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Board of Directors

Sarah Fulcher Dixon, CDBC, KPA-CTP

Sarah Fulcher Dixon, CDBC, KPA-CTP

Position: Board President

Sarah Dixon is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant who works for Instinct Dog Behavior & Training LLC in New York City.

Volunteering as a foster home for rescue organizations for many years provided Sarah more valuable experience. She lived with and trained many different canine personalities, and has experience and success with many traditionally difficult to train breeds. Sarah has also trained several species of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, parrots, and horses.

Dedicated to continuing education, she has background in animal behaviour at university, a Certificate in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program, completed the Living & Learning with Animals course through BehavioR+ Works and most recently the IAABC Principles and Practice course. She also is a member in good standing with APDT.

With her dogs (Siberian huskies (past), Belgian shepherd, and Australian Shepherd), Sarah has trained, competed, or titled in many dog sports including obedience, rally obedience, skijorring, dog sledding, agility, musical freestyle, herding, tricks, and nose work.

Sarah specializes in behaviour problems such as fear, aggression, anxiety, and reactivity. Most of all, she loves helping people build strong relationships with their pets.


Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KSA

Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KSA

Position: Board Vice President

Michelle Mullins is the owner and Director of Training at Honest To Dog, LLC in Richmond, Virginia. Michelle has been training dogs for 15 years and all of her work has the same objective—developing long, enriching relationships between pets and their people. Michelle offers training and behavior consulting through Honest To Dog including in home training for new pets being added to a family, as well as training animals calm, fear free cooperative husbandry for veterinary and grooming care. She has recently added additional behavior consulting having worked closely with certified behavior consultants and veterinary behaviorists for many years. She continues to pursue education and certification in dog behavior consulting.

In addition to her qualifications as a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP), Michelle is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT - KSA), TAGteach Level One Certified and a Fear Free Certified Professional. Michelle is a video contributor to the Fear Free Animal Trainer course. She has been speaker and writer for the association of Professional Dog Trainers. Michelle is guest speaker for both Ohio State University and University of Tennessee.

Prior to launching her private, in-home training business Michelle taught puppy and adolescence dog classes at the Richmond SPCA, private lessons, and worked as the Training and Behavior Education Manager for Premier Pet Products and later PetSafe, after their acquisition of Premier Pet. Over her ten years in the pet product industry she provided expertise and education in training and behavior for new product development and instructions, PetSafe associates, and retail partners such as Amazon, PetSmart and Chewy.com. She was also a resource for tradeshows, veterinary clinics and schools, animal shelters and community groups. Michelle was the liaison for trainers and veterinary professionals for product needs and educational resources and is honored to have worked with top professionals in our industry.

She enjoys participating in rally, agility, tricks, and tracking with her dogs, preferring to find which sport the dog enjoys most.

Outside of training her dogs, she enjoys traveling and photography.


Danielle Basciano

Danielle Basciano

Position: Board Member at Large

Danielle is a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, working with dogs and cats through her business — CNY Pet Training & Behavior in Upstate New York. An active volunteer in her community, she consults regularly with local shelters, animal rescues and governmental and animal welfare agencies.

Danielle has served on the board of the IAABC since 2012. She has also served on a variety of committees, task forces and non-profit boards, including her local SPCA and PAWS of CNY, a therapy dog organization with approximately 180 teams where she was president and lead evaluator for 12 years. Since her retirement from the board in 2015, Danielle continues to volunteer with PAWS of CNY as a therapy dog class instructor.

Danielle is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and an Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) with the IAABC as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) through CCPDT. Additionally, Danielle is a Professional Member of APDT, an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator, a mentor trainer for CATCH Canine Academy, a mentor for the IAABC Animal Behavior Consulting Principles & Practice Course and a member of the IAABC Application Review Committee.

She currently resides in Upstate New York and along with the humans in her life, shares her home with a dog and four cats.


Fernando Diaz, CPDT-KA

Fernando Diaz, CPDT-KA

Position: Board Member at Large

Fernando Diaz is the Behavior Programs Manager for Humane Society of the Pikes Region. He has over 8 years of experience in the animal care industry, having worked with marine mammals, reptiles, fish, cats and dogs. He directly oversees the development, delivery, and evaluation of the organization's behavior programs, working with staff and volunteers to do so.

Fernando is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and works with cats, dogs, and reptiles through his business--Building Better Bonds Pet Consulting in Colorado. He focuses predominantly on fear-based behaviors and aggression. Additionally, Fernando is also a Professional Member of APDT.

