Rocky Mountain Stage Stop Sled-Dog Race 1996

More about Maggie

Maggie acquired her first dog, Blue, an Australian Shepherd, when she was eleven.  She studied the Shepherd's Guide Book by John Holmes while endeavoring to train Blue to help her with her small flock of sheep.  Her first lesson in the importance of motivation as a key to training came from Blue.

At thirteen, Maggie began an apprenticeship with stock dog trainers Pat Welsh and Dave Jenkins and trained numerous Border Collies as livestock herding and Geese control dogs (Mother Earth News, Sept/Oct 1987).


She has been a core member of the Montessori based educational program for children The Country School Farm, since 1990.

From 1990 to 1997, she raised, trained and raced her own mid-distance sled-dog team. She competed in several events each season in northern US and Canada (50 to 500 miles in length). She trained her sled-dogs using motivational methods rather than coercion and the result was a competitive team who placed out of the top three only once in seven years of racing. She twice received theCooley Challenge humanitarian award.

She conducted programs for  young families and teens including  dog sled and pack dog adventures in the Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

  In Montana,  she learned to  skijor  from German Olympic skier, Michaela Endler-Probst, and  raced in Montana, Alberta and British Columbia and trained her Catahoula Hound, Bill, for search and rescue. Maggie currently skijores with her German Shorthaired Pointer, Skipper and is a member of the Pennsilvania Sled Dog Club (PSDC) and International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA.)

She helped support her studies in Italy ("Figurative Sculpture"at the Florence Academy ofArt) in 2000-2001, by training  pets in Florence where her perspective on the canine/human relationship was broadened. 

She has been employed by  Guide Dogs for The Blind  in Boring, OR, has completed theAssistance Dog Institute  (six week seminar) and the High Schooled Assistance DogProgram  (working with at risk you in the training of assistance dogs) under Dr Bonnie Bergin in Santa Rosa, CA. 

 Influenced by the work of Jean Donaldson (author of The Culture Clash), Dr Ian Dunbar and Dr James O'Heare as well as other  progressive trainers and behaviorists, Maggie's approach to training evolved  to fully embrace methods backed by science and never include pain, force or fear to achieve results. 

In 2003, Maggie furst  received her CPDT-KA  from the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers - (CCPDT). As of April 15 2020, she is current in this certification.. She attended a Karen Pryor Clicker Training seminar Berkley, CA. From 2003-2006 Maggie worked as a trainer and behavior consultant helping numerous  pets  and their families in Sacramento, CA. 

In 2006, Maggie married Fabricio and they moved to her home state, Ohio. Maggie took time off from training to tend to their young sons William and Luca. The boys are a little older now and she is resuming her training and consulting business in Wooster. She is a member ofPet Professional Guildand Association of Professional Dog Trainers , supporting memberInternational Association of Animal Behavior Consultantsand memberAssociation of Animal Behavior Professionals  follows their professional practice guidelines.

She is currently furthering her education thru a distance oriented course  under the tutelege of James O'Heare at the  Companion Animal Science Institute.

She continues to learn from each dog she works with and strives to stay at the forefront of her field through continued study of science based training methods . She is currently furthering her education through a distance oriented course under the tutelage of Dr. James O'Heare at the Companion Animal Science Institute.