“I have referred hundreds of my clients and their dogs to Courteous Canine for puppy classes and behavior consultations. I trust Angelica’s experience and judgment on complicated behavior cases and I know all the trainers at Courteous Canine employ only positive reinforcement training methods and are enthusiastic educators.” –Dr. Shelly Harper, Owner Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic
President and Founder Credentials: M.Ed., PCBC-A, C.D.B.T., C.D.B.C., CAP2
Specialties: Dog Aggression, Agility, Rally Obedience, Learning and Behavior
Pets: One Border Collie named Power, and two Papillions named Bella and Moment
For more than 19 years full time, Angelica Steinker, president and founder of Courteous Canine, has specialized in dog training methods that create, “Results the Fun Way.” Using Consent Testing and Empowerment Training Angelica and her team of trainers have successfully trained thousands of puppies and adult dogs in basic manners/obedience, trick training, problem behavior modification, agility, dock jumping and other skills, all while increasing the bond of trust between dogs and their human companions.
Angelica is a published author in the field of dog training and agility. Her books, Agility Success: Training and Competing with Your Dog in the Winning Zone and Click and Play Agility, address the handler of the agility team and the use of clicker training techniques in the sport respectively, and emphasize the importance of playing and bonding in order to train agility behaviors to the highest level. Her newest project is on dog aggression, which is something she is particularly passionate about.
She is on the steering committee of the Pet Professionals Guild and a founding member of this cutting edge association for force-free trainers and animal professionals. She is the co-founder and former faculty of DogNostics Career College a pet care, dog training and dog behavior trade school (www.DognosticsCareerCollege.com). Angelica has been published in the Journal of Applied Companion Animal Behavior and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, both of which are peer-reviewed professional journals. She has been published as a regular columnist in BARKS from the Guild, the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) Chronicle of the Dog Newsletter, Dog & Handler, Animal Trainer Magazine, Dog Sport Magazine, Dalmatian Quarterly, and Clean Run, the dog agility magazine.
She is a former Advisory Board member and faculty at the Companion Animal Sciences Institute and is also a CASI dog behavior program graduate. Angelica is also accredited as a Canine Behavior Consultant through the Pet Professional Accreditation Board, and certified through Applied Animal Behavior Professionals and International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the only one in the state of Florida with 18 years full time experience. Angelica is a sought-after public speaker who has presented at conferences Internationally including in Great Britain and Brazil. She has also presented at the famous Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont, the U.S. Pet Professional Guild’s Summit, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Annual Conference, BARK Agility Camp, and Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expo. Angelica is a former AKC agility judge and a current North American Diving Dogs judge. Angelica has a Master’s degree in Education, which has served as the foundation for her continued certifications in dog behavior and her extensive understanding of emotional learning, operant and classical conditioning, the science of how animals and people learn. To schedule an appointment with Angelica, contact Courteous Canine today!
Monica is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and is certified in Canine Communication and Pet First Aid. She is pursuing dog training certification via PPAB and is working under the supervision of her mentor, Angelica Steinker. She has a passion for all things dog and a particular interest in behavioral issues. Aggression, separation related issues and excessive fear are strong areas of interest.
Monica is currently Courteous Canine, Inc.s Office Manager and enjoys traveling and running.
When not working at Courteous Canine Inc., you can find Monica with her own two rescue dogs, Moki and Dublin, on a long walk, at the lure course, or playing fetch at a park.
Professional Canine Trainer – Accredited, PCT Level 2, TrickMeister Apprentice, CGC and STAR Puppy Evaluator, Licensed Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor/Assessor
A graduate of the University of South Florida, Alex holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Anthropology and remains a member of The National Honor Society of Psychology as well as The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Active in the field of animal rescue and care Alex has worked alongside technicians at Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Services within their foster/rescue program and has hands on experience assisting in the care, rehabilitation and adoption of a number of species, dogs, cats or otherwise. Along with this she has completed internships through companies like that of Southeastern Guide Dogs Inc. where she spent three months working with the staff within the Genetics and Reproduction Department and participated in guide dog behavioral evaluations, early puppy education programs and the cryopreservation and breeding of the next generation of guide dogs.
When not working at Courteous Canine Inc. you can find Alex just thirty minutes away at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, where she works as an Animal Ambassador Trainer; helping to connect zoo goers with the animals in her care while educating guests on the importance of animal conservation and the power of reward based animal training.
Alex is a Professional Canine Trainer – Accredited, Certified Pet Care Technician (Level 2), AKC Canine Good Citizen and STAR Puppy Evaluator, TrickMeister Apprentice, Licensed Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor and Assessor as well as a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She has published training articles in the PPG publication BARKS and is always looking to expand her experience in the field of animal behavior and training – regularly attending educational conferences and workshops she recently completed Precision Behavior’s Advanced Animal Training Workshop sponsored by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. She looks forward to continuing to grow with the help of her rescue dogs Leo and Dante and the wonderful staff and clients at Courteous Canine Inc.
