Meet the Pack

Amanda F

Trainer, CCDT, SDC

Amanda has loved and been loved by dogs since her earliest years. As a child Amanda was known to take in any stray dog, cat or chicken that came her way including a very large Rotti named Bruno who wandered from his yard. Amanda attended SUNY Cobleskill(2000-2002) for environmental studies in which she pursued the aquatic. Amanda worked at a local pet chain where she would care for the fish, bird and reptiles. In 2005 upon the information from a friend she went to look at an unwanted dog in a local pet store that was due to be euthanized because she was so old(8 months), so sick and no one wanted her. Amanda went in just to check things out and couldn’t leave letting that little dog die there. The little red dog as she was fondly known as was the catalyst that changed Amanda’s whole life. A little red and white Australian Shepherd was named Mihkoa and she taught Amanda what it meant to truly love a dog. Training was not a passive thing for a busy 8 month old puppy who had never set foot on grass before. It became very apparent to Amanda that the only way to train a timid, fearful dog was with positive training which focused on relationship over domination or control. Training became a necessity as every moment Mihkoa was learning as so was Amanda!  

Amanda began training in the pet dog training world in a local chain store in 2005 so she could take her best friend to work with her. A friend there introduced Amanda to agility and so the obsession began! Amanda and Mihkoa moved to Florida to build a family and there Mihkoa kept running strong in agility earning many titles, including her Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog title, and even going to CPE Nationals all the while Amanda was working in the local animal shelters teaching dogs basic commands to become more adoptable and training foster dogs as they would come through her home in droves. Some of Amanda’s greatest accomplishments lie not in ribbons and awards but in the dogs she has helped rehabilitate and rehome over the years. With love and patience Amanda met the dogs where they were at and slowly and steadily built a trusting relationship from puppy mill dogs locked in cages for years, to parasite covered puppies at her doorstep. Amanda has trained and adopted over 100 dogs in only 6 years while in Florida to loving forever families through different organizations. As Amanda’s human family began to grow she moved back to New York where she continued as best she could in agility as time allowed. Over the years Amanda has worked many dogs in agility at different local facilities teaching through positive reinforcement the fun of running together. Amanda has assisted and instructed at local agility facilities on and off for years while also teaching 4H kids about agility.


Amanda continued her formal education in dog training where in March of 2020 Amanda finished her dog training certificate through CATCH Canine Academy where she holds her CATCH Certified Dog Trainer (CCDT). In September 2020 Amanda completed her Service Dog Coach (SDC) certificate through Cooperative Paws program. Today Amanda is a loving wife, mom of 6 (yes you read that right) human children and an awesome puppy named “Why”. In Amanda’s free time she enjoys agility training and trick training with her dogs and even sometimes ‘loaner’ dogs from friends. You will often hear Amanda say “Good dogs aren’t born; they’re trained.” Through consistent, positive, relationship based training the possibilities are endless for you and your beloved canine friend!