Nancy Freedman-Smith , is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). and a Certified Behavior Instructor (BAT) for dogs with reactivity fear and aggression . She has been living in the Portland area of Maine since 2001. Nancy began her work with animals at age 15 as a riding instructor. Most of her early years were spent at the barn and at horse shows. Then as a student at the University of Massachusetts, she went on to major in Animal Science and Equine Studies. While at college, she competed on the Event and Dressage team and taught horseback riding for the college, as well as privately. In 1993, after the birth of the first of three children, Nancy made the switch to dog training. In 1996 she joined the team of Animal Behavior and Training Associates and worked at a "Major Chain Store" in several locations in Greater Boston. It did not take long before word spread and Nancy had the highest volume of training classes in the Northeast, with the 5th highest volume of clients in over 300 of the chain stores in the country. When she lived in Boston, Nancy did not advertise. Yet she had a thriving business, due to satisfied customers and Vet referrals.
She was always drawn to the difficult and green horses, and the same holds true for dogs. Her last dog, Charlee, was a genuine diamond in the rough. Nancy helped her overcome major behavioral issues since joining the family as a 10 month old puppy. Charlee was adoped from New England Border Collie Rescue and enjoyed being a "demo dog" for classes and lectures. Charlee also tried her paw at agility, freestyle, and lots of stupid pet tricks.
After adopting Charlee, Nancy joined the New England Border Collie Rescue team for 10 years where she wore many hats, including Policy Board Member and Behavioral Consultant. She has been involved with Pet Therapy for 14 years and was a key member of Helping Hounds, where she regularly visited Boston Children's Hospital and Spaulding Rehab with her dog, Dina.
The summer of 2006, Finney, a Smooth Collie pup joined the pack as a demo dog and resident "Neutral dog". Finney has a very sweet and even temperament coupled with excellent dog skills. It is Finn's job to help to calm the aggressive and reactive dogs while Nancy teaches their humans new training and management techniques.
With her hands-on parenting experience, Nancy is uniquely qualified to assist families in training and child-proofing their dogs. She encourages children to be part of the dog's life and daily care and has a special interest in training the whole family to train the dog. Children are welcome in class, as long as people and dogs remain safe. Upon request, private sessions can be uniquely tailored to incorporate your children. Nancy is also involved with the Safe Kids Safe Dogs Project(tm), a programs that educates school children about appropriate behavior around dogs.
Nancy was the Barks N' Crafts Director for Camp Buster for the four years that the camp ran, and enjoyed helping inmates at Windham correctional Facility train for the Paws and Stripes program through the Animal Refuge League.
November 2012, Nancy was one of the first 20 people to be a certified in the New CBATI program for reactive, fearful and aggressive dogs. (www.functionalrewards.com) and she specializes in reactive, fearful, and aggressive dogs.
Nancy is a pet writer on the topic of dog behavior and has written for Petcha, Maine Today, Casco Bay Weekly, Maine Moms, A Dog's Life, and The Portland Press Herald.
July 2016, We are thrilled to share that Nancy has joined the staff of Veterinary and Rehabilitation Center of Cape Elizabeth as resident trainer. We will be offering classes there, as well as assisting the vet staff with dogs with problem behaviors.
October 2016, Nancy was hand picked to be a Mentor for Victoria Stillwell's new training school. She looks forward to helping the next wave of trainers succeed with positive training.