It's about a connection, the relationship, and it's based on mutual respect and love.
At Dodger's Paws, our goal is to help people on their journey to having well-behaved and enjoyable dog family members. We think everyone should experience the connection that positive dog training brings, and how it results in living with a wonderful and cherished dog.
Meet Our Trainers
Martha is originally from Long Island and moved to the Bay Area over 20 years ago. She has always had a love of dogs but childhood allergies prevented her from having one of her own. When she got her first dog Ruby at the age of 23 her whole world changed. Martha now has 4 dogs (Jasper 11, Lovey 7, Denali 4 & Cheyenne 1.5). Martha has had customer service related jobs since she was 16, from managing a toy store to office manager at her wife's insurance agency, she has always loved helping people.
A deeper appreciation for dog training came when Martha met Christine Salazar, the founder of Dodger's Paws. Christine saw her love for dogs and encouraged her to shadow her and learn as much as she could. Since then Martha has attended countless hours of seminars by some of the best dog trainers (Suzanne Clothier, Hannah Branigan, Amy Cook, and many more) and attended and completed the Karen Pryor Clicker Academy and is an Accredited Dog Trainer through the IAABC.
Christine Salazar, CATT
Christine is a California native, who was raised in the Bay area. With a love of animals from an early age, it was not surprising to find her living with two dogs, five cats, and a blue and gold macaw at one time as an adult. Where it all really began was with her purchase of a German Shepherd puppy back in 1998. Determined to have a stable, well rounded dog that would be welcomed anywhere, she read every training book she could find, participated in many training classes, and attended behavior seminars. “Dodger” became a soul mate, not just a pet dog, and he was loved by everyone who met him. After a career in customer service for many years and a break as a stay at home mom, Christine decided to pursue her passion in a career as a professional trainer. Christine is a Certified American Treibball Trainer, a graduate of the Canine Behavior Academy (CBA I & II), an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a Doggone Safe Presenter and is certified in Pet First Aid.
Christine lives with her husband, the two youngest of their six children, and her dogs; Oliver, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, age 8, her daughter's puppy Iceberg, a Miniature American Shepherd, Oakes, a Miniature American Shepherd. Bridget, Christine's second German Shepherd passed away at 12 years old in 2011, and Dodger passed away in 2012 at the age of 14.5. Both are missed and thought of every day.
Holly has been training animals most of her life. She trained a horse at age 12. She studied zoology and animal science at UMass Amherst and volunteered as a zookeeper at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. She is a Registered Veterinary Technician in California and worked at the East Bay SPCA and Valley Humane Society. Holly has fostered more than 200 cats and dogs for local animal shelters. On her path to becoming a dog trainer professionally she studied with Trish King at the Canine Behavior Academy. She then apprenticed with Christine Salazar and Shane Stanis
Some of her non dog training accomplishments have been to teach her cat Sparky, to spin, touch, sit, give kisses & jump over her leg. She has also taught a chicken to discriminate between red and green.
She lives with her husband, 2 youngest children and her pets Heidi, Sparky and her newest addition, Scarlet!
Rochelle Ball, CPDT-KA
Rochelle was raised in central Africa, but has been a Bay Area resident for over 20 years. In her previous lives she was a biologist and then a registered nurse. She first fell in love with training and the science of learning during an internship at the Oakland Zoo, working with a mentor and helping to care for and train the giraffe. Rochelle has worked at the Hayward and Alameda Animal shelters and the East Bay SPCA shelter and veterinary clinic. A lifelong learner, Rochelle enjoys attending conferences and seeking mentorships, as well as reading through her ever-growing stack of canine science and training books.
Rochelle loves nothing more than to foster deep connections between family members and their dogs. She especially loves it when families with children come to her classes! When she is not teaching, Rochelle enjoys long distance cycling, hiking, cooking, reading (ask her about her favorite books!), and art. She lives with her husband, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a bearded dragon.
A California native, Stacy grew up in LA with a passion for both wild and domestic animals. Having a dog in her life since the day she came home from the hospital, she has been training and caring for dogs, cats, and horses her entire life. After adopting a completely wild, young Mustang horse, she studied natural horsemanship and positive reinforcement methods for horses and then applied them to training dogs as well. Over the years, she has studied and practiced techniques taught by master dog trainers and world champion competitors to, in turn, help so many others achieve a strong and healthy bond with their
animals. With her love of the outdoors, Stacy has lived, hiked, and competed in horse and dog sports in California, Oregon, Washington, and Montana.
Stacy enjoys teaching because she loves watching the moment when dog owners bond with their dogs as they learn. She is currently working towards becoming an accredited trainer through the IAABC. On her off time, she can be found playing and training with her two Australian Shepherds Ruby and Jax. They compete in Herding, FastCat, and Urban Locating (with eyes on Search & Rescue!). She lives with her husband and is immensely proud of her two grown sons.
Dawn Bushong, CAP2
Dawn became fascinated with training animals at a young age, and taught the family pets (dogs and cats) to do silly tricks for treats, even teaching one cat to jump through a hoop like the big cats in the circus. After she picked up a used book at around age 12 about training dogs to win obedience titles, it was all over. Dawn trained the family dog at the time - a basset hound - many of the basic obedience exercises, but it wasn't until years later when she had gotten her own dogs that she began to actually enter competitions. Dawn has been training obedience and rally exercises in a purely positive manner since 2001, and competing since 2004, earning many titles along the way, including 3 UDs, 3 REs, 1 RAE, 2 RL3s, and 1 ARCHMX. In 2010, she added nose work to the dog sports she trains and competes in. Dawn has also dabbled in agility, tracking, conformation, draft work (carting), therapy dog work, and of course tricks (still including silly cat tricks).
Dawn has taken the Clicker Trainer's Competency Assessment Program (CAP) test, which assesses the person's training skills (not the dog's) at Level 1 and Level 2, passing both with Distinction (the highest possible grade). She strives to continue improving her skills by learning as much as she can however she can, especially through online courses and books. Dawn currently lives with Lab-mix Pablo (15 years), Shepherd-mix Penny (9), Shepherd-mix Freya (1), cats Cammy (15) and Phoebe (4), one human child, and one very patient husband.
Therapy Dog Instructor
Liz has been doing pet therapy work for 10 years. She started with her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Angel, in 2008 with Pet Partners formerly Delta Society while living in SoCal. They then became certified with Valley Humane Society once they moved up to the Bay Area. Liz prepared Chloe to take over for Angel when she was getting close to retirement. Chloe was certified at VHS after completing her CGC requirement at Dodger’s Paws in 2015. Liz participates in Paws to Read sessions at local libraries and schools. Chloe and Liz also visit at George Mark Children’s House, Futures Explored, numerous senior facilities, high school stress relief and Pixar. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her husband, Ross, and all of her Ridgebacks, Chloe, Cecil & Dayo as well as play soccer.