Sara Miles, CPDT-KA
ABCDT, IAABC Supporting Member (Shelter), PPG and APDT Professional Member
Phoenix AZ Dog Trainer
I grew up around animals. Not a day went by when I wasn’t rescuing a baby bird or finding stray puppies a home. For my 6th grade “What do you want to be when you grow up?” project, I interviewed every animal care role I knew of: veterinarian, zookeeper, and dog trainer. I wanted to be all three and then some…
It turns out, working at a prominent animal shelter in San Diego gives you a little bit of all three! I’ve been working in animal training and sheltering for a little over 10 years, and have had the pleasure of working with some incredibly talented individuals in the field. I moved to Phoenix, AZ in 2016 and started Smiles Dog Training shortly thereafter.
But what does that mean for you?
Well, let’s start with my experience. In the 10+ years I’ve been working in this field, I’ve seen so many things. My original mentorship was with Jessica Wheatcraft, CPDT-KA (current owner of Synergy Dog Training). Working with Jessica reaffirmed for me the strength and humane outcomes of positive reinforcement training. My mentorship with Jessica and my completion of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training Certification program led me to a position with the Behavior & Training Department at the San Diego Humane Society in 2010.
During that time, I worked training and rehabilitating the following at the Behavior Center of the San Diego Humane Society:
- Shy/fearful dogs & cats
- Dogs with impulse control issues (jumping, humping and other “out of control” behaviors)
- Dogs with dog/barrier/leash reactivity
- Cats with arousal issues (attacking people during play or petting)
- Cats with litter box issues
I was also involved in other cases led by my co-trainers that included resource guarding, separation anxiety, and aggression. I was responsible for managing the entire volunteer team at the Behavior Center, so I not only helped rehabilitate animals but taught others how to do so as well. Our work with the volunteer team TRIPLED the number of animals we were able to help.
My goal is to continue using this knowledge to assist owners, rescues, and local shelters in their quest to resolve problem behaviors – and to do this in the most Humane way possible!
I have been certified by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA). I am a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training certification program (ABCDT), a shelter supporting member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
But most importantly – I’ve been where you are. I’ve had cats with litterbox issues, dogs with reactivity issues, and I understand how hard it can be to live with these issues when everything your friends and family recommend just isn’t working. So I’m here. Contact me today and let’s get started!