SMDTC Instructors

General Requirements for All Instructors

In addition to attending seminars and reading books and articles on dog training, SMDTC class instructors are required to train a dog to basic titles in obedience (to teach Puppy, Home Manners, Public Manners, and any of the obedience competition classes) or agility (to teach any of the agility classes).   They must assist the level they wish to teach at least twice within a year of applying to apprentice.   They then must successfully apprentice the class, which requires that they take the role of "lead instructor" under the guidance of an approved instructor.   Finally, they must be approved by the Training Committee.

Carol Baron

Carol Baron has owned and trained Brittany's for over ten years. Her second Brittany, Cody, was the first dog she ever trained, starting him in classes at SMDTC in 1995.  Cody retired with a UACHX, UCD, CD, AKC Open Agility Standard/Jumpers With Weaves Titles, legs in AKC Excellent, along with many NADAC Titles.  Carol has two Brittany’s currently in training; Molly who is six years old, and Jack, who is one year old.  Currently, they are competing in AKC Obedience, Rally and Agility, UKC Obedience and Agility, and NADAC Agility.  Jack and Carol are competing in a new venue--AKC Conformation.  Carol is the Agility Chairperson for the Springfield Missouri Dog Training Club, and she teaches all levels of Agility.

Carol Baron and Brittany Molly





Wendy Ethier

Wendy Ethier has been training and showing dogs since 1980. She started in the sport in Minnesota. Her first dog was a Siberian Husky, who earned titles in both AKC and Canada. In addition, Wendy has trained a labrador retriever, two goldens, two miniature pinschers, and two standard poodles. She was a member of several clubs in Minneapolis and St Paul, and an instructor at Total Recall School for Dogs in Hugo, MN, from 1990 to 2008. She started training at SMDTC during the process of re-locating to Arkansas in 2005. She lives in Lakeview with her husband, Jim, and her retired standard poodle Sunncrest April in Paris UDX2 OM3 THD ( Whoopi ) and her new miniature poodle in training: Adelheid's Garbanzo ( Beaner ).
Wendy Ethier and her poodles, Beaner and Whoopi. ( photo caption )

Susan Gilbert

Susan has been teaching classes for over 25 years, and is a past President of SMDTC. She has titled a Chow Chow, three German Shepherds and one Golden Retriever. She has put a UDX2 (Utility Dog Excellent) on one German Shepherd and her current competition dog, Dusty. Dusty had also earned his UKC Obedience Championship. Susan has shown her dogs in Obedience, Agility, Tracking, Herding, Rally, and Schutzhund as well as showing in Canada. Currently she is doing field training with her young Golden, Howdy. She teaches classes from Home Manners through Utility including Agility.

Susan Gilbert and Golden Dusty

Cathy Hawkins

Cathy Hawkins, CPDT has been training dogs since 1971. Cathy created the first obedience classes held at SMDTC.   Competing in AKC obedience and tracking, she has put titles on dogs from the sporting, herding, working, hound and terrier groups. She is the founder and director of Camp Jigsaw, a camp devoted exclusively to AKC tracking.  Cathy is an approved AKC TD/TDX judge.  She is a member of Pet Therapy of the Ozarks, where she created a PALS (Pets As Listeners) program for the Springfield/Greene County Libraries, the Ozarks Kennel Club and is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.  Cathy was the first person in the state of Missouri to be certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers.  Cathy is approved to teach all obedience and tracking classes (excluding Rally) at SMDTC.  She currently teaches Puppy Socialization, Agile Pup and Tracking.



Nancy Schanda

Nancy’s first experience with dogs came from helping her father train hunting dogs (hounds) while growing up.   She attended her first formal obedience classes almost 25 years ago, and has earned titles on an American Eskimo Dog, a Whippet, and five Shetland Sheepdogs.   These titles include Lure Coursing, AKC Agility (including Master Agility Champion 3), UKC Agility (Grand Agility Champion), Rally, and Obedience (including a Utility Dog Excellent, and 3 Dog World awards), Versatile Companion Dog 2, and Tracking.   She has qualified for the AKC Agility National Championships in several years and had 3 perfect rounds with two dogs in 2013.   For SMDTC, Nancy has taught classes in Home Manners, Public Manners, Novice, and  Agility.   Nancy has an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems, an MBA, has 30 years administrative experience in higher education, and has taught college courses in computers and organizational behavior.  She serves as SMDTC’s webmaster, and has served the club in the past as enrollment secretary, secretary, training director, and on various club trial committees.




                                                                                                                    Nancy Schanda and Shetland Sheepdog Jet, UD








Sarah Schroeder

Sarah has been involved in dog training for 22 years.  She has served as Training Director, Agility Chairman,  Membership Chairman and Treasurer for SMDTC.  She has trained 5 Golden Retrievers, 3 Irish Setters and 1 Smooth Fox Terrier.  Sarah  competes in AKC &  UKC Events.  She has 24 Obedience, 15 Agility, 12 Rally, 1 Tracking, and 12 Conformation titles. She has dogs now started in hunt tests. She has handled other breeds in conformation.   She is a AKC, UKC, and ASCA Obedience and Rally judge.  Sarah teaches classes from Puppy, Home Manners, Competition Obedience and Agility.  Sarah is also an instructor and judge for the 4-H club in our area.




