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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, dog*tec Dog Walker Academy Certification Instructor Seattle/Kirkland
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.
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 D.V.M.
Gosia is a Doctor of veterinary medicine from Poland (Europe), where she has run her own practice since 2011.

Ever since she started working with animals she has been fascinated by how they think, behave and learn. That interest resulted in Gosia attending and completing courses for solving canine behavioral problems and dog training using hands-on positive reinforcement techniques.

The classes helped her to understand animals from a different perspective. This has made her more aware and sensitive to the subtle signals they send, to read what they communicate to each other and how they interact.

Gosia is currently living in Seattle where she is continuing to work with animals and grow her skills so that when she returns to Poland she can add a vital and powerful new component to her veterinary practice.
Gosia and her training partner
Claire Mitchell
Claire has been a dog lover, sports lover and athlete for her entire life. At 16, her first job was working in a dog boarding facility in her hometown. At the same time she was competing in Junior Olympic Club Volleyball, and went on to be an NCAA athlete at Carnegie Mellon University.

She combines both of these passions by spending all her evenings and weekends learning, training and competing in as many dog sports as can fit in her schedule. Most recently this includes: flyball, dock diving, lure coursing and rally; notably both of her current dogs were invited to, and competed in, the 2015 DockDogs World Championships.

Claire was first introduced to UCLA in 2012, after having trouble teaching Bryant to pass other dogs in flyball. After learning, from Linda and Andrea, different positive reinforcement techniques to raise Bryant’s confidence and lower his anxiety in high arousal situations, and a lot of hard work, Bryant is now one of the most consistent passing dogs in the club. Claire has taken her experiences with Bryant and now teaches all new clubs dogs how to pass and remain calm in flyball class, practice and tournaments. She hopes to expand her knowledge and experience of working with dogs in social and team situations, and to be able help more dogs reach their full potential in whatever activity they love.
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Linda McVay and Andrea Stone, proud Certified Dog Walkers
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