Meet Our 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.

Our Instructors

Christie Kucsik
I first got involved with training when I got my Boston Terrier Bradley. It was obvious after puppy classes that we had more training work to do. On the suggestion of Carolyn Krause I enrolled us in agility classes at SMDTC in 2002. I also got involved teaching puppy classes for Firedog and in about 2005 I started teaching agility classes for SMDTC. Why agility you ask? Bradley and I fell in love with agility because it taught us so much and it was such fun! I absolutely loved watching us grow as a team.
I love training and teaching agility so much that I asked a friend if she would kindly allow me to train her Dalmatian for agility. She immediately agreed and I was off on a new adventure. Gambler is an amazing dog and we truly enjoy getting to play together. It was wonderful for me on many levels because it helped me as a trainer and as an instructor.
The photo above is my boy Grimm at his first AKC agility trial; we had a fabulous time getting to play together.
I have trained and titled dogs in dock dogs, conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, rally, barn hunt, pet therapy and would like to find time for nose work someday. All of the dogs I have trained have multiple agility titles in 3 different agility venues. My dogs and I compete in a lot of performance events but I will always have a love for agility. When we go in the ring we aren’t competing with anyone but ourselves, my goal is for each performance to improve over the last. It isn’t about blue ribbons, double Q’s, or MACH points; for me is about getting to play and run with my best friend.
Jane Collins

Jane Collins has had a passion for dogs since childhood.  She attended her first obedience classes with her black Lab, Pepper, when Jane was eleven years old.  Since that time she has worked in obedience and tracking with other Labs, a few Dachshunds, and a German Shepherd Dog, Lexi.  She has also discovered the sport of nosework and is hooked!  In addition to teaching classes for several years, Jane has served the Club as Insurance Advisor, President, Secretary and Training Director.  She was also the coordinator of the fundraising garage sale which raised money to purchase bullet proof vests for the Greene County Sheriff K-9s.
Wendy Ethie

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 ).
Becky Frakes
Becky Frakes started attending dog classes with SMDTC in 1995 with her sheltie, Simba.  She needed a dog with manners since she had two small children.  After taking the beginning classes she was hooked.  She began showing Simba in AKC and UKC agility and AKC and UKC obedience.  Prior to Simba’s retirement, they earned their CGC, CD, CDX, U-CD, U-CDX, AGII, NAJ and NA titles.  She is now actively training and showing her Standard Poodle, Bridget, CGC RN; Shetland Sheepdog, Sunny, CGCA; and new Sheltie puppy, Yadi.  Becky teaches Puppy Soc and Home Manners classes.
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.
Jennifer Kimberlin
Currently I share my home with four Standard Schnauzers, a boxer, six rats and two foster birds. As with most people, I had dogs growing up and I taught them what I could as a kid. When I got married and moved out my own, we obtained a toy fox terrier while in our apartment. I went to a class to work on socialization and basic manners. That was in 1996. Once we moved into a house, we obtained our first boxers. I started volunteering for a boxer rescue in 1999 which brought many boxers through our home and lots of training and learning experience. In 2007, I co-founded Boxer/Schnauzer Rescue of the Ozarks with a friend. The friend has since moved on but I am still with BSRO. In 2000, we joined Springfield, MO, Dog Training Club to help make our boxers good citizens. I did basic manners with my boxers, the Canine Good Citizen and even taught two of them to draft! In 2008, I adopted one of my foster boxers who I named Alice. This girl showed great abilities at a young age and I couldn’t let her go. She has since come to be known as UCD Cheshire’s Little Secret CDX BN RA HT THD CGC CGCA RATN retired Pet Partners Therapy dog, actress, and model. She is one of a small population of boxers that is titled in herding. Yes..boxers herd. She is trained in drafting also but we never got around to titling in that! She has also done live theatre and tv. In 2012, we ventured into the world of conformation by adding a Standard Schnauzer puppy to our home. Since then we have brought three other standard schnauzers home. We know share our home with GCH Sketchbook Rodeo Clown RATN “Rooster”, GCH Rhinestone Cowboy RATN RATO “Campbell”, CH Sketchbook Foolish Pleasure DJ CGC RATN RATO “Derby” and Sketchbook No Nonsense “Nonie”. Derby is the first Standard Schnauzer ever to title in dock diving in AKC. Campbell went Select Dog at Eukanuba this year and he and his brother are preparing for Westminster in the next year or so. All of this has encouraged me to further my knowlege in dogs. I have attended seminars with Brenda Aloff, Nicole Wilde, Judy Luther, Ian Dunbar, and others. I have organized trainings with Jim Crosby, a nationally known dog bite expert, for law enforcement and the local community. I have brought Judy Luther in to speak with people about dog behavior. In May, I attended a 3 day scent games camp covering tracking, nosework and barn hunt. So overall, I have trained dogs in obedience, rally, therapy, conformation, herding, barn hunt, dock diving, drafting, live theatre and probably stuff I’m missing!
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.
Lorri Sheets

When Lorri Sheets started training at SMDTC in 1999, she found a group of similar individuals with a passion for spending time with their dogs, and the desire to engage in fun canine activities and games.  Lorri has served SMDTC in a variety of ways, but especially enjoys teaching others effective ways to communicate, live, and play with their canine companions.  Lorri provides pet therapy with her Boston Terrier “Smiley Miley” through Pet Therapy of the Ozarks; and she competes in agility, rally and obedience trials with her other Bostons, Kit and Jimmy.

Pam Tynes
PamTFixPam 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.
Ladina Vanzandt
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.
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 Papillon. 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 has served as Training Director, Home Manners/Obedience Chair, and Enrollment Secretary 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.
Terry Marinier
Joan Vandenberg
Darlene Hughson
Irene Bessette
Liz Medley
Pam Shoupe