Meet the Trainers

Jennifer Becker CPDT-KA

K9 Training Coordinator

Jennifer has a long history of working with dogs. Growing up she had German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and a Labrador. Together side by side with her mother she has helped co-raise puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs and Canine Companions for Independence. She is currently helping to raise puppy number 18. Many of these puppies went on to be service dogs for the disabled and others were employed in various activities from arson & bomb detection to seizure alert.

In her teenage years she enjoyed competing in 4H dog shows where she handled her Golden Retriever, Patrick, in various events including agility, rally, obedience and showmanship. 4H combined with puppy raising led her down a rewarding path to becoming a dog trainer. As she got older she got her first job working for Petco as a trainer. Not soon after she landed a position working as a daycare attendant at our Bayside Pet Resort location in Osprey. Her training skills were noticeable while working with large groups of dogs. When an opportunity arouse in our training department we knew she was the right person for the job.

Jennifer’s favorite aspects of the job include trick training and helping owner’s overcome the problems that arise when a dog’s natural behavior becomes a problematic one. For Jennifer it’s a highly rewarding experience to see the bond between a dog and its owner grow, simply by helping them understand how to communicate more effectively with their dog. In the least aversive way possible, Jennifer teaches owners how to teach a dog what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. She knows the importance of finding what motivates your dog and utilizing it in a way that makes training a fun and rewarding experience for both the dog and owner.

As Jennifer’s expertise of training dogs continues to grow, so do her goals. She is currently training her dog for AKC competitions. Her interest lies with obedience, agility and rally. Her hunger for knowledge has also led her down the path to taking the CPDT-KA test, which she successfully completed for certification in 2019, and enrolling in school to earn a degree in Animal Behavior. We feel very fortunate to have Jennifer as part of our training team here at Bayside Pet Resort. You can rest assured your dog will be in good hands with Jennifer.

Sarah Ford, ABCDT

Certified Dog Trainer – Lakewood Ranch

Sarah Ford graduated with honors from Animal Behavior College where she acquired the knowledge and hands on experience to become a certified dog trainer.

Sarah’s lifetime love of dogs led her to dedicate her free time to help exercise and comfort shelter animals within Manatee and Sarasota counties. While volunteering, Sarah observed the important role that proper training played in a dog’s chances of being adopted. Well-mannered dogs were more likely to stay in their forever homes because they were relaxed and confident members of the family. With a desire to help train, Sarah enrolled at Animal Behavior College and subsequently completed her internship rotating between all three of Bayside Pet Resort’s 5-Star locations.

Sarah is a strong advocate for preventive training with puppies or dogs new to the family. Training is a group effort and she enjoys working with all members of the family, including small children, to form a safe, effective and consistent training routine. Every dog learns at their own pace and every owner has specific needs so every custom training plan is tailored specifically to you and your dog’s lifestyle.

Sarah’s training philosophy follows science-based principles and is delivered by using primarily positive reinforcement techniques that keep training sessions exciting for both humans and canines.

Sarah is an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and is certified in animal first aid and CPR through The American Red Cross.  Sarah is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Suzette Wood

Training Instructor

Training dogs as a teenager, I have been continually active in all dog sports for over 40 years. These many training opportunities have built a wonderful companionship between me and my dogs.  Owning a variety of different breeds has provided me with the enjoyment of their unique skills in many dog sport venues.

While participating in these venues, my dogs have earned many prestigious titles and awards of distinction for outstanding performance. Attending yearly seminars and workshops on new developments in dog behavior helps keep me up-to-date on training methods.

By developing fun, interesting training activities for dog owners, I am able to provide gentle training methods that are enjoyable for both dog and owner.  Participation in these fun training activities builds a solid foundation for your dog to develop good manners and behaviors, making them a well adjusted member of the family and community.

Teaching dog owners effective techniques to communicate with their dog provides the foundation skills for all future training, and enjoyment for both!

John Pfohler

Training Instructor – Osprey

John’s journey in dog training began in 1995 when he took his young Golden Retriever, Sam, to a basic obedience class and the instructor told him that Sam would do well in competition obedience. It was at Sam’s first show where he won his first ribbon that John’s life changed forever! Over the years his dogs have earned multiple titles in various venues with AKC, UKC and ASCA including High in Trial.

His love of competitions turned into teaching a variety of obedience classes from puppy to competitive dog sports. Wanting to give back to the dogs, John spent many years with various dog rescues and fostered over 60 dogs which led him to start learning not only how to train, but how to work with behavior issues. He recently retired from the Humane Society of Sarasota County as their K-9 Behavior Specialist and dog trainer for nine years.

John’s training philosophy is rooted in science and he has and still attends many classes and lectures from trainers and Veterinary Behaviorists from the United States, Canada and England. He believes that dog training has to be fun, enjoyable for dog and handler!