Mittsy Voiles, B.A., CPDT-KA
Mittsy is a behavioral specialist and veterinary assistant at Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic. In addition to in-clinic behavioral help, she offers classes for puppies and adult dogs here at the clinic. She also offers private lessons and home visits in Lake Mills, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson and other nearby communities.
A CPDT-KA certified trainer, Mittsy has over seventeen years of experience in animal behavior. She has worked with dogs and cats in clinics, animal shelters and rescue organizations, including training, temperament testing and enrichment programs. She has also developed enrichment and conditioning programs for zoo animals, including bats, parrots, chimpanzees, baboons and dingoes, since 1999.
Mittsy blows a kiss to Ockie, a chimpanzee at Rockhampton Zoo, Queensland, Australia. 2005.
Prior to joining the staff at Lake Mills, she was the Animal Care and Behavior Manager at Elmbrook Humane Society in Brookfield, evaluating and treating problem behaviors to improve the lives of shelter animals.
As founder and director of Good dog!, Queensland Australia, from 2003 to 2007, Mittsy developed and taught training classes for puppies and adult dogs, focused on understanding behavior, preventing problems such as aggression and fearfulness, and providing proper care for the lifetime of the dog. Mittsy also provided in-home behavior evaluations and private training for dogs with problem behaviors.
Her original interest in animal behavior was sparked when she became a volunteer and then an assistant trainer with Dog's Best Friend, Ltd., started by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. and then attended Dr. McConnell's animal behavior class at the University of Wisconsin.
Mittsy's training philosophy is simple, and is familiar to reward-based trainers around the world:
If you train with your brain (rather than relying on equipment), you don't need physical contact with the animal you are training. The secret to training is to understand the animal, and to discover what motivates the animal to do what you want to teach. If you train for motivation, you get an animal who wants to work with you, to please you. That builds trust, and is a huge reward for both the trainer and the animal.
Alli is a professional trainer who has also found the joy of training people and their dogs to become lifelong partners. She offers classes for puppies of all ages here at the clinic. She also has experience teaching classes that help dogs focus on their people and Rally obedience classes. She is working on her CPDT-KA certification.
Alli often says she is lucky enough to be claimed by two Shelties and an Australian Shepard. Her training philosophy is that training your dog should be fun for both you and your dog. She has found that if you take the time to understand what motivates your dog and use that motivation in a positive way you will get the ultimate reward…a dog that trusts you and will want to learn.
Danielle is an assistant instructor for classes held at the Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic, and an apprentice in behavioral theory and practice with Mittsy Voiles, since 2014. She is also an animal caregiver for the Humane Society of Jefferson County.