Julie Cantrell BSc spent over 3 decades as a professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant. She always considered herself a dog trainer first and foremost. Julie trained dogs and taught dog classes from 1990 until around 2018. She taught untold hours of pet manners and obedience classes at the puppy, basic, advanced, and off-leash levels; AKC Obedience and Rally competition classes; and tricks and non-competitive agility classes. Before working as a private trainer and consultant, she trained dogs and mentored future dog trainers for several years a large Board & Train facility.
Julie firmly believes in taking a dog-centric, “whole dog” approach to training and behavior, and regularly uses flower essences in her work with dogs. She has been using Bach flowers as a tool for dog behavior improvement since 1994.
In addition to her work as a dog trainer and behavior specialist in Washington, Montana, West Virginia, and now Oregon, Julie has a strong interest in the effect of nutrition on canine wellness and behavior. This interest led her to start one of the first US raw pet food companies in 1994, which she sold in 1999.
Julie still consults with dog trainers, behavior consultants, and pet owners across the US, Canada, and beyond on dog behavior, training, and the use of flower essence therapy to help resolve behavior issues. Her online company, Aldaron Essences, specializes in unique canine behavior support Bach flower formulas for companion and performance dogs.
Training background and experience
1990-1996: Full time trainer for a large-capacity Board and Train program facility in Washington state. Julie spent about 5 hours a day training dogs directly, the rest of the day being spent teaching owners to work with their dogs, conducting behavioral consultations, and periodically doing in- home follow-ups.
During this time, she also taught obedience classes at the basic, advanced, off-leash, and novice competition levels, as well as tricks and non-competitive agility classes, and basic obedience classes for adopted shelter dogs for a local humane shelter.
1993-1996: Julie developed an apprenticeship program for individuals wishing to learn dog training. She interviewed and helped select candidates for the 16 week program, coordinated program structure and oversaw apprentices' progress and training.
1994-1996: Julie served as Head Trainer for the above facility.
1996-2018 : Private dog trainer, offering private lessons, behavior consultations, group classes, and occasionally board and train, in Washington, Montana, West Virginia, and Oregon.
Degrees, Certifications, and Affiliations
- Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, with special interest in animal behavior, natural history, and botany from the University of Washington, Seattle.
- Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. (2006-2022.)
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. (2006-2016. For personal reasons, I stopped renewing in 2016.)
- AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator # 91573
- Practitioner Member: Flower Essence Society
Articles and interviews
In addition to online articles through her own websites, Julie has published articles in publications like Dogs Naturally Magazine, and has been interviewed for training and behavior articles by Dog Fancy Magazine and others.
Classes and lectures
Julie has taught classes to the public on Bach flower formulation, and lectured on dog behavior and training, as well as raw diets for pets.
In addition to ongoing self-study, Julie has attended yearly continuing education events in the field of dog training and behavior since 1991. That’s a lot of seminars and workshops! While some presenters have been better than others, she can safely say she's learned at least some nugget from each and every one.
The presenter she learned the most from? The most enjoyable? How about the one she’d give my eye teeth to have interned with? The award for all those would go to the inestimable, late John Fisher. Julie was fortunate to see him at his first US conference. His was a brilliant mind in every way.
Julie was raised just south of the Mason-Dixon line, the last of four children of an English mother (of Irish extraction) and a native Kentuckian, part Cherokee dad. Which may explain her eclectic tastes and love of both culture and nature.
Julie grew up with a strong affinity for dogs and lone walks in the woods. She trained dogs since she was a little girl. There was only a brief (painful!) period when she had none, in early adulthood. Since then she’s had as few as one and as many as six dogs at once. Her childhood dream was to live in a cabin in some remote mountainous place with 7 Rough Collies :-)
While she has worked with most breeds, Julie has spent most of her life with herding breeds, including a Rough Collie, a Shetland Sheepdog mix, a German Shepherd and for the last 20+ years, Belgian Sheepdogs. She and her dogs love to learn together - they train and compete in AKC Obedience, Rally, and occasionally conformation. Julie hopes to be ready to trial in AKC tracking soon. Their less structured activities include learning tricks, playing Frisbee, and hiking in the mountains. Achievements include Canine Good Citizen awards, AKC and UKC Companion Dog titles, AKC Rally Obedience titles, Herding Instinct Certificates, Therapy Dogs Incorporated certifications, and an AKC breed Championship.
Although her life does tend to revolve around dogs, Julie still loves to hike, roam and bushwhack. She’s a decent (but enthusiastic) photographer and a voracious reader, especially of classic literature. Since cutting the cable/satellite cord in 2017, she’s discovered the wealth of old movies and TV on YouTube, and is developing quite a taste for 1930’s movies!
Connect with Julie