Our team of talented instructors is passionate about dogs. Collectively we have over 40 years of experience that we bring to teaching. We love to help owners and their dogs reach their training goals, learn new skills, and have more fun together.
I’m Kelly Elvin, the founder of TipTopTails Dog Training. Successful dog training is all about teamwork and every great team needs a coach. That’s where I come in! I love helping people and their dogs live in harmony with effective and gentle training.
I have over fifteen years of experience working with dogs and their owners, and for eleven years I have been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) after passing a national certification exam on dog behavior and training. Attending seminars and staying current on professional literature ensures that I can maintain my certification and bring our clients the most up-to-date information about training and behavior. Read more.
I'm Carolyn Dostal. I have been involved in dogs since 1974, when I took my West Highland White Terrier to obedience training. I loved my training nights, and decided then and there that I would like to compete with him. Since then my dogs (my Westie, Miniature Schnauzer, Border Terriers, and now Beagles) have shown and titled in UKC obedience, UKC agility, NADAC agility, USDAA agility, CPE agility, Obedience, Rally, Conformation and Nose Work. I have been an agility judge since 1995 and judge nine to ten agility shows per year for CPE and UKC.
After completing a CDX on my Border Terrier Jodi, I wanted to do something "different" before training and competing in Utility with her. A friend of mine suggested trying a new sport called agility, and I decided to give it a whirl. The sport was brand new in the Midwest, the equipment was home-made, the instructors had very limited knowledge, and we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew one thing - this new sport was FUN. Read more.
BECKI VANDER WEELE
I'm Becki Vander Weele. I started training and showing dogs at the age of 12 in the local 4-H program. I enjoy bringing new ideas and training tips to my students. My favorite dog sport is competitive obedience, and my dogs and I also enjoy nosework, conformation, rally, and bikejoring. Read more.
I’m Sara Chisnell. I’ve been an avid animal lover my whole life; dogs and horses have always had a primary role in shaping my life. My spare time is devoted to training dogs, which is my true passion. I have put multiple titles on my dogs over the years and am now sharing my knowledge and skills with others through teaching classes, something I have long desired to do.
Any sport you can do with your dogs is a wonderful way to build the canine-human relationship and strengthen your bond, so I encourage all dog owners to get involved in something. Dock jumping is a great place to start. It’s a simple sport that gets owners hooked and often leads to more training and other sports; it’s the gateway sport of dog events!
I have an undergraduate degree in Equine Science from Otterbein College and my law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. My passion for animals has carried into my professional life as I spent nearly 9 years as Legal Counsel for United Kennel Club, an international performance dog registry, and am now Legislative Director for National Animal Interest Alliance Trust, a national animal welfare organization. Read more.
Hi, I'm Matt Elvin. I have been teaching Nosework classes since 2011 and enjoy helping dogs learn to develop their natural scenting abilities as they search for a hidden target odor. Nosework can help a young dog learn to concentrate, a shy dog build confidence, or a fearful dog become more comfortable, simply by allowing them to focus on the search. Any dog can do Nosework!
You've heard of search and rescue dogs being used to find lost and missing people. What you may not know is that trained Missing Animal Response Technician and search dog teams are being used to find missing cats, dogs, and other pets. Seeing this need, I decided to help - and now I'm a pet detective.
I'm Jessica Cefai. I've always loved animals and pursued animal studies in college, earning a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University. As a zookeeper at Potter Park Zoo, I was responsible for the enrichment and behavioral training of the river otters, and assisted in training exercises with the Black Rhinos and Amur Tigers.
Shortly after, I moved on to working with dogs and haven't looked back! I have worked at two wonderful boarding and daycare facilities, and absolutely love my current position as a bona fide "dog wrangler" at Camp Fido Dog Daycare. In my free time, I train my Cattle Dog/Rat Terrier mix, Bart, in dock diving (we earned our first title this year from Ultimate Air Dogs), flying disc and CPE agility.Read more.
Hi, my name is Holly O'Brien. I've been training dogs for over 7 years now and I love it! I have my Knowledge Assessed Certification from the Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA). I'm a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild. I attend seminars every year to keep current with all the new and exciting ways to help my students.
I have a Bachelor's degree in Human Resources from Western Michigan University. When I graduated, I got my first dog, Lucy, and we have been inseparable since then. Read more.
DANIELLE ETZEL (emeritus)
I'm Danielle Etzel. I've been a dog fanatic since I was born, growing up in a house full of Pit Bulls, and I got my first dog while I was in high school - a German Shepherd named Frag. He is what really fueled my passion for dogs and dog training, and because of him I learned about all sorts of behavioral issues a dog could have, and how to fix them through positive reinforcement!
Frag and my border collie Recon have earned dock diving titles through Ultimate Air Dogs and Recon competed at UAD Nationals in 2014. Recon and my German Shepherd puppy Patton are currently training in agility, flying disc and Schutzhund, plus dabbling in nose work, flyball, obedience and conformation. Read more.
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