OUR TEAM

Our team have a wealth of experience drawn from many areas, making Bark & Birch capable of helping with any issues your dog may have

Senior Leadership Group 6177

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Jack

Chief Operating Officer

Jack Johnson is a senior leadership executive with diverse skills in new business development and operational leadership. With his drive and vision focused on ambitious strategies to deliver long-term growth, he is as happy out in the field, leading by example, as he is in the Boardroom creating robust operational controls.

Gregarious, active and the proud owner of Duke, a large ridgeback, Jack is dedicated to developing and strengthening the company and, through that, the lives of those it supports.

Paul

HR Manager

HR manager Paul Jelley spends his time sourcing and hiring the best talent within our ever-growing company. His excellent people skills as well as his strong desire to make every employee feel valued is what drives him at Bark & Birch. 

Originally from Manchester, Paul now resides in Barcelona and is passionate about animal welfare. His rescued Italian Greyhound Cupid is a testament to that!

Lucy

Head of Social Media

Lucy is an experienced NCTJ trained Journalist, Content Creator, Social Media and PR Manager, who has spent much of her career in National magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Women's Health. Lucy is also an experienced Broadcast and Public Relations Manager and a regular commentator on BBC Radio across the UK. 

Lucy runs our social media campaigns and creates our canine content and is the Head of PR, making sure that the stories and messages of Bark & Birch get out into the mainstream media ... if she’s not posting about our beautiful Bark & Birch dogs, she can be found with her two rescue dogs Bonnie and Clive in Sunny Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Andres

Head of CX

Andres is dedicated to ensuring that the Customer Experience Team provides attention to detail, quick and efficient service and genuine care for our clients and their beloved dogs. His vast experience with the Customer Journey also contributes to guaranteeing an exceptional experience for our clients.
Originally from Ecuador and having spent years in the United States, he now resides in São Paulo, Brazil and is passionate about his pug and best companion, Valentino.

Our Trainers Group 6181

Click on a trainer to learn more

Anthony Cavallo

Head Trainer
Anthony began his career with the US Air Force in 2012 and eventually became a Working Dog Handler

Manny Hernandez

Head Trainer
Manny Hernandez is a retired Deputy Sheriff And Army Veteran and specialist in dog behavior

Karena Marrero

Karena grew up in Orlando, FL and has been training dogs for almost 9 years, using operant conditioning

Kristi Mallett

Kristi has been training for 20 years, practising in obedience training, protection, trick, and therapy

Samuel George

Senior Trainer
Samuel has experience training basic obedience, Rally competition, group classes and Medical Service Dogs.

Rich Cassens

Senior Trainer
Rich has been a K9 Handler with Nevada County Sheriffs Search and Rescue and California Rescue Dog Association since 2011.

Sunny Gurule

Senior Trainer
Sunny is American Kennel Club (AKC) certified and has over 13 years of behavioral modification experience.

Jay Bicknell

Jay has trained many Gun Dog breeds over. Jay has competed in retriever test, horseback field trials, and walking trials.

Jennifer Fingland

Jenny has been working with dogs for over ten years. She started with training her own dogs in 4-H obedience and showmanship.

Nat Miguel

Nat has held training positions at Petco, Far Fetched Acres and Northwind Kennels.

Adam Piñero

As a private trainer, Adam specializes in basic obedience as well as aggressive behavior and protection training.

Brittany Williams

Brittany's experience ranges from Basic family dog, to service dog, and even Dog show conformation training.

Luis Ivan Rios

Luis has studied Canine Behaviour at U.C.O.N.N and also ran his own kennel and training center in Massachusetts.

Michael Mielnicki

Mike has worked as a professional dog trainer in the canine industry for over ten years.

Riley Sanders

Riley has experience with training obedience, reactivity cases, and personal protection dogs.

