MEET OUR TEAM
I started Happy Tails Dog Training in 1980, and I have been teaching classes for over 40 years. I have competed in obedience, conformation, herding, agility and nosework.
I have raised English and Irish Setters, Border Collies, and now enjoy breeding, training, and trialing with Papillons. My dogs and I have acquired trophies, championships, titles and have enjoyed the ride; but the relationship with my dogs is my most valuable accomplishment!
Young Puppy Pre-School
I have been an animal lover since birth! Dog and horse crazy. I became interested in dog training while in High School, attending the local Kennel Club’s annual dog show and obedience trial. It wasn’t until one summer break in college that I took our family Labrador cross, Hudson, through an obedience training class. I was hooked! I continued taking classes at Happy Tails and training Hudson to eventually show her in obedience, agility and rally obedience. During that time, I fell in love with another breed – the Spinone Italiano. I’ve had the privilege of owning 6 of them and in addition to obedience, we’ve ventured into the conformation ring and bird field.
I started assisting a good friend and fantastic trainer with Puppy Kindergarten classes at Happy Tails over 18 years ago. When she moved away, I took over and other than a couple breaks to have my kids, I’ve been teaching the puppy classes since then. I always say, puppy class is the best of both worlds – I get to play with puppies every week, but I don’t have to potty train them!
In addition to my husband and our 2 boys that keep me busy, I have 3 Spinoni, 2 barn cats and a few chickens. I am a Registered Veterinary Technician at a local vet clinic and have additional training in Canine Massage.
CGC, Rally and Advanced Obedience
I have been an avid animal lover since I was a little girl. I have a degree in Veterinary Technology and have been a groomer/owner of a local dog grooming salon since 2008. I got into dog training with my first Weimaraner in 2000 and I became hooked on the competition side of training. My dog "Luke" (my first weim) and I were the first team to get a rally title when it became a titling sport and the event was held at Happy Tails Dog Training Center! I have dabbled in many other performance venues but my heart will always lean towards Rally Obedience and Obedience. I also became an AKC Canine Good Citizen and Trick Dog Evaluater! I love to see teams train and see that they can be a "good citizen" and show the community that dogs are part of one's family.
Brenda Belmonte CPDT-KA
Basic Manners, Topics Classes, and Workshop Instructor
Brenda Belmonte has been a lifelong dog fanatic. Her first experience with dog training was training her dog to participate in her high school theatre performance of “Pippen.” It was then she knew dog training was always going to be a part of her life.
Fast forward four decades, Brenda is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) that has taught a variety of disciplines, from puppies to adults. Her passion is working with adolescent dogs, dog reactivity, and aggression. She is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild.
Brenda has titled dogs in conformation, obedience, rally, barn hunt, dock diving, trick dog and agility. Her current dog, Kanan, is competing in a variety of dog sports!
She is the owner of Two Paws Up Dog Training, LLC in Lead, SD, and is thrilled to be an instructor at Happy Tails Dog Training
Canine Scent Work Instructor
I have had dogs all my life. They have been mix breeds, basset and beagles. I have trained at many different clubs, including the Deep Peninsula DTC, Santa Clara DTC, Town and Country Dog Training Club, Monterey DTC, Oakland DTC and Mt, Diablo DTC. I have been a member of Associated Obedience Clubs of
Northern California, Deep Peninsula DTC and Black Hills DTC.
I have been a trainer at both Deep Peninsula DTC and Santa Clara DTC. I was president of Deep Peninsula DTC and Black Hills DTC. I was also trial secretary for Deep Peninsula DTC for 9 years.
The classes I have done are: beginning dog training, AKC Puppy Star program, tracking and Scent Work. I have been a AKC
Canine Evaluator for 20 years.
I am a current member and secretary of the Rocky Mountain Beagle Club. I am also a member of National Beagle Club.
I have a variety of titles on my dogs, including: CH, CD, CDX, RN, RA, RE, TD, BCAT, DCAT, TKI, CGC, SIN, RI,
RATN, RATO, SIN, SEN, SINE, SBN, SCN, CGCA, FDC, TKN, FDC, SWN
I feel that all dogs need some type of training. The more they have the better they will be with people and other animals.
Basic Manners Instructor
I have been an animal lover my entire life. I grew up on a small hobby farm with multiple animals. In my early teens I trained my first dog JoJo at a competitive level and won reserve champion at Regionals in 4-H obedience. Most recently my Rat Terrier, Opal and I competed at the 2023 AKC RNC in which we qualified in all three runs.
I have always enjoyed reading books regarding dog training and understanding the dog’s mind and behavior. I have completed courses through the Karen Pryor Academy; Dog Trainer Foundations, Dog Trainer Comprehensive, Concept Training: Let’s Get Started, and Concept Training: Modifier Cues. I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement training. Training that creates a partnership that makes you and your dog a better team. It provides your dog with physical exercise, mental stimulation, and cooperative behavior.
My Rat Terrier Opal and I enjoy practicing and competing in Agility, Rally, and Nosework. In our spare time we hike, ride horses, kayak, paddle board, and go on adventures in our UTV. Sometimes we even bring my husband along!
Opal and I share our home with my husband Bret, Opal’s GWP brother Mick, three horses, and 5 chickens.
I am excited to become part of the Happy Tails instructor team to help you build a stronger relationship with your dog. Let’s get started!