Sarah Schroeder and Irish Setter Flirt




Dianne Strickland

Dianne brought her first dog (a mixed breed) to obedience classes in 1976 and has been hooked on this wonderful sport ever since.  She acquired her first pure bred sheltie, Toby, in 1981 so that she could participate in AKC (American Kennel Club) events.  Toby and Dianne earned degrees in tracking, agility, the club’s first UDX (Utility Dog Excellent), and a Canadian OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion). Continuing to work with her favorite breed, the sheltie, Dianne has put AKC Utility Dog Titles on 4 dogs, as well as numerous UKC obedience and agility titles,  She has also put AKC tracking, agility and rally titles on a number of her dogs.  She has been teaching at SMDTC for over 20 years, and is qualified to teach obedience and agility classes. Currently Dianne teaches advanced obedience classes: Novice, Open and Utility.


Dianne Strickland and Sheltie Skye










Becky Swearingen

Becky reports:  "I have been training dogs for a little over 15 years.  My first dog, Scrappy, was a Pekingese/Chihuahua mix.  She showed in obedience and agility until her retirement in 2001.  During her first year showing in obedience, she was the number one mixed breed in obedience in the country.   She completed her U-CDX and U-ACHX titles.  She was also a therapy dog for approximately 12˝ years.  She passed away in June of 2013 at 17˝ years old.


My second dog, Elliott, is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Because he had hip dysplasia, he only showed in the Novice level of obedience.  I am proud to say, he was the number three CKCS in the country during the year he showed.  He is still with me at over 15 years of age.


In 2011, I downsized…I got a Chihuahua, Ava.  She was a very timid dog and has taken patience and training, but she has managed to complete her Beginning Novice (BN) and Rally Novice (RN) titles and the agility title Novice Jumpers Prefered (NJP).  She has also been a therapy dog since August 2011.


Because you can never have just one Chihuahua, in November 2012 a second Chihuahua, Pippin, joined my family.  He is my first conformation dog and currently has thirteen points toward being a breed champion.  He will also train in obedience and agility and will eventually, one he settles down a bit, be evaluated for pet therapy. He only weighs 3˝  pounds, but is full of energy so I believe will do well."

                                                                                                                                                                                       Becky Swearingen with Ava




Pam Tynes

Pam has been training since 1989.  She has put 2 CDs, 1-UCD, 2-UAGIs, 1-UAGII, 1-UACH & 3-CGC's on 3 Dalmatians.  For SMDTC she has taught Puppy Soc, Agile Puppy, Versatile Puppy, Home Manners, Public Manners, Novice, and Agility. She has been a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) for about 10 years. Her attendance at several seminars, most recently APDT in 2005, 2006, and 2010, helps her to keep current on recent training methods.   Pam is a member of Pet Therapy of the Ozarks (PTO) and she and her dalmatian, Meela, make pet therapy visits to several locations.  Pam has served on the board of SMDTC several times, serving as President 2004-2006, and current Training Director (2012-2014).   She served as enrollment secretary for five years. She also served on the training committee, building committee, and various club trial committees since joining the club in 1989.






                                                                                                Pam Tynes with Meela, Tully, Tootsie, & Buffy



Ladina Walker

Ladina has been teaching classes at SMDTC for almost four years. She started out as a pet owner who wanted her first Labrador Retriever (Mocha) simply to have some manners. She got hooked on training & the rest is history. Mocha has earned his AKC obedience CDX & GN titles, AKC rally RE title, & UKC UCDX title. She also put UCDs on Labs Butter & Ruby, a CD on Butter, REs on Butter & Ruby, & an AKC obedience BN & rally RN on her youngest Lab, Kona. Mocha is retired from competition, but both he & Butter are certified pet therapy dogs with Pet Therapy of the Ozarks & Kona is working on his CD title. Ladina currently teaches Home Manners & Public Manners classes & is an AKC CGC Evaluator for SMDTC. She is also the current SMDTC Membership Chair/New Member Liaison & has served in the past as the Assistant 's Trainer, on the HMO training committee, & on the SMDTC nominating committee.

Photo of Ladina & Kona







Margery West


Margery took her first dog, an American Eskimo, through dog obedience class in 1973. A couple of years later she got her first Sheltie. After putting several obedience titles and two breed championships on Shelties, she branched out into other breeds including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, a Curly-coated Retriever, a Belgian Sheepdog, a Schipperke, a Whippet, an Australian Shepherd, Border Collies, a Greyhound and currently a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Sheltie.  Margery earned the first Obedience Trial Champion title in southwest Missouri with her Golden Retriever, and has titled dogs in tracking, hunting, and rally. She became an AKC approved obedience judge in 1991, and is now approved to judge all obedience and rally classes. She is also the author of the Dog Writers Association of America's award winning book "Social Graces."  For 8 years, she wrote "The Pet Class" column for Front and Finish, and a column for the quarterly magazine FORWARD.  She is past President of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and is currently the Training Director for the Springfield, MO Dog Training Club.  Margery teaches Home Manners, Public Manners, Obedience/Rally Skills, Novice, Open, Utility, and Rally as well as the occasional "special" class for SMDTC.

Margery West