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Krystal Inman MS, DOT/I
Owner

Krystal has been working with animals for more than 20 years and started her career as a veterinary assistant and pet sitter at 16. She is now a Professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals, an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and holds a Master of Science degree after studying canine behavior and the relationship between dogs and humans.

 

Krystal has dedicated much of her life to studying, working with and bettering the lives of dogs, the relationship between people and dogs, and training dogs to provide service for people in need!

  • Professional Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)

  • Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences from Bergin University of Canine Studies

  • American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

  • Certificate of Completion for Michael Ellis's Principles of Dog Training I

  • Certificate as a Dog Obedience Training/Instructor course from Penn Foster

  • Bachelor of Science in Animal Health Technology with honors from Murray State University

  • Awarded Outstanding Senior in her class at Murray State

  • Human Youth of the Year from Murray-Calloway County Humane Society

  • Certificate in Small Business Management from Northern Virginia Community College

Krystal has titled dogs in AKC CGC, CGCA, Obedience Novice (CD), and Rally Novice (RN) and competed or trained as a hobby in scent work, bite sports, and dock diving.  She continues her education with training videos, seminars, behavior books, journals, and working with other trainers.  

Krystal has trained and placed several psychiatric service dogs and is developing a virtual program to expand assistance to owner-trained service dog teams across the country!

In her spare time Krystal enjoys spending time with her husband Kris, 8 year old son, and 5 year old daughter.  Personally Krystal has a 3 year old Labrador Retriever Service Dog Zira, a 1 year old German Shepherd Dog Nikita, a few rescued barn cats, a 75 freshwater tank, a wildlife garden and pond!  She takes time to go hiking, kayaking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.

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Brittany Wilkinson
Canine Coach & Behavior Specialist
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Brittany has been a part of Blue Ridge Canine since 2018. She has so much passion for working with dogs and their families that need help which is why we are so lucky to have her on the team at BRC! She helps cover all of our Maryland clients and also trains out of Sunchaser Kennels in Union Bridge, MD right outside Fredrick, MD. If you're looking for a trainer that can get you to where your dog can go anywhere with you Brittany is your go to!

Brittany has two amazing dogs Boomer and Bud who travel all around with her.  When she's not training she enjoys spending time with her husband Daniel, hiking with her pack, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Brittany specializes in out behavior cases and excels in working with dogs that have fearful, anxiety, or dog reactivity issues.

Sophia Brooks
Dog Trainer Apprentice

Sophia has been working with Blue Ridge Canine since 2020! She has completed our puppy coach program, attended multiple seminars, and is currently in our dog trainer apprenticeship program. Our immersive apprenticeship program includes hours of hands on training working side by side with one of our trainers, logging hours, working directly with clients, caring for dogs to excel in canine husbandry, and dedicating time to study top literature and leaders in canine learning and behavior!

Sophia has two personal dogs Malia and Jasper! She is also training one of our stud dogs Quest for his CGC and to compete in AKC competition obedience next year! When she's not training or snuggling with her pups at home Sophia enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and reading a good book.

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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 aids and tools help to provide reinforcement of these rules and boundaries.  Leashes, training collars, and head halters are just a few of these aids.  When I started training I was nervous about the use of training aids as they can seem intimidating! Once I learned and practiced with them I loved how much freedom my dogs and I gained! Our communication was better and we were able to do so much more than I thought was ever possible!

 

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!" might have 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 in our program is designed for us to be able to reach out and connect with our dogs to remind them of rules and boundaries after they have learned them using positive reinforcement. As distraction levels and the motivation the dog has to give into the distraction increases positive motivators can loose value. We use training aides to help remind the dog we really do need them to stay inside when the front door opens, to come back when called, and not to pull on the leash during walks.

Remember when you were studying for your driver's license test? Hopefully there were words of encouragement from those teaching you to drive but there was definitely positive reinforcement and motivation knowing that with hard work you would have the freedom to drive yourself soon. Driving comes with rules and those rules are for safety. If you are speeding you can be pulled over and get a ticket. The negative association of getting at ticket keeps us (hopefully!) from speeding and safer on the road. Using a training aid can be very similar. However if we were not first taught how to drive and the laws and instead handed a license and keys to a car and told to just figure it out the level of stress and confusion would be extremely high. This is why teaching the proper behaviors first so important in keeping stress during training low and the training fun and fair with your pup!

 

Our dog gains more freedom to be with us as they are better behaved but with the freedom also comes the responsibility of the owner to issue a ticket (a reminder on the training aid) if our dog is starting to act inappropriate. We are able to use the training aid because we have already taught our pup the right way to be so there isn't a build up of confusion or stress. 

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, used with behaviors they have learned through praise and play, 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 aids, 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!

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