About our Staff:
Kathy Forthman, MS, CPDT-KA, Owner and Lead Trainer
Kathy is a Harford County resident who has been involved in and enjoying dog obedience for the past 14 years. She owns 3 Standard Poodles, Lacey, Marley and Hershey, who have all completed intermediate level obedience, have their Canine Good Citizen certification and were visiting dogs at a local nursing home for 10 years. Kathy holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Bloomsburg University of PA and Master of Science degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Baltimore. Kathy spent 16 years in corporate Human Resources doing recruiting and training before deciding that dog training was just too much fun not to do as a job. In 2014, Kathy became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification for Professional Dog Trainers, as well as a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Kathy became a Certified Fear Free Trainer in 2018. Kathy has 2 sons, both in college, a husband and an adopted bunny named Daphne. In addition to playing with and training her dogs and spending time with her family, Kathy enjoys hiking, exercising, yoga and reading.
Erin Welsh, CPDT-KA, PMCT1, Trainer
Erin was first introduced to Polite Pooches when she brought her puppy, Brody, to Puppy Playtime. After taking Brody through Basic and Intermediate Obedience, where Brody earned his AKC CGC, Erin became a part of the Polite Pooches team. Erin has a degree from Towson University in Animal Behavior. Most of her training experience has been with exotic animals, including training and working with the chimps and lemurs at the Maryland Zoo as a zoo keeper and a year long internship at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL She utilized positive reinforcement training methods with the primates and big cats, just like we do when working with our dogs! . In addition to assisting and teaching our Puppy Right Start, Basic Obedience and Intermediate Obedience group classes, Erin is works as a trainer for the Maryland SPCA and she recently became a Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT) through Pat Miller’s Peaceable Paws Training Academy in Fairplay, MD. Erin is available for in-home,private training and day training in and near Harford County. She is also a great cat/kitten trainer & behavior consultant!
Cheyenna has always had an interest and love of animals. She participated in Polite Pooches classes with both her Mom's dog, Jackson and her own white German Shepherd, Captain. She caught the training bug and began assisting with our classes in 2017. Cheyenna has attended Level I and Level II Pat Miller training. Cheyenna recently also begin working as a Program Assistant at Canine Partners for Life where they raise and train service, alert and companion dogs for the disabled. In addition to teaching and assisting with group classes, Cheyenna is available for private, in home training.
Dina and her husband have two dogs, Melly an 11 year old West Highland Terrier and Mavor who is a 6 year old Wired Hair Griffon,both have achieved their Canine Good Citizen certification . Dina enjoys walking their dogs on the Ma and Pa trail. Dina is a vet assistant at the Animal Medical Clinic of Dulaney Valley in Timonium . She has worked for Dr. Renee Chrest for 13 years assisting in vaccine appointments, spay and neuter surgeries, taking x rays , and caring for sick animals . Dina has always had an interest in animal behavior and dog training, and she recently completed the Professional Dog Trainer Program through Catch Canine Training program. Dina now assists with Puppy Right Start and Basic Obedience classes. She loves clicker training and uses it to teach her dogs new tricks .Dina enjoys the outdoors and loves to take Mavor with her on long hikes.