Rachael Simpson

Rachael trains dogs of all levels in Obedience, from basic to off leash and from family protection to behavior problem solving. She also enjoys Agility, Trick Training, Scent Discrimination, and Group Classes.

Kathryn Hilgenfeld

Katy developed her interest in training from a young age and started by helping her mom train all their family dogs and applying lessons learned from her father, who trained Doberman Pinschers for obedience and show.

Lauren Voehl

Lauren has a biology degree and has been handling dogs since she was 12 years old. She has worked in different professional capacities as a vet, breeder assistant and in daycare programs.

Annalisa Sovary

For more than 5 years Annalisa has been training dogs. Her passion stared at a young age as her father always had well trained pups on their property. She has a big passion for studying animal behaviors and continuing her education to further expand her skills in training dogs.

Matt Cavallini

Matteo was born in Rome Italy, where he grew up until he was 11 then coming to the United States with his family .

Sean Galavan

Sean Galavan is a United States Marine with two deployments! After finishing his contract he pursued a career in k9s.

Sara Hendrickson

Sara’s passion for obedience training, behavioral rehabilitation and canine sport started long before she realized it could ever be a calling for a career.

Giulia

Giulia, 24, born in Sao Paolo, administrator and studious of human behavior, yes besides humans she loves animals too, specially dogs.
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Anthony Cavallo

Location: Los Angeles, California

Anthony began his career with the United States of America Air Force in 2012 as a Law Enforcement Officer. He transitioned to Military Working Dog Handler and Trainer specializing in Explosive Detection and advanced obedience. After serving for nine years and completing two overseas tours, he retired from active duty service and began training service dogs for disabled veterans. 

He is registered with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the American Kennel Club as a C.G.C. Evaluator and Doberman Pinscher Specialist. 

Anthony currently assists multiple non-profits providing service dog training to disabled veterans and is ranked among the nation's top twenty-five service dog trainers.

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Manny Hernandez

Location: Los Angeles, California

Manny is a retired Deputy Sheriff And Army Veteran Specialist with a deep knowledge of dog behaviour work, basic, intermediate, and advanced obedience work, home protection, Police K9, Handler, and decoy instruction. 

Manny obtained his certification at the Balu Dog Training Center in Fontana under the instruction of Jean Claude Balu. Mr. Balu was one of the pioneers of French Ring and Schutzhund Sport in Southern California in the early 1970's. Manny learned dog training basics, dog psychology, behaviour, diet, mannerism, and how to engage the dogs' ability to grow in all aspects of training.

Manny was also a member of the California Rural Crime Task Force and helped protect many animals by working with the Humane Society and the District Attorney's Office of San Bernardino County.

During his ten years in the U.S. Army that Manny truly fell in love with training dogs. As a young boy, he taught his German Shepherd tricks and a few basic commands. He does his best to rehome rescue dogs to loving families.

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Karena Marrero

Location: Los Angeles, California 

Karena Marrero is an animal behaviour specialist. 

She grew up in Orlando, Florida but now resides in San Diego. 

She has been training dogs for almost nine years, using operant conditioning. She hopes to use her knowledge and skills to correct dogs struggling with behavioural issues.

Kristi Mallet

Kristi Mallett

Location: Los Angeles

Kristi has accumulated many years of experience in his 20 years of dog training. She has many years of experience in obedience training (on & off-leash), protection, trick, and therapy. 

In addition, she is a certified C.G.C. trainer/evaluator for the A.K.C. She has prepared dogs for commercials, helped prepare dogs for Animal Planet's Funniest Moments and Miss Canine America, and worked with many high-profile and celebrity clients, to name a few things in her long career. 

She takes pride in improving relationships between dogs and their owners.

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Samuel George

Location: Williston, Florida

With ten years under his belt, Samuel started his training with basic obedience, then rally competition, group classes, and eventually medical Service Dogs. 

He is a qualified A.K.C. certified evaluator and so can conduct C.G.C. (Canine Good Citizen) testing. 