Certified Pet Care Technician Level 2
Dariann Ludwig was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She is a college student at USF studying pre med with the goals to apply to Veterinary school in a couple of years. She has a strong passion for animals and will do anything to keep them safe and healthy. Dariann parents two Labrador retrievers of who she says, “they are my world, I love them.” She is an intern at Skyway Animal Hospital, where she shadows the veterinarian, and watches surgery. In addition she also volunteers at Dade City’s Wild Things. Dariann supports the ASPCA and she is certified pet care technician from the DogNostics Career College.
Melissa moved to Florida from New York. As a long time dog owner she soon realized that dogs are her passion and as a result spent five years working at a no kill shelter. This enabled her to find homes for many dogs and cats which was a highly rewarding experience. Melissa has also worked technical support for Verizon which she eventually left to pursue a career in dog grooming. After 4 years of grooming, she became very interested in training and behavior. She began to enroll her own dog, Ziggy, in a variety of classes including AKC Canine Good Citizen. She discovered a passion for dog training and enrolled in DogNostics Career College’s Dog Behavior Consultant program. Melissa enjoys learning about dog behavior and working with dogs. She finds it fascinating to watch dogs playing and to observe non-verbal communication. In her free time Melissa teaches her own dogs new tricks and spends time hanging out with them and family. She and her husband parent 5 dogs, 4 cats, a Russian tortoise and a crested gecko. Melissa is a member of Pet Professional Guild she is currently working as a Canine Camp Counselor and does extensive Operational duties for Courteous Canine, Inc. DogSmith of Tampa.
Julie is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Franciscan University of Steubenville. While living in Steubenville, Ohio she decided to pursue her life long passion of working with dogs. Moving down to Tallahassee, Julie began her work as a Dog Trainer with The Puppy Ladies and is now certified by the Council of Professional Dog Trainers. After obtaining her certification she moved to Tampa to be closer to family and friends and, joys of joys, stumbled upon Courteous Canine!
She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and is a volunteer puppy escort for Valor Service Dogs, an organization whose mission is to help post-9/11 through the training and placing of mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs. Her dream is
to eventually expand to assistance and
service dog training. She’s also volunteered with C.A.R.E. Ruskin Animal Shelter socializing puppies and dogs to prepare them for adoption.
When not working with pups of all shapes and sizes, you can find Julie dancing away at Zumba class and interacting with her two hilarious guinea pigs, Cocoa and Pumpkin.
Beth was a staff hospital nurse for 40 years and enjoyed working in Hospice’s Home Care Division for a brief time. She took 8 years off from nursing to own and operate a successful bakery business with her husband. Beth and her husband share their home with a cat and 2 Beagles, Murphy and Sadie. Murphy and Sadie have been in puppy kindergarten, fun scent games, and agility classes at Courteous Canine, Inc. over the last 2 1/2 years. Murphy earned his Canine Good Citizen certification as well. Beth and Sadie have done private behavior counseling with Angelica due to anxiety issues. She learned skills to successfully manage Sadie’s anxiety using the positive methods. Beth studied at DogNostics Career College and is now a CPCT, level 2 and pet first aid certified. She also teaches classes at Courteous Canine and says that she loves the fun atmosphere and positive, force-free training methods used by all their instructors. Beth is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and has even had a couple of her articles published in their “BARKs” magazine!
Certified Pet Care Technician Level 2
Pets: A Lab mix named Mickey and a Yorkie poo named Coco. Joni grew up with dogs and cats in her home town in New Jersey. She and her husband got their first “child” a yellow lab when they got married and moved to Tampa in 1989. Twenty five years later they have never been without a dog or 2 as a part of their family. Joni has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology she worked as a behavior Specialist providing behavior plans for adults with physical and developmental disabilities. She has also Volunteered for Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida. She has completed her Advanced Pet Care Technician Certification via DogNostics Career College. She is also a member of Pet Professional Guild.
Advanced Pet Care Technican Level 2
Originally from Italy, Laura grew up with many animals, such as dogs, cats, ducks, rabbits, chickens and even had a goat. As a child, she would often find abandoned animals on her way home from school and take them home with her to give them loving care. You could say she is an animal lover at heart and keeps a warm place for rescue animals. Her passion for animals led her to adopting a dog (daughter) named Roxy. Roxy is a Coonhound mix who loves to play and learn new tricks. Laura has an interest for animal behavior; especially dog aggression, which she will pursue in the future. Laura is a Certified Pet Care Technician (Level 2) from the DogNostics Career College and is also CPR and first-aid certified through Pet Tech. Laura is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild.
