. Sophia Yin & Sarah Kalnajs; Terry Ryan's, "Poultry in Motion"; Dr. Ian Dunbar's "Dog on Dog Aggression" telecourse; Dr. Ian Dunbar's "Science Based Training with Feeling" seminars; The "Dog and Baby Connection"; Grisha Stewart's "Puppy Socialization the Right Way"; Adolescent Dogs; Veronica Boutelle's "Dog Walker Academy"; Veronica Boutelle’s "Dog Pro" seminar; Retired police k-9 officer and internationally renowned author, Kat Albrecht, of Missing Pet Partnership, "Lost Dog Recovery" seminar.
Andrea Stone, CCS CDW
Working with and training dogs since 1993 has given Andrea a wealth of hands-on knowledge that she eagerly shares with dog owners. She finished the highly regarded Canine Studies Program taught by Cristine Dahl as valedictorian giving her a strong grounding in canine education in addition to her real world experience. This provides the tools to share her enthusiasm and talent in helping people with their dogs and creating life-long, harmonious partnerships.

Andrea brings to University Canine Learning Academy a commitment to share her knowledge and a strong desire to strengthen a healthy bond between people and dogs.

Andrea's Continuing Education includes: 2015 Clicker Expo, "Positive Training for Show Dogs" 2 day workshop with Vicki Ronchette; Kim Moeller's "Dog Aggression Workshop"; "Helping Fearful Dogs" seminar by Nicole Wilde; "Deconstructing The Growl" seminar, presented by Dr. Sophia Yin & Sarah Kalnajs; Dr. Ian Dunbar's "Science Based Training with Feeling" seminars; Veronica Boutelle's "Dog Walker Academy"; Veronica Boutelle’s "Dog Pro" seminar; five week aggression course as SSCS. She has also been a Certification Instructor for Veronica Boutelle's highly regarded dog*TEC Dog Walker Academy

She is currently active in conformation showing, lure coursing, Rally and Agility and is a proud member of her local and national breed clubs. Her dogs have been very successful in multiple venues.
Here Andrea proudly poses with Regan, BIF GCHB DC FoPaw's Touch of Evil at Saorsa RN SC ITD AOM.
Andrea and Regan
Jen and Zula
Jen Skiver Thompson, MS CDW
Jen grew up, like many of us, with a big love for animals. She had beloved dogs, cats and birds in her youth, and spent many years riding horses and participating in competitive Team Penning. She learned a lot about animals through those experiences, but began her formal education in animal behavior by studying the ethology of non-human primates in college. In her studies, she learned the principles of animal behavior while studying different species of primates in their natural habitats, in the zoo, and in the laboratory. This culminated in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Master of Science degree in Physiology and Biophysics, both from the University of Washington. Her studies led her a bit astray from working with animals day to day to a successful teaching position as an adjunct professor, teaching challenging scientific concepts to non-science majors. It took some time before she realized that her skills in teaching, and in working directly with animals, could be combined.

When a new puppy came into her life, she began taking classes at University Canine Learning Academy, where the skills taught are based directly on the principles of animal behavior. This opened a new door for Jen in her education, and she has been at the studio, both as a student with her dog Zula and as an intern learning and working side by side with Linda, since that first class. Jen is a graduate of Dog*Tec's Dog Walker's Academy, and is currently working toward fulfilling the stringent requirements of the Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist program of the Animal Behavior Society.

Jen truly enjoys helping clients have success with their dogs, and delights in the knowledge that the skills clients learn here foster an incredible relationship between them and their dogs.
Małgorzata Haniszewska
Gosia is a veterinarian from Poland (Europe), where she ran her own clinic until 2016. When she started working with animals she became fascinated by how they think, behave and learn. That resulted in Gosia completing two courses in canine behavior and problem solving. She also studied and trained using Positive Reinforcement methods.

The courses helped her to understand animals in a different way. Gosia learned how to focus on the subtle signals they send and how to read what they are communicating and how it can affect interactions with other canines, as well as humans.

Gosia recently moved to Seattle, where she seeks to keep working with animals and grow her skills, hoping to make them a powerful addition to her future veterinary and behavioral practice when she returns to Poland.
Emily
Emily Newell
Emily has shared a love for animals since she was very young, and began working with dogs at the age of 15 when she volunteered with numerous rescue organizations at adoption events. Since then, she has furthered her experience with animals by volunteering at a Veterinary clinic while still a high schooler in San Diego and then with the Seattle Humane Society as a freshman at the University of Washington. In 2014, Emily had the privilege to begin interning under Linda here at UCLA dogs.

During her time as a UCLA intern, Emily has gained valuable knowledge of dog behavior and training techniques that she hopes to build on in the future. In addition, UCLA has provided her with much needed reminders of her two dogs at home, Lily and Sophie; the mentorship of Linda has proven to be one of Emily's fondest memories these past three years in Seattle. Now a graduate of UW, Emily hopes to find work relating to natural resources with her newly acquired degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management while also continuing her time here at UCLA, as she has come to love the studio and all the clients she has met along the way.
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Linda McVay and Andrea Stone, proud Certified Dog Walkers
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