Trainer bio

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Charlynn (Char) Turner, is a dog sport trainer/enthusiast and instructor. Professional affiliations include Pet Professional Guild member, Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), AKC Trick Dog/CGC Evaluator, National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts (NATE) charter member and past board of directors, and Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT, state of VA). A regular participant in continuing education, Char attends seminars and workshops by trainers such as Pat Miller, John Rogerson, Michele Pouliot, the Clicker Expos, Fenzi Dog Sport Academy, and many others who educate and advocate for dog friendly, relationship based training. Char  teaches Treibball, Tricks and Parkour classes at Love on a Leash in Harrisonburg VA and also gives private lessons. Click here for training philosophy.


Training and competition experience: Char first trained and competed in obedience in 1971 with the much loved family pet, a Great Pyrenees named Heidi, using harsh “old school” methods (choke and prong collars, correction based) that were unfortunately the standard of the day. Still in high school at the time, she was also actively training and showing horses. Later on during her 14+ years as a practicing licensed veterinary technician, Char eventually discovered positive reinforcement training through Karen Pryor’s milestone book, “Don’t Shoot the Dog”. This began her journey into the evolving new world of positive, science based training, which she began putting into practice. Throughout the years since, Char has trained and titled a variety of dogs in multiple sports including Obedience, Rally, Tricks, Parkour and Treibball. She continues her education with regular and ongoing participation in professional training events such as the Clicker Expo, Fenzi Dog Sport Academy, and many others. Specializing in training for enrichment and dog friendly sports and activities, Char remains committed to the philosophy and practice of positive, relationship-based training as it continues to evolve.

My dogs>


Education and work history: Education includes A.A.S. degree in Animal Husbandry, A.A.S. in  Veterinary Technology with a B.S. in Health Sciences, and C.C.S. in Biotechnology. Work experience includes owner/operator of a dog grooming business, many years in practice as a licensed veterinary technician, parasitology research technician,and college laboratory specialist. At home on their farm she and her husband Keith have raised livestock for over 35 years- including sheep and dairy heifers. These days you will often see Holstein heifers in the background of Char’s training videos:) Positive reward-based training also carries over to managing the livestock, as Char’s husband Keith practices humane and low stress handling methods.

Credentials, affiliations:

  • Pet Professional Guild, advocates for force free training (professional member)
  • NATE, National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts, Charter Member, past board member, served on the Rules and Competition Standards Committee 2013-2016.
  • CTDI, Certified Trick Dog Instructor
  • AKC CGC/Trick Dog Evaluator
  • Licensed Veterinary Technician since 1988 (LVT, State of Virginia)

Continuing education, since 1991:

  • 2018- April 14-15. 2 day seminar with Michele Pouliot, Whilistic Hound, Alexandria, VA.
  • Continuing in 2018, and ongoing since 2013, I am a regular student of the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy, contiually taking online courses in concepts of relationship-based training for all dog sports and life enrichment.
  • 2017: July 15-16. 2 day seminar with Michele Pouliot, at Wholistic Hound, Alexandria, VA.
  • 2016: November 13-14. 2 day Seminar and workshop in Mebane, N.C. with Shade Whitesel, trainer and Fenzi Academy faculty in Competition Obedience and IPO.
  • 2014: Clicker Expo, March 29-31, Norfolk VA. (Instructors Ken Ramirez, Kay Laurence, Michele Pouliot, Kathy Sdao, Hannah Branigan)
  • 2013: Trick Dog Instructor Certification Workshop  (Do More with Your Dog, Kyra Sundance), Richmond, VA
    Pat Miller 2 day Shaping Camp (Peaceable Paws, Fairplay, Maryland)
  • 2012-2017: World Treibball League, participant
  • 2010-11: Treibball workshops (4), by Pat Miller, Peaceable Paws
  • 2010: Clicker Expo Lexington, Ky. Instructors: Ken Ramirez, Joan Orr, Helix Fairweather, Kathy Sdao, Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D., Jenn and Steve White, Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh.
  • 2009: Guiding your Dog to Greatness, Virginia Broitman Clicker Workshop (Glen Allen, VA) 2 days- clicker, shaping and targeting.
    Michele Pouliot (Red Lion, PA) 2 days-clicker training for performance and competition.
  • 2008: Stuart Mah (2 days agility). Jane Killion (clicker/shaping for agility).
  • 2007: Canine Freestyle Festival (VA)- 3 days, clicker seminars by Kay Laurence, Julie Flanery, Diane (Kowalski) Balkavich, and Nancy Von Koehnnen.
  • 2006: John Rogerson (Richmond, VA) (3 days-training for performance and competition obedience)
  • 2005: APDT Rally Judges and training seminar
  • 1991-2004
    Veterinary Technicians C.E. conferences -1991, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004;
    National and Regional Veterinary C.E.: American Veterinary Medical Association Conference 1992 (Pittsburgh, PA), North American Veterinary Conference 1994; Mid Atlantic Veterinary Conference (York, PA.) 1995

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