Welcome to the First Class Canines blog!

November 27, 2011

Who is First Class Canines?

My name is Ashley Porter, and I am a professional animal trainer and enrichment expert with nearly a decade of experience working with several species, including dogs, horses, cats, wolves, rats, and more recently, parrots.

I began working with animals at local shelters as a child, and began assisting with training the shelter dogs as a teenager. I persued a career in veterinary technology, earning an Associate of Science degree, however, my passion was behavior and I chose to move in a different direction after working for a veterinary clinic.

After several years of volunteering my time and expertise, I began training dogs professionally in the spring of 2006, assisting families in choosing a dog, preparing for the dog’s arrival, and teaching their new companion manners and appropriate behavior. In the fall of 2007, I chose to specialize in helping families who were experiencing severe behavior problems, including aggression, reactivity, and separation anxiety.

I am a member of several professional organizations, including the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP), and the International Positive Dog Training Association (IPDTA). I have completed several hands-on courses in professional training, and have devoted a great deal of time learning both the art and science of successfully training both companion dogs and working dogs using humane, science-based methods.

Why professional training?

The number one cause of death in dogs in the United States is not a communicable disease, it is behavior problems. Persistent behavior issues (like house soiling, aggression, and separation anxiety) often result in the dog being given up or euthanized simply because owners reach the end of their rope – they don’t know what to do and cannot find reliable and trustworthy assistance from an educated professional.

I’m here to change that. Dogs aren’t just my passion, they’re my profession, and I’d like to help you help your dog to be all he or she can be. I plan to focus on topics important to dog owners, including diet and nutrition, enrichment, exercise, behavior, and training. I’m here to share my expertise, so you can look forward to tip lists, how-tos, and videos in the future!

Why “First Class Canines”?

I have high expectations for my animals – and for myself – and those expectations transfer to my clients and their pets, as well. “First Class” is defined as “the best, finest, or highest class, grade, or rank”,  and that is precisely what I strive to provide for my clients. While it is important to understand that “perfection” is an unreasonable expectation for any animal, and that all animals have learning limitations based on a variety of factors, I guarantee that you will receive only the best from First Class Canines. We truly strive to live up to our name!

What would you like to learn today?

In order for First Class Canines to help dog owners, it’s helpful for us to know a little about you. Tell us about your dogs! Share your experiences, challenges, and questions by leaving a comment, and let us know what you’d like to learn today!