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Heidi Frey, owner of Pawz-n-Play LLC, has spent her 25+ years professional career as an athletic trainer and personal trainer for the human end of the leash, which included her first job in Seattle with UW-Husky Rowing and Volleyball. She has paralleled this career with many dog training experiences and volunteering including shelter work, service dogs, search and rescue, and assist-teaching classes for puppy, basic family dog, and therapy dog. Her two dogs Kacy and Zea have (and are still) teaching her about canine learning. Zea started out learning search and rescue, but her claim to fame was becoming a therapy dog with many adoring fans. Now at 13 has retired to her job as queen of the house. Kacy overcame and learned to manage her fear/anxiety and at 8yo found a home for her “crazy energy” in agility. She earned her USDAA Novice title before retiring and nose work is in her future as she is 11 going on 2 and in need of a job!!!

Heidi’s method of approaching dogs and their learning includes marker based training, positive methods, shaping behaviors and skills by encouraging correct and ignoring incorrect choices of the dog. Concepts from Karen Pryor and Jean Donaldson were early influencers in her learning starting in 2003. Search and Rescue taught the importance of play and how it builds relationship with your dog and creates a strong reinforcer for training. Understanding how to apply this to the reactive dog required her to find her “inner-calm” as she truly realized how much the dog will pick up through the leash or touch. Truly appreciating all variations of rewards (not just food) was practiced with therapy dog work. Agility brought more understanding of the power of play and how appreciating the human-canine relationship in parallel with learning enhances results. Observational learning of different training approaches for high and low drive dogs, and the variety of canine movement and structure made every class and competition extra enjoyable. Canine massage furthered her experience with canine response to touch.

Note from Heidi: Why I choose to share my dog training experience is so you can know that if you choose to hire me to help teach your dog to swim, exercise, or eventually massage (stay tuned) that you have someone who understands dogs, uses positive methods, and has a blend of experiences over 15 years. I guess I’m a little bit of a “mutt” of certifications myself - see below.

Heidi Frey MA, LAT, CSCS, CCFT. What do those letters mean???

BS: University of Wisconsin, MA: Michigan State University

LAT: Licensed Athletic Trainer in the state of WA. Has been nationally certified since 1990

CSCS: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA since 1992

CCFT: Certified Canine Fitness Trainer through University of Tennessee since 2016

Canine Massage (not yet practicing in WA): Nationally certified through NBCAAM, Graduate of Lang Institute of Canine Massage since 2014, currently working on education and hours for Washington Canine Massage licensure since recently moving to the state.