Meet Our Training Team

We are proud to have such a talented group of dog trainers at our facility! Their skills combined
allows us to offer a wide variety of classes, providing class opportunities for any interest and any level.

 

LISA BARTEL

TRAINING MANAGER
CPDT-KA, DN-CET, CSAP-BC


Lisa Bartel is a Reward-Based Reinforcement Focused Dog Trainer but truly is a coach to canine guardians.

She began her journey into dog training after adopting two fearful reactive dogs, then volunteering and working at a local shelter since 2013. Learning from the people she met through volunteering and from her trainer colleagues, Lisa wanted to help more dogs and their guardians.

Lisa decided to focus on earning her Professional Dog Trainer Certification (CPDT-KA), her Canine Enrichment Technician Certification (DN-CET), and her Separation Anxiety Professional Behavior Consultant Certification (CSAP-BC). Lisa is dedicated to continuing her education to help both the human and canine members of the learning team.

Lisa currently shares her life with her mixed breed dog named Rick who is her training partner and has taught her more than she can ever thank him for. Lisa currently works at Lucky Paws as the Training Manager but is excited to instruct group classes that will teach students practical skills through fun activities which will strengthen their bond, fulfill their dog’s needs by enriching their lives, and help them truly be a member of the family.

JEN HEID

TRAINER
CPDT-KA


Jen’s introduction to dog training was through dog sports. She started obedience and agility training with her first cocker spaniel in the mid-1990’s, and has been hooked ever since.

Jen participates and has titled in a variety of dog sports including Obedience, Rally, Agility, Scent Work, Rodeo Dog, Fast Cat, Trick Dog, and Coursing Ability Tests. Jen began teaching Family Manners and Canine Good Citizen Prep classes at several local training clubs, and started teaching at Lucky Paws in 2021. Jen is a 2024 graduate of CATCH Canine Trainers Academy and soon after completed her coursework to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2024 as well. She is an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, CGC, and Tricks Evaluator, and is a Certified Brewery Manners Instructor. She is also a Rodeo Dog judge.

Jen believes that all dogs should participate in some form of dog sports, even if they never intend on competing. It enhances the relationship between the dog and owner, and is very enriching for the dog!

At Lucky Paws, Jen teaches Rally, Rodeo Dog and Scent Work, and will be teaching S.T.A.R. Puppy, Basic Manners, and CGC Prep in the upcoming months.

In addition to dog training, Jen has a Masters in Social Work and has spent the last 30 years working with children and adolescents in residential settings and applies the same philosophy in working with dogs and their owners. Jen currently has 6 cocker spaniels and spends the majority of her free time training and participating in dog sport trials.

ASHLEY PHELPS

TRAINER
CPDT-KA


Ashley has been working with dogs since she was 18. Having a strong passion for rescue, she started off working in shelters and rescue that led her to adopting her first two dogs, who sent her down her training path.

Ashley’s experience as a shelter manager, adoptions counselor, and training assistant played a huge role in her experience that ultimately led her back to school to get her first training certification at Animal Behavior College. After externships and training guidance from experienced trainers around the Pittsburgh area, she obtained her certification as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA).

Thanks to her amazing two pit bulls, Ashley felt extremely passionate for reactive and fearful dogs. Her drive for showing that we can change a dog’s emotion and behavior without ever needing force or aversives led her to become a certified Fear Free Professional Trainer. She has been a Fear Free Certified Trainer for 3+ years now, and has shown with her own dogs just how amazing it can be! She helped guide her extremely fearful dog fighting survivor from debilitating fear, to a certified Canine Good Citizen. Now a parent to a once fearful Great Dane, her Dane is in the works to earning her a Canine Good Citizen and Therapy dog title with how far she has come!

Ashley has been training at Lucky Paws for a few years now. Mainly focusing on private training for behavior, Ashley teaches group classes. as well She has also instructed Reactive Dog classes and other fun behavior specific classes! She is always yearning to share her skills and training expertise, and is looking forward to all of the classes she will be teaching. Ashley strives to constantly expand her knowledge with continuing education; she is working towards her goal of becoming a Certified Behavior Consultant (CBCC-KA).

Ashley is excited to meet all of you and share her skills and knowledge, all while having some fun in class!

JESSICA ACKERMAN

TRAINER
CPDT-KA


Jessica has had a lifelong passion for animals leading to her receiving a degree in Animal Science and working in various animal fields throughout her career. She began her dog training journey in 2017 when she started working as an assistant dog trainer at a day training center. For three years in this role, she helped create and implement training protocols that covered a wide range of behaviors, before she moved on and started working in local animal shelters, and most recently joined our staff as the Assistant Daycare Manager.

Committed to continuing education, Jessica graduated from the CATCH Canine Training Academy where-in she received hands-on mentorship with a local positive reinforcement trainer. Jessica is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) demonstrating her knowledge in the field of dog training.

She has been teaching S.T.A.R. puppy classes at Lucky Paws since 2022 as well as teaching various specialty classes and providing private lessons and play and train sessions to our clients. This year Jessica will also teach our advanced level classes, adding her support as a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator!

Jessica has three dogs of her own; a Rottweiler named Reese, a Golden Retriever named Quinn and a Chihuahua mix named Scamp. She enjoys hiking with her dogs, and because of her interest in off-leash hiking, Jessica has developed a specialty in training Recall and teaches our Recall classes that are due to start-up again this spring!

We are happy to have Jessica providing her training expertise to Lucky Paws students and look forward to her continuing to support our training program.

WELCOME SOME OF OUR NEWEST HAPPY FACES!