Krystal Inman BSA, DOT/I
Krystal Inman is the owner of Blue Ridge Canine.
She's been working with animals for more than 15 years and started her career as a veterinary assistant and pet sitter at 16.
After graduating cum laude from Murray State University with a major in Animal Health Technology and being awarded Outstanding Senior in her class she followed her passion into canine behavior and training. On top of owning her own business she worked as a contract trainer for the Kentucky Humane Society, worked for Animal Resorts & Training/Protection Dog Sales in Goshen, KY, completed the Dog Obedience Training/Instructor course from Penn Foster and Michael Ellis's Principles of Dog Training I.
Since moving back to Virginia Krystal has titled dogs in AKC CGC, CGCA, CD, and Rally obedience and is an AKC CGC Evaluator. Krystal worked as the Head Dog Trainer for a company focusing on dogs with severe behavioral issues. She continues her education with training videos, seminars, behavior and training books, and working with other trainers.
Krystal was accepted to Bergin University of Canine Studies and began her Masters in Canine-Human Life Sciences in August this year.
In her spare time Krystal enjoys spending time with her husband Kris, 7 year old son Konnor, and 4 year old daughter Kayley. Personally Krystal has a 15 year old beagle/border collie mix Lucy, a 3 year old Beagle name Kopper, a few rescued barn cats, a 75 freshwater tank, and several chickens! She takes time to go hiking, kayaking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.
Operations Manager & Head Coach
Alexa has been working with dogs for almost 10 years. She started her career out dog walking and quickly worked her way over to doggie daycare. Working at a doggie daycare she met Krystal and started a dog trainer apprenticeship working with her. For 2 years Alexa worked to learn about canine psychology, training methods, and behavior modification. She taught classes, lessons, handled and trained dogs with severe behavior issues, and ran a board and train program.
Alexa teamed up with Blue Ridge Canine from day 1 working with Krystal to help develop a top notch dog training camp. She leads the way to ensure each dog gets the best training possible during their time at camp.
When not training dogs Alexa enjoys spending time with her two children Jaydon and Maliyah and her pack of dogs. She goes hiking with friends and enjoys the occasional vacation!
Canine Coach & Behavior Specialist
Brittany Wilkinson is such an amazing person! She has so much passion for working with dogs that need help which is why we are so lucky to have her on the team at Blue Ridge Canine. She helps cover all of our Maryland client and also trains our of Sunchaser Kennels in Union Bridge, MD right outside Fredrick, MD.
Brittany has two amazing dogs Boomer and Buddy who travel all around with her. If you're looking for a trainer that can get you to where your dog can go any where with you Brittany is your go to!
Brittany specializes in our behavior cases and excels in working with dogs that have fear, anxiety, or dog reactivity issues.
Building Relationships with Canines
It takes a village! In the case a crew. Everyone on the BRC crew loves dogs. Each crew member truly wants the very best for every dog, pup, and family we get to work with. Beyond this is our pride in helping dogs become the best dog they can be! We look at the whole dog, their lifestyle, and their family's needs.
Your fur baby, your pup, your dog, is an beloved member of your family and we know that! Every aspect of your dog's day, their environment, and our philosophy are designed with the best interest at heart for your and your dog.
We focus on reward based training, but what does that mean?
We want to use rewards (praise, food, fun, playtime, and toys) to encourage your dog to want to learn new behaviors and skills. Mixed in with this is our knowledge that like people dogs thrive when they have boundaries.
Not pulling on leash = more walks because as a family (your AND your dog) are less stressed
Four on the Floor Rule = keeping you, kids, and others safe from being knocked down or scratched
No Stealing Food = a dog that isn't going to grab foods that could be dangerous off the table
To set these boundaries we use the behaviors your dog has learned (sit, down, leave it, stay, heel, and come) as reinforcements. Most dogs need more than simple rewards when it comes to not chasing a squirrel, grabbing a chicken wing off the table, or jumping up on grandma. The use of training aides and tools help to provide reinforcement of these rules and boundaries. Leashes, training collars, and head halters are just a few of these aides. While many are initially put off by using any type of corrective device with their dog the value these training aides have is irreplaceable.
Think of the dog who loves to bolt out the door and chase squirrels. If Buddy rushes out the door while you're trying to bring in some groceries and chases the squirrel across the road what can you do? Surely a piece of chicken jerky is rewarding but the squirrel beats that 10x over and your "Buddy Come!" has no effect. Use of an e-collar during training allows us to provide a low level stimulation to reinforce the importance of coming when called. With proper conditioning and training using this training aide Buddy likely wouldn't even think of bolting out the door and if he did the power of you calling Buddy back has increased to a higher level than the reward of chasing a squirrel. Now we likely prevented a chase around the neighborhood and some embarrassment but we may have also just saved Buddy's life if a car happened to be coming down the street at the same time he went after the squirrel.
The use of training aides does NOT mean your dog is going to be "punished" into submission. It allows us to provide a good solid reminder that when Buddy is called it means he has to stop what he is doing and come back. In many ways dogs are like toddlers and it is our responsibility to keep them safe. Buddy doesn't know he could be hit by a car by chasing the squirrel but we do. My 3 year old doesn't know that running off in a parking lot to get to the store could mean she gets hit by a car but I do. I can't use an e-collar on my 3 year old but she does know that she needs to hold my hand or else she has to be carried like a baby, sit in a shopping cart, told "no", or have a time out.
Our dogs and your dogs become part of our pack, our family, while they are with us and after they go home. We understand it's not always fun being the parent but we do know how important it is. Any time a training aide is used we condition every dog to it first. Conditioning means a slow introduction, use with behaviors they have learned through rewards, and only to the level necessary so they know what we are telling them is serious and needs to be followed to keep them safe from dangers they may not understand.
All of our coaches are available to answer questions you have and talk in as much detail as you would like on canine behavior, canine body language, safety, training methods, training aides, training equipment, and many other areas related to all things dog! Never hesitate to ask questions from us or anyone providing care or training for your dog. They are your family and you deserve to know every bit of their care, housing, and training wherever they go!