Mychelle at The Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Mychelle Blake, Executive Director/CEO of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers

Where do you live? Las Vegas, NV

What do you do? I run the Association of Pet Dog Trainers with the APDT Board of Directors. We are the largest association for dog trainers in the world with over 6,000 members.

What’s the best part of your job? Getting to promote a cause that I am very passionate about. I became involved in dog training many years ago when I worked and volunteered with animal shelters and saw the importance of training in keeping dogs in homes. Spreading that message not only helps my fellow trainer colleagues but saves dogs’ lives and improves the lives and relationships between dogs and their owners.

Tell us about your pets. I have several: Nikita, a Boxer/Border Collie mix; Buzz, a German Shepherd Dog/Jack Russell Terrier mix; Cockatiels Harry and Lola, and Budgies Connor and Cameron.

Do your pets have nicknames? Too many to mention! But favorites would be Noodles or Nookie (Nikita) and Bumpers (Buzz, because he runs into things a lot!).

Do you have a secret dog-training technique? I think the most important technique is to know your dog – get to learn what they like and what motivates them so that training becomes something they enjoy and see as an extension of their relationship with you.

What are your pets’ most endearing traits? Nikita is a very shy, anxious dog, so when she “smiles” and is happy it can make your heart swell. And Buzz is so handsome and has such a winning smile that he gets away with quite a bit. The birds are endearing for their quirky intelligence.

How about their most annoying habits? Nikita’s farts could erode one’s nasal passages, which is problematic since she spends most of her days lying underneath me while I work at my desk. Buzz refuses to sleep on the bed with us. And the birds can be quite loud when they’re feeling temperamental.

Best thing about having a pet? The constant companionship from different species can enrich your life.

If your pet was a movie star, who would they be? Nikita would be Greta Garbo because she just wants to be alone (with mommy) and Buzz would probably be Brad Pitt because he’s very handsome.