Learn More About Sirius Positive Dog Training

Meet our dog trainer and learn more about our story.

Meet Michele

Michele’s experiences training her own German Shepherds, especially one particularly challenging dog – Sirius, inspired her to study dog training and behavior modification.  In 2015 she retired from pediatric ophthalmology to pursue dog training full time, and has since studied science-based, fear free, cooperative training methods with leading experts in the dog training field.  She has extensive experience working with both basic good manners training and with dogs who have behavior problems.  

Michele’s philosophy of dog training is straightforward: dogs are our companions, not possessions; dogs are social animals; dogs who cooperate as willing and trusting partners, rather than obey out of fear and coercion, are not only more reliable on and off leash, but this way of training enhances the loving relationship that most of us want with our dogs.  

Michele is both a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) and an international Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers).  Both the IAABC and the CCPDT are independent organizations and their certifications are awarded based on examinations that assess a candidate’s knowledge, expertise and experience.  

In addition, Michele has been awarded certifications after completing rigorous coursework, examinations and skill assessment by the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy (graduate with distinctions); is a Fear Free Certified Professional trainer after completing coursework for cooperative husbandry at both veterinary offices and at home; is a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor-Knowledge and Skills Assessed after a comprehensive course based on Grisha Stewart’s training methodology; and is a Certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator.  Michele also has completed Michael Shikashio’s Master in Dogs Aggression and Dr. Susan Friedman’s Applied Behavior Analysis courses.  

Michele is currently enrolled in the Family Dog Mediator course taught by internationally respected Animal Ethologist Kim Brophey and in Suzanne Clothier’s CARAT observational skills courses.  These certifications, coursework and ongoing studies demonstrate Michele’s up-to-date expertise, knowledge and skills in dog training.  

Michele has a passion for animal rescue and has worked with multiple rescue groups, including Best Friends Animal Society, Happily Furever After, Animals-R-Family, and Animal Rescue Center, has foster/trained rescue dogs, and volunteered with regional events such as the Best Friends Super Adoption events and Strut Your Mutt. 

Michele began working with Pets for Vets in 2021.  This international organization matches veterans with emotional support dogs who are carefully selected from shelters and trained to be supportive companions.  (https://www.petsforvets.com)

Since becoming a full-time trainer in 2015, Michele has made it her mission to decrease the frustration and stress that arises between dogs and their people when they experience conflict, and to help owners gain the skills to begin to work with their animals confidently and effectively.  Michele works with dogs and their owners to achieve goals that are realistic for both dogs and owners.  

By considering both the human and dog’s perspectives, Michele gives clients the skills and strategies to develop a cooperative partnership.

Mission Statement

When we listen to and understand our dogs, life-changing connections result.  Based on that belief, it is my mission to provide dog training that enhances the dog-human bond and creates true partnerships.  

Michele's Qualifications
  • Certified Dog Behavioral Consultant, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, CPDT-KA
  • Certified Behavior Adjustment Trainer, BAT2
  • Certified Fear Free Professional Trainer
  • Certified Pets for Vets Trainer
  • Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator and Trainer, American Professional Dog Trainers
  • Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Trainer, American Kennel Club
  • Graduate, James French Animal Communication Training
  • Graduate with Distinction, Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy
  • Graduate, Jan Fennell Amichien Training 
  • Professional Premium Member, Association of Professional Dog Trainers 
  • Member, Pet Professional Guild
Michele's Continuing Education
  • Laura Donaldson Ph.D, Slow Thinking is Lifesaving for Dogs, 2022
  • Michael Shikashio, The Aggression in Dogs Workshop, 2022
  • Karen Pryor Clicker Expo Workshops, 2022
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants – Lemonade Conference, 2022
  • Chirag Patel Puppy Class Success, 2022
  • Kim Brophey, Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation, 2022 (in progress)
  • Ken Ramirez The Ranch, Pets for Vets Workshop, 2022
  • Leslie McDevitt, Control Unleashed Workshop, 2021
  • Suzanne Clothier, Heartbeats at Our Feet, 2021
  • Suzanne Clothier, What’s the Problem? Solving the Puzzle of Behavior, Training & Performance, 2020
  • Suzanne Clothier, Practice Bones RCT™ Exercises, 2020
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants – Lemonade Conference, 2020
  • Suzanne Clothier, Your Athletic Dog, 2020
  • Grisha Stewart, Certified Dog Behavior Adjustment Trainer certification, BAT 2, 2019
  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, dog behavior certification, 2019
  • Michael Shikashio, Aggression in Dogs Master Course, 2019
  • Suzanne Clothier, Treat-Retreat Basics Webinar, 2019
  • Suzanne Clothier, From Maddening to Maturity: Understanding and Helping the Adolescent Dog, 2019
  • Fear Free Certified Pet Trainer, 2019
  • Suzanne Clothier, What’s the Problem? Solving the Puzzle of Behavior, Training & Performance, 2019
  • Suzanne Clothier, Enriched Puppy Protocol, 2019
  • Suzanne Clothier, Advanced Trainers Retreat, 2018
  • Suzanne Clothier, The Elemental Questions, 2018
  • James French, Animal Communication Training Certification, 2017
  • Suzanne Clothier, Advanced Trainers Workshop, 2017
  • James French, The Trust Technique, 2017
  • Cindy Knowlton, Connection Cooperation Control course, 2017
  • Suzanne Clothier, See The Dog, 2017
  • Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy, Graduate with Distinctions, 2016
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine, M.D. degree, 1993

Work with Michele

Looking for dog training help in Rhode Island, Connecticut, or Massachusetts? We can help!

We help local Rhode Island clients with dog training, puppy training, and behavior modification and are able to help clients in the greater New England area with Board and Train Packages.