Today, Fernando lives in Colorado and shares his cabin-home with 2 hound dogs, a cat, and more fish than your average pet shop carries.


Shawna Dowd, KPA CTP, ACBDC, PCBC-A

Shawna Dowd, KPA CTP, ACBDC, PCBC-A

Position: Board Member at Large

Shawna Dowd, KPA CTP, ACBDC, PCBC-A

Behavior consultant. Dog trainer. She aspires to great heights, and usually ends up rolling on the floor with the dogs instead.

Shawna is the owner of Alliance Dog Training, LLC based out of Eagle, Idaho. She is a graduate of Karen Pryor Academy, certified as an associate of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and accredited through Pet Professional Guild as a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant.

She’s worked with dogs for over 10 years through a variety of organizations including Wounded Warriors, Humane Society, Department of Animal Services, Australian Shepherd Rescue Socal, Meridian Canine Rescue and Boise Bully Breed Rescue.

A former member of the Board of Directors for Meridian Canine Rescue, Shawna she is also a preferred trainer for Boise Bully Breed Rescue. She loves working with all breeds and her passion lies in canine behavior modification.

Currently she is owned by two dogs – Gracie, an Australian Shepherd/border collie and Temperance, her Australian cattle dog mix. Shawna and Gracie were a certified therapy dog team for Love on a Leash and she’s trained both her dogs in scent work, agility and rally obedience.


Renee Hall

Renee Hall

Position: Board Member at Large

Renee Hall is a professional dog trainer and certified Dog Behavior Consultant through her business Let's Speak Dog Training & Sports Studio in Nazareth, PA. Renee is an active member of her community, offering pet, sports and behavior modification at the Studio as well as consulting services for local veterinarians, rescue and shelters. An active mentor, Renee enjoys working with instructors new to the field and introducing a scientific approach to animal training to new students. Teamwork and team development has been paramount to her business plan and offering the best educational environment for learners the theme for continued growth of the business. Renee has been involved with animals most of her life, switched gears from Property/Business Management to open Let's Speak Dog ten years ago.

An active member in dog sports, Renee currently lives with 5 golden retrievers, 2 cats and is usually out playing with the dogs on her day off. A long time sports enthusiast, Renee is currently an active obedience and rally judge, working with NATE developing a competitive venue for Treibball, as well as mentoring for a number of organizations.

Professional Credentials/Affiliations: CPDT-KA, CDBC, APDT Professional Membership, IAABC certified member, IAABC BOD, NATE BOD, NATE CC Chair, P&P Mentor, CWRI, PPG member, AABP, Dogs & Storks, AKC CGC evaluator, CDSP judge, WCRL judge


Sara Russell, KPA CTP

Sara Russell, KPA CTP

Position: Board Member at Large

Sara Russell, KPA CTP is a professional dog training and behavior consultant at When Hounds Fly in Toronto.

Sara previously worked at the Toronto Humane Society for over 10 years managing the Feline Behaviour Department where she incorporated positive reinforcement in the shelter's feline enrichment program, designing and implementing protocols and behaviour modification plans for both animals in the shelter and when assisting pet parents experiencing behaviour concerns at home.

Sara is always dedicated to continuing education whether it's attending yearly conferences, online seminars or reading books to sharpen her training skills and behavior knowledge. Just in 2016, she completed Terry Ryan's Chicken Camp Workshop, and most recently became certified through the Fear Free Initiative to assist veterinarians, pets and pet owners in making veterinary visits a fear free experience for everybody involved through prevention, management, modification and force free handling.

She is also a trainer for the 2017 Jackson Galaxy Foundation's Cat Pawsitive Initiative which aims at teaching shelter staff and volunteers clicker training skills to modify behavior in shelter cats and assist in making them more adoptable.


Marjie Alonso

Marjie Alonso

Position: Executive Director

Marjie Alonso, CDBC, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP is the Executive Director of the IAABC.

She was a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and owner of City Dog Training in Somerville, MA. for decades, during which time she also served as Training Director, and then behavioral consultant for the New England Dog Training Club, the oldest AKC club in the US, and as a member of the America Humane Association's Advisory Board for Companion Animal Behavior and Training.

Marjie is the co-founder of the Somerville Foundation for Animals, which hosts the Somerville Dog Festival each year. Marjie is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants; a Certified Training Partner of Karen Pryor Academy; a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers; an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)