Wholistic Hound Academy Team
SANDY MODELL, CPDT-KA
Founder and CEO, Canine Behavior Expert
Sandy’s work with DASH, its employees, its customers, and the community, taught her the importance of communication when it comes to bringing people together for a common cause. She believes communication is equally important in training dogs. Luckily, Sandy speaks both canine and human! When a Vizsla rescue named Brooklyn came into Sandy’s life and home many years ago, it set in motion her journey to becoming one of the area’s top positive trainers. Brooklyn was two years old and spent most of her life in an outdoor kennel. She had no prior training, no enrichment, and no socialization. Sandy knew she would need some professional help training this dog, who was pretty much out of control. Sandy sought the help of one of the few trainers around at the time, who, as she learned, used harsh training methods. Following her instincts, she knew there was a better way and discovered the world of positive training at a camp up in Vermont, which was just beginning to take hold in the dog training industry. She was hooked! For the next 23 years, Sandy has attended Camp Gone to the Dogs, learning from some of the pioneers and leaders of the positive training movement, including Patty Ruzzo, Leslie Nelson, Sue Sternberg, and others.
After training Brooklyn using positive methods, she moved on to helping others do the same. Sandy developed the only dog training group class program offered through the City of Alexandria Recreation Department and conducted private lessons in people’s homes on weekends and evenings. Through mostly word of mouth, more and more people began contacting her for help in training their dogs. DASH and DOGS have been Sandy’s two passions for a long time. In 2017, she retired from DASH to realize her dream of opening the Wholistic Hound Academy.
Today, Sandy continues her mission of empowering dog owners by teaching them how to communicate with their dogs, how to reinforce the behaviors that they want, and how to respond to both their dog’s good and the bad behaviors. Her goal is to teach people how to train their dogs to make incredibly brilliant choices, so that they can both live better, happier, and easier lives together.
For over 20 years, Sandy has been training dogs using rewards-based, positive reinforcement methods. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a licensed certified Family Paws Parent Educator (FPPE), a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), and on the list of national Truly Dog-Friendly Trainers.
Named one of Alexandria’s Living Legends for her work in developing and leading DASH, the area’s award-winning transit system, Sandy brings this same commitment and devotion to her clients at Wholistic Hound Academy. While all good trainers love working with dogs, the best trainers have the people skills necessary to work with humans.
Office Operations Manager
Diann has been part of the Wholistic Hound Academy team since before the doors opened in May 2017. Diann comes to us with a life-long passion for animals and animal welfare, and spent several years working at various positions for a local animal shelter, during which she was nominated for two Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments awards. She is particularly proud of her contribution in working to establish the organization’s first Foster Program and serve as the first Foster Program Coordinator. Diann has also worked as an Animal Care Specialist and Consultant. She currently serves on the board of Friends of the Tsunami Animal-People Alliance. Her background includes work in the private, non-profit and public sectors with project development, office management, contracting and procurement, as well as event planning.
Diann is proud to work with a team of positive reinforcement trainers and the wonderful clients at the Academy. Diann and her husband Tom have shared their home with various species of shelter and rescue animals over the years. Currently they are owned by four cats, therefore Diann is excited to get her ‘dog fix’ at work every day!
Dolores Murray, CPDT-KA
Dolores Murray is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Pet Professional Guild (PPG.)
Dolores is committed to providing the most effective and results oriented solutions for our clients and their dogs, She helps them to build a solid foundation of life skills and a relationship based on trust and cooperation. Dolores avidly pursues ongoing continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars per year with industry leaders and keeping current on training industry best practices. Dolores puts clients first and is well respected and referred to by local veterinarians. Dolores volunteers with local animal rescue groups and is a volunteer coordinator with Lu's Labs in Alexandria, Virginia.
Kathryn Kuhlen, CPDT-KSA, KPA CTP
Certified Professional Dog Trainer -- Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA)
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
Certified Pro Dog Trainer (Absolute Dogs)
Certified FitPaws Master Trainer
Certified Wag It Games Tier 2 Instructor (WAG-CI)
Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)
Certified C.L.A.S.S. Instructor
Tag Teach Level 1 Primary Certification
Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Competes with her two border collies, Watson and Darwin, who have earned titles in Agility, Rally-O, RallyFrEe, PFS Freestyle, Wag It Games, Trick Dog, and Parkour. Kathryn has raised and trained dogs for some 15 years, and has taught dog training since 2012. She has extensive dog sport experience, both working with her own dogs and introducing students to a variety of sport venues. Kathryn is a huge fan of games-based training to give dogs a foundation for sports and other enrichment activities they can play with their owners throughout their lives.
Tricia Lude, CPDT-KA, PMCT-2, CCUI
Senior Trainer and Agility Instructor
Tricia is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), a Pat Miller Certified Trainer level 2 (PMCT-2), a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor (CCUI), and has completed Susan Friedman's Behaviorworks Learning and Living with Animals behavior analysis course. Tricia has also been a positive reinforcement based trainer for over 25 years. She has trained and competed in Obedience, Conformation, Dock Diving, Agility, and Nose Work earning numerous titles on all of her dogs. Tricia was a Volunteer Wilderness Search and Rescue Dog Handler and Trainer for Montgomery County Search and Rescue (MCSAR) in Alabama.
Growing up, there was never a time that her family was without at least two dogs. Her family rescued a German Shepherd when she was twelve which started her love of dog training after taking obedience classes with him. After working with one of her own Aussies who had significant anxiety issues, she also became very interested in canine behavior challenges. This led her to work closely with veterinary behaviorist Karen Overall with her own and clients’ dogs.
For the last 30 years, Tricia has also been a professional educator teaching children and adults of all ages. Tricia has completed four Pat Miller academies and attends numerous workshops, continuing education, and training in animal behavior, canine cognition, agility, and Nose Work. Tricia is dedicated to help clients build better relationships with their canine companions through positive force free methods.
Tricia currently lives with husband Cal, her Aussies Flurry and Skye, and her Border Collie, Slider.