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Rich Cassens

Location: San Francisco, California

Rich was a K9 Handler with Nevada County Sheriffs Search and Rescue and California Rescue Dog Association (C.A.R.D.A.) since 2011, and with El Dorado County Sheriffs Search and Rescue for the previous two years. With these entities, he trained and deployed dogs in search efforts for missing and deceased individuals in suburban and backcountry terrains throughout the state of California. 

He also served as Mentor and Primary Evaluator for C.A.R.D.A. and K9 Team Lead for El Dorado County S.A.R.

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  • Led training team in the delivery of service dogs, resulting in a beneficial match for both the individual and dog.
  • Country-wide transportation of medical service dogs.
  • Worked with Veterinarian staff to assist with any medical conditions.
  • Taught service dog law, American Disabilities Act, HUD law, airline regulation
  • (TSA), medical procedures, public access rights.

    Canine-related Certs 

  • Canine Good Citizen and public access testing
    AKC – American Kennel Club,
    Canine Good Citizen (CGC)
    valuator #101642, Certified 1/2021

  • Alpha Umi Leadership 5G
    Power Skills Essential Skills,
    Mastery Certification

  • ABC Training, Operant
    Conditioning Behavior
    Modification 4/2009

  • Medical Service Dogs
    Comprehensive
    Obedience Training Guardian
    Angels Medical Service Dogs

  • Medical Service Dogs Pioneering
    Comprehensive Obedience
    Training, Guardian Angels Medical
    Service Dogs

Sunny Gurule

Location: Williston

Sunny is another experienced dog trainer with over 13 years of behavioural modification experience and work with a variety of animal species.

She is certified with the American Kennel Club (A.K.C.)and can certify any dog for the Good Canine Citizen (C.G.C.) certification. 

She is also skilled at quickly implementing response strategies for complex behavioural problems and troubleshooting techniques. She is a master of basic obedience to modifying aggressive behaviours. And she has specialized skills in medical service dog training for specific needs to help recipients mitigate a healthy lifestyle.

Sunny is great at tailoring different techniques to personalize each plan by helping both pets and their owners to understand each other.

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Jay Bicknell

Location: Kentucky

Jay started training dogs after purchasing his first dog at the age of 9. The dog was an English pointer named Jake. From this early age, Jays love for dogs and training began. His passion for training has only grown stronger with time. 

He has vast knowledge and experience with many different breeds over the past 36 years of training Gun Dog breeds. Jay has competed in retriever tests, horseback field trials, and walking trials. 

He is currently bringing up the next generation of dog trainers. 

His oldest son of 13, under Jay's guidance, is becoming an accomplished trainer. His son has trained and passed his first dog in a retriever hunt test.

Jay has experience with herding breeds. 

He has a wife of 23 years and six kids. Jay enjoys spending time with his family on the farm. He also loves passing down the love of dog training to his children. 

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Jennifer Fingland

Location: Chicago

Jenny has been working with dogs for over ten years. She started with training her dogs in 4-H obedience and showmanship. From there, Jenny competed with her dogs in various sports such as dock diving, agility, obedience, and rally. 

While competing with her dogs is her passion, she loves working with other dogs and their owners to understand each other better and enjoy living together. Jenny has successfully placed over 50 service dog teams- many of the dogs coming from shelters. She also has many dog and handler teams competing in various sports like agility and rally. 

From basic to advanced obedience, Jenny understands that each dog is different, and so she uses customised methods to best help each dog develop itself.

Jenny also enjoys working with reactive dogs.

Nataniel Miguel

Nat Miguel

Location: Connecticut

Nat has worked in the companion animal industry with dogs for the last 8 years, as everything from kennel tech to a dog walker, pet sitter to adoptions counsellor and is currently a CPDT certified professional dog trainer.

