Train with Emma

To get on the waitlist to train with Emma Kesler CPDT-KA, please fill out a client intake form. I will contact you to give you more information and you will be considered when the next spot becomes available.

I specialize in training terriers and work with clients from the comfort and natural setting of their homes.

Training Programs

Baby Puppy Foundations

This is my favorite program to teach. Did you know that you can and should begin training the moment your pup comes home? Terriers are so intelligent, the earlier you set off on the right foot, the better. My clients can’t believe how much their little guys learn right away.

Haven’t got your puppy yet? Perfect. A pre-puppy session will equip you with all of the know-how to tackle the first few days home, how to navigate any travel with your new puppy, and best of all, I will curate a list for you of all of the right gear to have before he or she comes home.

Puppy Foundations

Once a puppy is 12+ weeks old is usually the time that the average owner takes their puppy to group puppy classes. However, if you have done my Baby Puppy Foundations, we can begin introducing more complex skills at this stage!

Adult Foundations

It is never too late to start working with your terrier. Adult dogs take to my terrier-specific methods like butter on bread. Most everyone I meet has a deep friendship with their terrier, but they don’t necessarily share a functional working relationship with their terrier. This program will help you bridge that gap to lead a better life together.

Private Training & Special Goals

Wildness: Reactivity, nipping, chasing, and all-around wildness? I am skilled in assessing your dog and developing a plan for whatever challenges you are facing that is customized to your situation.

Fun Times: Maybe you want to do agility, travel or other fun tasks with your dog but need help figuring out how to make it work with the terrier personality?

Whatever your goals are, if you are the right fit for my training, I am  dedicated towards helping you lead the best life possible with your terrier.

Terrier Coach FAQ

“How does this training work?”

My coaching is done via Video Chat in the comfort of your own home. Even with local clients, I do most sessions this way, because it bypasses the dynamic where a dog trainer enters your home and everything is perfect when the trainer is there, but you find yourselves a bit lost when they leave. My training is done by the week period: In a week, you get a coached session where we work together followed by a custom PDF of your homework, and for that week period you can contact me with questions and send me video of you practicing. You are supported as you train, and because you will be learning to work with your dog yourself, you will become confident learning my methods and how to react when you are on your own.

“I am getting a puppy/dog, when should I start working with you?”

Ideally, before your terrier comes home! I like to do a session where we go through everything you’ll need, how to set everything up, and an idea of what your home routine will be like. When your terrier comes home, the sooner you begin training and using the right methods, the better.

“Should I do local puppy classes too?”

Even dog trainers love doing local puppy classes when they get a puppy! Local puppy classes aren’t necessarily going to give you all of the foundation skills you need to succeed with your dog, but, they are excellent places to go to give your puppy the safe socialization they need when they are very young. I am happy to help you find a good class, and to give you pointers before each class as your terrier coach so that you can get the most out of them.

“Do you train older dogs?”

I love working with all ages of dogs. It is amazing what senior dogs can learn, and how much they enjoy training and working with us.

“Why should I do this instead of traditional training?”

I have worked with prospective, current, and long-time enthusiasts of “full strength” terrier types all over the world. My approach is non-judgmental and focused solely on success. Many methods that work for most dogs won’t work for terriers, and even can create problems when applied to terriers. Not only are terriers very different, each terrier is motivated in a different way. I approach every session with what will work for that dog.  Everyone’s homework is custom-tailored. No frustration with methods that are not going to work for a terrier, but most importantly, only methods that will work for YOUR terrier.

How labor-intensive is the training?

Actual training time per day is typically two 5-10 minute sessions. The real work is understanding the concepts and applying general “real life” ideas towards your daily life with your terrier. My passion is to help you build a successful working relationship with your terrier, and to coach you in developing good instincts in working with your terrier. I want you to be successful not just when actively training, but all throughout your real-life time together.

Distance Training (via FaceTime/WhatsApp)

Training is done by a session, which covers a week period. Each “session” includes:

    • Live Training: A fun live one-on-one 45 minute coached session in the comfort of your own home, tailored to your needs.
    • Custom Homework: After your session, you will receive a PDF of your homework that is tailored specifically how you and your dog learn. Every homework PDF is written specifically for the students. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for terriers. I am skilled and responsive to what I see in our session, and your homework will reflect what will be the most efficient and relaxing way for you and your terrier to be successful together.
    • 1 Week of Unlimited Support: For a week after your session, you can ask me unlimited questions via email and text message. You are encouraged to send me short videos of yourself practicing your homework for review.
    • No Tech Worries: All you need is an iPad, tablet, computer, or cellphone and internet connection. I’ll explain the rest!

