Samantha Gooding, Trainer

Samantha is originally from the Quincy, Illinois area. She has always had a dog, big or small, in her life. Right now, Samantha owns a little Russian tortoise and two parrots. She is starting positive reinforcement training with her two parrots. Samantha also owns a 13 year old Border Collie who lives with her parents and their 14 year old yorkie/chihuahua mix since it is easier for him to get around their home at his age.  When he was younger, Samantha trained him in agility and obedience.

Samantha has always had a passion and love for working with animals and training. She achieved a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Quincy University and volunteered at the local animal shelter and wildlife rehab while in college. Samantha also received a post baccalaureate certificate in zoo and aquarium studies from Western Illinois University.  While completing the certificate program, she was fortunate enough to take an animal training course with Ken Ramirez at the Shedd Aquarium. It really opened her eyes to just how much you can achieve and how strong of a partnership you can have with an animal using clicker training.

After schooling, Samantha then got a job at the Blank Park Zoo on the bird and reptile team. She was working there for the past five years. It gave her the opportunity to grow as a trainer, working with a variety of species including large Aldabra tortoises and Cinereous Vultures.  It continued to ignite her passion for training and helped lead her to a career change where she could pursue it more deeply and get back to her roots with dogs. She is always trying to grow and learn as a trainer and hopes to possibly earn a certificate in canine behavior in the near future, so she can do more for the dogs and owners I am fortunate to work with.  Samantha is looking forward to working with dogs and their owners wherever they are at in their training journey.