As a certified dog trainer, Nat has held positions at shelters such as New Rochelle Humane Society and North Shore Animal League working with shelter dogs, the volunteer and their owners to create a better more efficient way of communication and relationship building in order to help remedy any concerning behaviour issues as well as create a strong rock-solid obedience foundation.

Nat has also held training positions at Petco, Far Fetched Acres and Northwind Kennels working closely with privately-owned dogs to help their owners better understand their 4 legged furry family members, in order to have a more peaceful rewarding life with them.

Working everything from fear and anxiety based reactivity to obedience, he is ready to help you and your dog through any troubling issues.

Adam PINERO

Adam Piñero

Location: New York

Adam is a professional dog trainer in New York City. He began his career as an intern for Eagle Valley Search and Rescue and has been a private obedience trainer since 2014. As a private trainer, he specializes in basic obedience as well as aggressive behaviour and protection training. He believes that the essential piece of training is building solid relationships between owners and their dogs.

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Brittany Williams

Location: San Diego, California

My name is Brittany, and I'm so excited to get to know you and your dog here with Bark & Birch.

My passion for dogs started at a very young age. I have lifetime experience with American Pitbull Terriers, but have had the opportunity to work with all types of breeds.

My handling experiences range from the basic family dog to service dog, and even dog show conformation training. I can't wait to see what you, me and your dog are able to achieve, and for you to experience a new type of relationship with your pet. I am always open to questions and concerns. Let's get this journey started!

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Luis Ivan Rios

Location: Tolland

Ivan began working with dogs in 2009 at his local training center before studying Canine Behaviour at U.C.O.N.N. and the Animal Behaviour College. After completing his certifications, he operated his kennel and training center in Massachusetts. He conducted private & group classes, board and trains, and behavioural assessments for local non-profit rescues.

Mike with dog

Michael Mielnicki

Location: New York

Mike has worked as a professional dog trainer in the canine industry for over ten years. He has a canine background as he began as an animal control officer, which led him to work as a canine handler in law enforcement. In addition to that, he worked for Invisible Fence, training dogs in customers' homes and private breeders, raising and training family-ready pups in crate training, housebreaking, and basic obedience.

Riley Sanders

Riley Sanders

Location: San Francisco

Riley is one of our trainers located in Northern California. She has experience with training obedience, reactivity cases, and personal protection dogs.  Riley has found a true passion for training and finds fulfillment in bonding, positive reinforcement, and creating partnerships between owners and their dogs. Riley prides herself in hard work and dedication by training each dog to its individual needs.

Her long-term goal is to train protection dogs in hopes of one day expanding to a full-time personal protection trainer.

Riley's home life consists of her two children, her fiancé, and her two fur babies. Her puppy Dally is even trained in German! In Riley's free time, she enjoys taking her dog on nature hikes, riding horses, and spending time with her family. She's eager to spend time, bond, and train with your fur baby as they make themselves comfortable in their temporary home!

Rachael Simpson

Rachael Simpson

Location: Miami, FL

South Florida's Racheal Simpson was born in New York and has been a life-long animal lover and advocate. After settling in Fort Lauderdale, she started training dogs professionally in 1999 and has developed into a renowned Dog Trainer for the tri-county area.

She trains dogs of all levels in obedience, from basic to off-leash and from family protection to behavior problem-solving. She also enjoys Agility, Trick Training, Scent Discrimination, and Group Classes.  She has spent years training across the country from Los Angeles, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to Boston, Massachusetts, working along with other top trainers and celebrities in the industry.  During this time, she continued to train dogs at numerous rescue groups and dog training facilities and provide training for other new dog trainers at local dog training facilities.

She is well known in South Florida, especially for her work with all breeds, ages, and specialties in different skill levels.  Her passion is to help owners have a healthy relationship with their dogs, filled with love and respect.  She works alongside her two most adorable sidekicks -  Zeus, her English Mastiff, and her Chihuahua Fifi.

