Meet the Trainers

Angela Efinger ABCDT, CPDT-KA

K9 Training Coordinator, Training Instructor
AKC Trick and CGC Evaluator


Angela Efinger is our K9 Training Coordinator for all Bayside Pet Resort locations and has been training and showing her own dogs since childhood. She has 9+ years combined experience in other various animal related fields including veterinary kennel management, K-9 daycare specialist, avian keeper, and as a vet/surgery technician.

In 2009 Angela got her start by teaching obedience, puppy and agility classes at a veterinarian hospital while also conducting behavior consultations under the supervision of a certified behaviorist. During this time she obtained her dog trainer certification through Animal Behavior College. She continues her education by regularly attending seminars in order to keep up to date on the latest scientifically proven training techniques. She specializes in using primarily positive reinforcement methods and has proven to be very successful while working for several different training facilities over the years.

She also has a huge passion for multiple K9 performance sports including obedience, rally, agility, flyball, herding and conformation. She enjoys introducing and mentoring others, including junior handlers to the wonderful world of dog competitions. Angela is a certified AKC Trick, CGC and CGCA Evaluator, a member in good standings with her breed parent club (BCSA), a current APDT Professional Member, certified through CCPDT, breeder of Border Collies and a local children’s 4-H dog training instructor and judge.

Angela has personal experience training and showing her own dogs in many different venues, earning various titles with AKC,UKC and other organizations.

Some of her most recent memorable achievements are:

  • 2 of her dogs were tied for the 2016 Top Ten spot in UKC Conformation
  • 2016 & 2017 won many awards at her breed national including Best Bred By In Show, Best in Maturity, Select Bitch, Reserve Bred-by & Puppy Sweepstakes.
  • 2016 came in 9th place out of 160 entries at the AKC Rally National Championship.
  • Multiple High In Trial wins in Rally including at her breed nationals.
  • Her dogs are currently featured on the AKC website under their breed profile (Border Collies).
  • A dog she bred is pictured on the label of Publix canned dog food

Jean Smith

Training Instructor
jean smith bayside pet resort trainerEmail:

Jean has a love for all dogs, no matter where they come from. She currently shares her home with 7 dogs and 1 cat from all different walks of life. Jean has been training, competing, and earning various titles with these dogs in a wide array of dog sports including: obedience, Flyball, rally obedience, conformation, agility, herding, dock diving, lure coursing, carting, driving, protection training and weight pulling. The dog pictured with Jean has performed off-lead and live onstage performances with the Sarasota Opera and Orchestra in operatic adaption of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”

Jean has instructed classes for several years at several locations including the Sarasota Obedience Training Club (SOTC), where she instructed and assisted with classes like Flyball and beginner utility. She has also worked with Dog Scouts of America (Peace River Troop) where her primary emphasis was on responsible dog ownership through obedience training. She volunteers her time to work with the local 4-H groups by working as an obedience and showmanship judge as well as instructing the children in all areas of canine performance sports.

She has previous experience as a Board Member and Instructor at the Peace River Dog Fanciers club. She also worked with Therapy Dogs International, Gulfstream Rottweiler Club and has an affiliation with the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation.

You are in good hands under the instruction of Jean. No problem is too small or too big. She will help you train your dog to its greatest potential, using primarily positive reinforcement training techniques.

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!

Bekki Davidsondog trainer lakewood ranch

Training Instructor

Bekki has 6 dogs (5 of them are terriers) and 1 cat (who also does tricks). For over 10 years, Bekki has been actively competing in a number of different performance sports including flyball, agility, disc, dock diving, lure coursing, and obedience. She has been around dogs her whole life!

Her training experience ranges from working farm dogs, teaching classes at Sarasota Obedience Training Club, and private in-home training and pet sitting. Bekki has experience working with all breeds, from small terriers to large breed dogs.

When she’s not competing or training, she enjoys other pet related events like participating at Celebration of Pets at the state fair. Here she uses her dogs to demonstrate the wonderful relationship one can develop when you train your dog.

Some of her most memorable achievements are:

  • Feb 2019: Member of Club “Toss & Fetch Disc League” which ranks 4th in the world.
  • 2019: Qualified for the International Finals in UpDog (Disc), which is held in Kentucky.
  • 2018: Competed at U-Fli (Flyabll) Championship located at Purina Farms in Missouri on team “Terminal Velocity”

Jennifer Becker CPDT-KA

Training Instructor

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 17. 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 knowledge 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

sarah ford dog trainer in lakewood ranch at bayside pet resort

Certified Dog Trainer

Sarah Ford graduated Animal Behavior College where she attained the knowledge and hands on experience to become a certified dog trainer. Since 1998, Sarah has been dedicating her free time to helping train, exercise and comfort shelter animals within Manatee and Sarasota counties.

In addition to owning breeds of all sizes from a Lhasa Apso to Great Danes, Sarah gained experience working with many different breeds, sizes and temperaments through her years working with shelter dogs and through Animal Behavior College’s extensive internship program.

Sarah currently resides in Lakewood Ranch with her husband, son, and a Goldendoodle puppy named Ozzy. She is currently training her puppy to compete in agility, disc, dock diving and to also work as her demo dog.

Sarah always aims to teach dog owners the skills they need to achieve the ideal relationship with their dog. By using primarily positive reinforcement techniques, she will help you create a custom training plan tailored specifically to you and your dog’s lifestyle. Whether those goals are basic manners or behavior modification she is there every step of the way.

Like all of our trainers, Sarah stresses the importance of preventative training while a dog is still young or new to your home. Unfortunately, most dog owners only seek training once a problem has manifested. Early training satisfies your dog’s yearning for mental stimulation, helping to eliminate problem behaviors that manifest out of boredom while also building a strong, loving bond between owner and dog.