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STACY GRAY, FDM, BFDA Independent Contractor

Stacy is passionate about cultivating a trusting and connected relationship between dogs and their families. She is dedicated to using positive reward-based methods that promote learning and strengthen the human-canine bond. Stacy has worked with numerous dogs as a lead volunteer at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center. It was there that her journey into dog training began.


Stacy is a graduate of the University of Iowa (MA, 1995). Her professional background in the human world has included counseling and teaching. 


Stacy and her dog have earned Novice and Intermediate Tricks Titles from the AKC. They have also enjoyed dabbling in Nosework and Cooperative Care. She is a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM), a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a member of the Iowa City Animal Response Team, and participates in many continuing education opportunities for dog trainers. 

EMILY HELIN, BFDA Independent Contractor

Emily started her dog training journey in 2012 with her very first dog, a Border Collie named Fly. Her love and knowledge of training snowballed after she found Skidmarkz Flyball Club and began to train in the sport. Emily now has four Border collies and four cats. She actively competes in flyball, disc and dock diving. She also trains in sheep herding with her dogs and has recently started training in freestyle disc.


Emily trains and teaches with positive, reward based training methods and she has a special interest in advanced tricks and sport work. Emily is a Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) and has worked as an emergency veterinary technician, practicing Fear Free methods of care for more than a decade.  She also has a special interest in canine rehabilitation. 


Emily graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with an Emphasis on War, Peace and Security as well as a minor degree in Spanish.

When not flyball racing or competing, she loves to hike, kayak and frequent local brewery patios (with dogs, of course!). 


Darlene became interested in dog training in 2008 when she was fostering dogs for the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.  She saw how a positive relationship and reward based training methods helped dogs gain trust and form a strong bond with their caretaker.  She enrolled in the Animal Behavior College dog training program in 2009, graduated, and still works extensively with shelter dogs.

Darlene is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago (BSN, RN).  She also is a Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and a Medicolegal Death Investigator (MDI).

In addition to her Certification from the Animal Behavior College (ABC-DT), Darlene is a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM), a member the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).  Darlene is a graduate of Trish McMillan’s Shelter Behavior Hub Course, she recently completed Dr. Kathy Murphy’s extensive “The Brain and Behavior Through Life Stages” course, and is currently enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right Program. 

She believes that learning new things is an essential part of life’s journey.  She enjoys attending training and behavior conferences and seminars on a regular basis. She strives to incorporate the most progressive, science based, and ethical practices into her work.

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