When Lisa signed her first dog up for basic training classes in 1991, she had no idea she had taken the first step down a long and rewarding road that would take her all over the United States and even to Europe in a quest to learn from some of the World’s top trainers, handlers and behaviorists, help owners improve their relationships with their dogs and to earn titles and trophies with her own dogs.
After graduating from their first obedience class, Lisa and her first dog, a German Shepherd, went on to earn titles and many High in Trial ribbons in AKC obedience, Schutzhund and sheepherding. Her success in a variety of dog sports got her hooked on dog training.
Dog training changed from her profession to her hobby in 1995 when she was recruited by the owner of East San Diego based Canine Performance Center. Here Lisa worked as the head trainer overseeing the in-board obedience training program and teaching group classes and private lessons. Working with pet dog owners changed the focus of Lisa’s training from winning blue ribbons to improving relationships between people and their pets.
From 1998 until 2004 Lisa instructed reward-based dog training classes at local PETsMART stores in San Diego County. Keeping 12 dogs and their owners focused in a distracting environment honed Lisa’s teaching skills.
In the Summer of 2001, she attended a month long residential Pet Training Instructor program at the Marin Humane Society. This program, developed by six of the nation's top behaviorists and trainers, covered learning theory, ethology, classroom management and hands-on training with shelter dogs. When she returned to San Diego County she spent the next two years training other Pet Training Instructors for PETsMART retail stores. Teaching other dog trainers strengthened Lisa's commitment to science-based techniques that emphasised the use of rewards in training.
Her lifelong quest to keep her dog training skills up to date took her to San Antonio in 2008 for an opportunity to work with the Military Working Dog program at Lackland, AFB. She worked as a research associate for the University of Texas facilitating a research study designed to improve the way Military Working Dogs are selected for purchase in Europe. During this year, she tested and evaluated over 250 working dogs.
In the beginning of 2010, Lisa and her pack relocated to San Francisco, CA. Under the name Muttamorphosis Dog training she will be available for private lessons and workshops both for pet dogs and their owners and competitive dog sport teams. The Bay Area’s active pet dog owners and varied dog sport opportunities combined with perfect weather and some of the best outdoor hiking and beach spots for dog’s and their owners have convinced Lisa that this is the best place on earth for her pack.
Training dogs is more than a profession for Lisa...it is a passion. Throughout the years she has shared her home (and her bed) with many breeds of dog and a few mutts too. Lisa breeds working Belgian Malinois under the kennel name Loups du Soleil. She and the dogs have competed and trained for AKC Obedience, Rally Obedience, NAHRA hunting retriever tests, flyball, French Ringsport, Mondioring, Schutzhund, sheepherding trials, dock diving and more. She is the breeder, handler, owner and trainer of one of the world’s most accomplished Belgian Malinois. Feist’s titles include Schutzhund 3, Mondioring 3, French Ring 3 plus titles in obedience, flyball, dock dogs and more. Their success in dogsports has taken them across the globe to compete in both Portugal and Italy. While Lisa is best know for her many handler/owner trained dogs, she recently enjoyed the challenge of introducing her current competition dog to the clear communication of marker training. Villier, imported from France at four years of age and trained with traditional methods, shows a passion for his handler and training that once again proves the power of the clarity of communication that marker training brings to the relationship between dog and handler. She and her Sport Dog Mix, Gooey, will be competing in AKC Obedience and Rally in 2011.