Advanced Pet Care Technician Level 2, NADD Dock Diving Judge
Scott Poteri is our Dock Diving instructor here at Courteous Canine. He has always had an animal of some kind as a pet in his life. He has worked in animal rescue has volunteered, fostered, and placed dogs with United Yorkie Rescue. One of his Golden Retrievers” Wish” Has earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification and is a registered pet therapy team with Project Pup, and do weekly pet therapy sessions with the patients at Suncoast Hospice. He is also a Senior Judge with North American Diving Dogs which requires intensive training and the completion of judging thousands jumps, as a result he is also a field rep for the southeast area of the US and member of the Rules Committee for NADD. Besides teaching at Courteous Canine, he also judges at most of the mobile dock events and 3 other Diving Dog facilities in Florida and Georgia. Scott has an intense passion for all dog sports, but his main passion is competitive Dock Diving, with his Golden Retrievers, Wish and Doobie.
Alicia graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minoring in Zoology. She focused her education on animal behavior and participated in conducting ongoing research on canine cognition. She has spent 8 years working in animal shelters/rescues helping cats, dogs and small mammals find and stay in their forever homes as well as counsel people about their pet’s behavior issues to help keep them in their home and out of the shelter. She has a passion for animal behavior for all animals (including humans!) but particularly loves working with cats. She has expertise in working with all sorts of cat behavior topics including litter box issues, cat introductions, cat-human aggression and clicker training cats – yes, you CAN train cats! In addition to training dogs and cats, Alicia teaches high school Marine Science and Anatomy & Physiology.
Animal Behavior College Dog Training Graduate
Cassie Kennedy is an Animal Behavior College Dog Training Graduate and is also a certified
trainer via their certification. Cassie is continuing her dog training education via DogNostics Career College. At the age of ten, she began training her Golden Retriever named Fathom to do competitive agility. Although she has been training dogs for recreational purposes since she was only eight years old! Cassie has fostered numerous dogs for Ewenity Farm Herding Dog Haven until they found their forever homes, and she has also written numerous articles about animal rescue for Tampa Bay’s “duPont Registry Luxury Living Guide” as well as being featured in “The New Barker Dog Magazine” for her accomplishments in training. Cassie is a former agility competitor and now performs with her two Border Collies, Stoke and Tiki, at a variety of different events with show called “The Ohana Dog Show“. Her true passion is Trick Dog Training, although she also enjoys training her dogs for agility, disc dog and canine freestyle. She has a special interest in building confidence in fearful and shy dogs and is a Learning to Speak Dog graduate via Dognostics Career College, a program which teaches people how to accurately interpret dog body language with an emphasis on dog bite prevention. Her current dog family include three Border Collies, a German Shepherd Dog, a terrier and a Golden Retriever. Cassie is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen program and trick training evaluator.. In addition to training dogs, Cassie also helps manage updates for the Courteous Canine website, and is currently working to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Edward Perry traded in his zookeeper uniform for a camera, and now travels the world photographing people, pets, and wildlife. His deep knowledge and intuitive
feel for animals allows him to capture the beauty and unique personalities of his subjects. Whether it is eagles mid-dive, dogs in mid-air, or pets and their companions in the middle of a snuggle session, Edward delights in focusing on the sparkle in everyone’s eye. His real reward is the joy he gets out of seeing animals just enjoying a scratch from their friendly neighborhood photographer. In a way, he is like Spiderman minus the spandex and the spider-like superpowers. So perhaps more like Peter Parker, taking pictures of superheroes large and small, delighting his fans on the world wide web and Instagram. You can check out more of his amazing photos at “Wonders Of Life Studios“!
As she got older her mother had to work full time, so taking care of them became one of her top priorities
along with taking care of her little brother. Through her childhood her family had quite a few pups
because her mom was always a dog lover; Bailey the Cocker Spaniel, Romee the Alaskan
Malamute mix, Louie the Chihuahua, Baby Girl the Rottweiler, Pepsi the Boxer, Bongo the
Cocker Spaniel mix, and Ace the German Shepard mix. Sarah gave her all to these dogs, and
her mom and her brother, as they were her family. She has a huge passion for animals, but dogs have
they’ve gone through in life and that is something that I feel a connection to”. Her ultimate life
long goal is to open her very own non profit dog rescue, where she’d rescue, foster, train and find homes
for abandoned dogs. Courteous Canine is her first job and stepping stone in the direction heading to her
dream. She also has 13 years of customer service and 6 years of management in the restaurant industry. She
was also a student at American Health Institute where she was studying to be a Medical Assistant, when
she realized that she needed to do something she loved. Sarah says, “the healthcare field was great, but it just didn’t
fill that emptiness the way a dogs love does”. She now hopes to enroll in a Veterinary Technology
program at St. Petersburg College next semester to further her education. She also has plans to
volunteer at local shelters. She is currently a daycare camp counselor and
weekend administrator at Courteous Canine where she continues to learn and grow in the field. When
she’s not at work shes at home or out and about with her 5 month old Yellow lab/American Staffy mix Mia, who is the love of her life. Mia attends the AKC puppy kindergarten class and will
continue her education and learning here at Courteous Canine!