DTIA People

Our founder

 Janis Bradley

JanisJanis Bradley is an expert dog trainer, educator, speaker, and program designer. She was a primary faculty member at The San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, where she spent a decade as an instructor and program developer, preparing more than 400 students for careers as dog professionals. Before this, Janis enjoyed a distinguished twenty-year career in higher education, developing and teaching curriculum for students working to complete BA degrees.

Janis is an author whose published works include Dogs Bite, But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous, an accepted must-read for professionals in the training and animal shelter world, and an oft-cited source for journalists and policy makers. As Director of Communications and Publications for the National Canine Research Council, she lectures widely on human/dog relationships.

Janis shares her life with her rescued Greyhound, Annie.

Our Instructors

Our courses are taught by master trainers who are not only engaged in continuing education in order to maintain our high standards of the most up-to-date instruction, but are also actively helping clients, running training businesses and supporting shelter B&T. This means that you get a real-world education, allowing you to confidently apply your skills after graduation.

Gee Hahn

Gee Hahn has helped thousands of dogs and their people lead happier Geelives in each other’s company for the last 16 years, including 10 years of service in animal shelter Behavior and Training. She is an accomplished trainer and behavior consultant who continues to develop innovative and effective curriculum, resolve challenging behavior cases, and bring harmony to human-dog relationshipsGee enjoys serving as a co-instructor for Dr. Susan Friedman’s exceptional professional course, Living and Learning with Animals, and donating her time and expertise to the dogs and volunteers enrolled in the Citizen Shelter Dog partnership program at SFACC, as well as providing complimentary behavior consultations for SF Animal Care and Control and Muttville adopters. She is a 2005 graduate of the SFSPCA Academy for Dog Trainers and later went on to pursue a degree in Animal Behavior at the University of Chester in the UK. Gee has been an instructor with DTIA since 2014 and enjoys helping the next generation of dog trainers embark on their careers. When she’s not talking to people about dogs, Gee is an avid drummer and is currently obsessed with jazz drumming. Her canine sidekicks, both shelter alumni, are Wilson, an 9-year-old terrier mix with a charming underbite, and Janey Mack, a 3-year-old Beagle and Official DTIA Ambassador.

Denise Herman

DeniseDenise Herman is the founder and head trainer for Empire of the Dog. She is a Valedictorian Graduate of the SFSPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. After graduation, she was hired as a staff trainer at the SF SPCA and opened Empire of the Dog in New York City in 2000. In conjunction with the Nylabone company, Denise authored a set of Clicker Training Kits for pet dogs and recently she completed the videos Your First Dog and Your First Cat available on iTunes. Denise has been featured as a trainer in DogFancy magazine, Rescue Ink, PupCulture Magazine and Modern Dog magazine most recently. Photography is a hobby and she posts on Instagram as EmpireOfTheDog. Her most recent project, an iTunes App called, Clicker Dog Training, was called “Masterful Advice” by CoolHunting, and is currently available on iTunes.

Jessica Leonard

Jessica began her career with animals as a veterinary technician and owner of a dog walking and pet sitting business before graduating with honors in 1999 from the SFSPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. After graduation, she was hired as a staff trainer at the SFSPCA where she taught sections of the Academy and developed her specialization in small dogs and their unique needs. Although she has a soft spot for the little ones, she has worked with thousands of dogs of all sizes and behaviors throughout her career. Her range of experience as a professional trainer includes: group class design and instruction, behavior consultation and client coaching, small dog daycare ownership, board & train services, adoption counseling, shelter population intake and coordination, and seminar teaching.  Jessica holds a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing a MS in Physiology and Behavior Biology at San Francisco State University where she teaches undergraduate biology courses. She enjoys filling her role as lap provider to 16-year-old chihuahua mix, Mio.

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From the Grads

"The wonderful trainers in the Dog Training Internship Academy (DTIA) helped make my dreams a reality. Not only do I have a greater understanding about how animals learn best and many hours of practice under my belt, but I also was given the skills to start my own dog training business right after graduation!" --Alyssa Hosbach, Owner of Dancing Tails Dog Training

From the Grads

"DTIA gave me a real understanding of the how and why of science-based, positive reinforcement training. I now come into new training situations with the ability to pinpoint all the necessary information and make a plan with confidence." --Sathid Pankaew, Behavior & Training Coordinator, East Bay SPCA

From the Grads

"Dog industry business consultant Veronica Boutelle recommended the DTIA program to me when I asked about apprenticeship programs. She is familiar with every program in the country and unequivocally pronounced the DTIA the best one available. Well, she didn’t oversell it." --Erik Grendahl, Canine Behavior Consultant

From the Grads

"Attending the DTIA program was a wonderful decision. Not only will it advance my career but it has also opened the door to so many other professional possibilities." --Luba Podolsky, Mutt Manager, Muttville