More About Emma

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) since 2014. I am an active member of The Welsh Terrier Club of America (resident training writer and webmaster), The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (Professional Member since 2014), and the Dog Writers Association of America (Professional Member since 2014 and 2017 & 2018 Competition Judge). I have been awarded two prestigious Maxwell Awards through the DWAA. I am an active Masters-level Agility competitor with my Welsh Terrier Miles in 3 major North American venues: AKC, AAC, and UKI. In 2017, Miles was the #9 Q’ing dog in AAC agility out of thousands and thousands of dogs. Miles is the first Welsh Terrier to earn many different agility titles, and holds the record for being the most titled Welsh Terrier internationally of all time. Miles is also the first Welsh Terrier to become a Trick Dog Champion in the two international governing bodies for canine tricks: AKC and DMWYD.

Read More About Emma Here.

Client Stories

“We are very happy with and very grateful to Emma for all the help and training she has given us with our 9 month old Welsh Terrier puppy. Let’s just say that the nickname we used to have for our puppy before we started working with Emma was ‘monster’. He used to be very restless all the time in the house and outside of the house with behaviors such as: biting our pants and coat sleeves when we would be walking him outside, biting the leash all the time, grabbing things in the house and chewing on them, going potty in the house and in his crate (even while eating and on top of his food!) and generally needing attention and supervision from us at all times. We were spending all of our non-working, non-sleeping hours completely revolved around him, yet at the end of the day it felt like we barely accomplished anything, we were exhausted, didn’t have time for each other, and to show for it we were still not on the same page as our puppy. Needless to say, we were in despair, feeling hopeless and not really sure how to handle him. We tried everything; reading books and doing searches upon searches in google, watching videos on youtube and even started training with an ‘old school’ trainer. We were getting mixed information from all the different sites and no solution to our problems which created even more confusion and despair. We couldn’t communicate with our dog. We only lasted 2 sessions with the ‘old school’ trainer that was teaching us that it was really us against the dog and we had to clarify to him who was the boss. After our second session, our puppy was showing signs of shutting down and being more distant from us while sometimes he was afraid (forcibly refusing) to come next to us in case we harm him while using one of the ‘old school’ training methods. After seeing that we were really alarmed and started looking for a new trainer and that’s when we were fortunate enough to stumble upon Emma. Working with Emma has been nothing but amazing! We cannot believe the amount of change we see in our puppy in just over one month of working with her. We are finally able to connect with our puppy and enjoy him. He is so much calmer and relaxed and he seems to be enjoying his life and be himself without causing trouble. There is no more biting of our pants and the leash, no more going potty in his crate, the accidents in the house are close to non-existent, no more restlessness, walking well on the leash next to us without force and no biting and destroying of stuff in the house. We now leave him in the house in our living room or in the office room when we are there and he is free to walk around without a leash and do what he wants and he has been behaving very well. It used to take at least 15-20 minutes to go potty when we would take him out, now he goes within 2 minutes of going out! We couldn’t be any happier with the amount of progress and the short time we were able to achieve it with our puppy. It turns out Welsh Terriers don’t really react well to pressure and trying to be on their side (instead of on top of them like a boss) and cheering them, reinforcing the good behaviors works very well with them. At least that’s what has worked with our puppy. They are such intelligent and unique dogs. It’s amazing how fast our puppy has been picking up on things once we removed any pressure from him and started trying to make things fun for him (and for us) working the way that Emma has been showing us. Not only are we more relaxed and happier, but it is very obvious that our puppy is happier and trusts us much more. We are really looking forward to continuing training and connecting more and more with our puppy.”

“Thanks to Emma, my husband and I understand our Welsh Terrier, Knox even more! We found Emma through our breeder and decided to reach out to have a refresher course in Welsh Terrier puppy speak. It had been 15 years since we had a Welsh Terrier puppy and we wanted to make sure we started out our new puppy with on a good, solid foundation. Well after a grooming experience that labeled our puppy ”wild” I quickly reached out to Emma. She put together a plan to help desensitize Knox to being groomed (side note, he wasn’t wild at all…just not used to being brushed, which is logical) along with a few other exercises in foundation training. I can’t tell you how happy we are with the results and that is based on the brushing ALONE! What a complete difference from just 4 weeks ago…it’s almost unbelievable! We can now get near Knox with a brush and brush him without him wiggling away or trying to eat the brush.

