Dianna Matteson (guest trainer)
Di Matteson is the head trainer and owner of Snorkle’s Way: Adaptive Dog Training, LLC. Di has over seven years of experience in trick training, which led her to become a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and Certified Stunt Dog Judge through Do More With Your Dog. Di also recently completed Pedestal Training Certification as well as Canine Conditioning and Fitness Coach Certification through DMWYD. She is also an Associate member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.
Di has three dogs, all of which have certifications. Juji and Scud both have trick dog titles; Scud also visits classrooms to help students learn how to interact and care for dogs through Project Mickey. RifRaf is a therapy-certified dog (through Wags for Hope out of Frederick, MD) who visits nursing homes and is part of the Project Mickey partnership through Baltimore City Schools. Snorkle, Di’s dog who passed away suddenly in January 2015, was a holder of numerous titles in Rally Obedience. She was Di’s inspiration to get involved with training, become an advocate for Pit Bulls and against BSL, and to engage with many dog rescue groups, both local and national. Snorkle holds a special place in Di’s heart and is missed tremendously.
Ray Tarantula (Intern)
Ray adopted his dog, Oscar, in 2010 which inspired him to use his lifelong love of dogs to help other homeless dogs in the community. This lead to him volunteering at BARCS in 2013 where he began to learn more about dog behavior and training. He is now a level 4 volunteer and assists with dog tests, as well as leads playgroups and socialization sessions. His desire to further his knowledge of dog training lead him to SMYD. At SMYD, Ray assists with teaching group classes and private lessons, as well as volunteering his time to act as a foster home and help to train some of our adoptable dogs!
Nikki has long had a passion for all things 4-legged, especially the canine kind! A graduate of the Animal and Equine Science program at the University of Maryland, she went on to have a successful career as a veterinary technician. Nikki is heavily involved with animal rescue and volunteered many years as a foster and adoption coordinator for Operation Paws for Homes. Her interest and growing knowledge of dog behavior quickly moved her into a position as the training coordinator for the rescue, answering questions from fosters and adopters about their new best friends! This sparked the passion about training and eventually led Nikki to make the move to a full-time career in the training field.
Nikki joined the SMYD team in 2015, is an AKC CGC and Trick Dog evaluator, and a Professional Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals. She also recently completed Pedestal Training Certification as well as Canine Conditioning and Fitness Coach Certification through Do More With Your Dog.
Nikki has completed the CGC, several AKC obedience titles, Rally Obedience titles, Weight pull titles, and trick dog titles with her dogs Boomer, Flirt, Kratos and Yoshi.
She is excited to continue her career by working with families to help make their dogs a balanced, happy, well-behaved family member!
Dave Cochran has been training dogs since 2010 and is quickly earning a reputation as one of Baltimore’s best trainers for effective dog training. He is THE go to trainer for Bella’s Bully Buddies. He has also worked with Kodi's Club Rottweiler Rescue and the Norwegian Buhund Club of America. He has a passion for everything dog. If it makes the relationship better for both the dog and owner, Dave will get you there. His natural hand, farm animal experience, and calm demeanor help build confidence in the most nervous of dogs and help wildly overzealous dogs find their center.
Dave has worked with some of the country’s leading trainers. In 2013, Dave started Show Me YOUR Dog Training, LLC after getting many requests from referral dog owners to help them out the way he had helped others. Dave is an AKC CGC evaluator.