Tawnya lives in Kent, WA with a loving husband, three dogs and two cats, who agreed to let the dogs stay if they were given extra treats and lots of catnip. So far this is working out pretty well.

She got off to a lucky start in life when, at age five, she unwittingly made friends with a dog who, aside from his owner, would permit no one near him. Not only did she enjoy spending time with animals, she began to understand that she was good at it! This early discovery led her to begin working purposefully with dogs.

Through the years it was the knowledge that she was in a partnership with her dogs that drove her to become a better handler and owner. She still works diligently at this and loves the time she spends with her dogs, seeking to make training fun for them as well. She wants her dogs to willingly do as she asks and believes in using positive reinforcement in the form of praise, treats and play. Tawnya knows that keeping things upbeat and positive helps build and maintain trust between handler and dog.

Tawnya continues to take classes and train with her own dogs, enjoying being both a teacher and a student. She currently has her sights set on an Obedience Trial Championship for Bella, her enthusiastic yellow lab. To date they have achieved their CD, RN, RA, RE and are working on their CDX. She also competes in Nose Work with two of her dogs. She and Bella have received high in trial at both the first and second levels and Titus, her elderly Sheltie, has also titled at the first level. Stay tuned to meet Ray, her new lab pup, and see how his training comes along!

Tawnya spends her time teaching at Seattle Agility Center and Auburn Parks and Rec. When she’s not teaching or training with her own dogs she “enjoys” working out, baking her own dog treats and being on hand to cater to the every whim of her two cats. Her husband, bless his heart, mostly fends for himself.

© The Magnificent Dog, site by Joyful Design, content written by Melissa Ripley