Additionally, it has been really helpful to understand what motives our puppy and his inner Welsh Terrier mind. Emma’s approach is very different from any other training instruction, in-person or book, which we have experienced (it is similar to learning a new “language” but way more fun!).

Her approach has proven that training a terrier is very different from training other breeds. Emma’s understanding of the breed and seeing her and Miles working together, is inspirational and makes me want the same for Knox and us. In such a short time Emma has become such a valuable resource. We look forward to learning more from Emma and Miles in the years to come!”

“It’s amazing over the last couple of weeks how many people have said that Roscoe is very calm for a puppy! I think your lessons are doing the job!”

“Even before we got our Welsh Terrier puppy, Oliver, we read stacks of dog training books. We had a plan and we felt completely prepared to raise and train a puppy. But when we brought Oliver home, our wild terrier puppy did not seem to fit any of the descriptions in the books, and none of their tips or methods seemed to be working. Even a trainer that we brought in did not offer us effective solutions. We quickly became frustrated and felt like we’d taken on more than we could handle. Oliver was labelled as “a terrorist”, a dominant puppy, or the worst of the litter. Not knowing what else to do, I reached out to the author of my favourite blog for help.

Emma was a lifesaver then, and continues to be, even a few years later. She helped us to understand Oliver better, and has given us invaluable information about terriers, training, grooming, nutrition, useful products – you name it! It is so comforting to have someone to turn to that understands exactly what we are going through.

A little while later, when we spontaneously adopted a senior Airedale, Millie, it was Emma I turned to for advice. It was also Emma that I emailed back and forth in the middle of the night while I worriedly lay up with Millie after her cancer surgery, and it was Emma that supported us after Millie passed away a few months later.

The special bond that Emma and Miles have, and what they have achieved together is so inspirational for other full-strength terrier owners, us included. Today, Oliver is almost 3, and still has wild moments and a few bad habits that we need to work on. But he is calming down with age, has become quite affectionate, and seems to have bonded with us in his own way. Life with a welsh terrier is not always easy, but with Emma’s help we have learned it can be very rewarding. And whenever I have doubts about something, need advice, or have successes to share, Emma is still the one I turn to first.”

“Emma has a real understanding of and appreciation for the terrier approach to life and she finds ways to work with your dog rather than against him or her. Emma is great with the owners too. She understands the extra challenges that come with some breeds and she is encouraging and supportive to people and their pets!”

“With my partner, we decided to get a Welsh terrier and as this breed is not very popular in Bulgaria, we started searching the net for more info. That’s how I found Miles & Emma. First I read the blog, then at some point I decided to write her a mail and seek advice if the breed is right for us. Emma replied immediately with a lot info and resources where we could find answers to our questions. It was probably 2 years later that we finally got little Welsh and of course I wrote to Emma again. She gave us hints on house breaking, crate training, grooming and many other topics. Emma also shared with us links to articles, blogs and other online resources that helped us get relevant info quickly. Our Arie is now a little over a year old and I am still every now and then turning to her for advice when I am not sure what is the best way to handle a situation and I know that I will get the best possible support right away.”

Emma Kesler is a CPDT-KA

What makes a CPDT-KA Different?

The CPDT-KA designation is not a certification that is “bought.” Here are the steps towards becoming a CPDT-KA:

Proven 300+ hours of paid dog training services to a variety of clients, within a 3 year term.

Once experience hours are verified, the candidate becomes eligible for the exam.

The exam is scheduled ahead of time and conducted at a secure testing facility. Candidate may not bring notes and is observed by a monitor throughout the entire test.

The exam is 4 hours, 250 multiple-choice questions.

There is no course to prepare candidates for this exam.

IF a candidate passes, they then must prove ongoing growth and knowledge in the form of 36 highly specific approved Continuing Education credits every 3 years.

There are only approximately 3,000 CPDT-KAs worldwide.

About the CCPDT

"Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals.

Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certifications, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for “certification.” These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized. This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar.

A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. The Professional Testing Corporation was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession, and The CPDT-KA continues to be the only NCCA accredited credentialing examination available to dog trainers.

— The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, ccpdt.org