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Kathryn Hilgenfeld

Location: San Antonio

Ever since Katy can remember, animals have been part of her life. She has owned multiple dogs and cats, rabbits, mice, tree frogs, a goat, and a quarter horse. Training is in her blood; Katy developed her interest in training from a young age and started by helping her mom train all their family dogs and applying lessons learned from her father, who trained Doberman Pinschers for obedience and show. Her professional training began in 2016, and Kat has impacted more than 100 dogs each year. Her talents and skills can be used to train brand-new puppies to the elderly and everything in between. Katy has trained dogs that can be viewed as “people-pleasers” and ... let’s call them “stubborn” dogs, with all types of personalities in between.

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Lauren Voehl

Location: Colorado

Lauren has a biology degree and has been handling dogs since she was 12 years old. She has worked in different professional capacities as a vet, breeder assistant and in daycare programs until she realized that dog training was her true passion in life. 
 
Lauren has been training dogs in areas of basic, intermediate and advanced obedience training and is CGC certified. Lauren has experience training therapy dogs, one of which attends schools and comforts children during the pandemic and has been recognized in two local newspapers. 
 
Lauren has a wide range of trick training skills and experience training dogs in object recognition, color cognition, and other cognitive games. 
 
Lauren rescued her shar-pei mix, Oscar, from a shelter and believes positive reinforcement is the key to a good, well mannered companion in tandem with great communication to reinforce that human-dog bond! 

 

Annalisa Sovary

Annalisa Sovary

Location: Spokane
 
For more than 5 years Annalisa has been training dogs. Her passion stared at a young age as her father always had well trained pups on their property. She has a big passion for studying animal behaviors and continuing her education to further expand her skills in training dogs of all breeds, ages, and challenges. She regularly takes courses through The American Professional Dog Training Association to squeeze in any knowledge available to her that can help her better understand our 4 legged family members. She believes that every interaction is a training opportunity and a chance to strengthen the bond between your animal and yourself. Annalisa has volunteered in shelters through middle school and high school and worked at PetSmart for a short time as a trainer for their puppy classes.
 
Annalisa owns a 2 year old Border Collie Australian shepherd mix named Ellie. Ellie is certified as an ESA and is very keen on helping Annalisa train dogs whenever she can. They enjoy doing obedience, rally, agility work as well as nose work! I know she is very grateful to be joining our team and is looking forward to connecting with this new community to make the training world a fun place for all aspects of the pack!
Matt-Cavallini

Matt Cavallini

Location: Rome Italy

Matteo was born in Rome Italy, where he grew up until he was 11 then coming to the United States with his family . Matteo has had animals both exotic and domestic most of his life . At a young age he kept smaller dogs then eventually growing to own Staffshire terrors and pit bulls . He expanded his knowledge for animals and their care by working 7 years of medical care and surgical experience working for some of the tops vets in florida . He also has kept over the years a few pit bulls that he rehabbed from shelters and gained from other owners . Matteo has worked a Variety of high risk security and protection details with dignitaries - VIP clients as well as celebrities and people of high level threat risk . He then spent the past 7 years as well working private and government contracts as a K-9 unit handler conducting both Narcotics and explosives detection. He also gained experience working decoy and training both protection k9s and police dogs for patrol and Detection. He Carries a lot of passion and dedication in the k9 world.

Sean-Galavan

Sean Galavan

Location: United States

Sean Galavan is a United States Marine with two deployments! After finishing his contract he pursued a career in k9s. He went to Ak9i and became a certified explosive detection k9 handler, and a certified decoy! He worked with tsa and other contracts (football games, concerts, venues)! He works with all types of dogs but specializes in protection work!

Sara-Hendrickson

Sara Hendrickson

Sara’s passion for obedience training, behavioral rehabilitation and canine sport started long before she realized it could ever be a calling for a career. Although Sara was raised around Working Dogs she gravitated towards the neighborhood “misfits” and started getting a reputation for taking on all the unwanted dogs in her area. By her mid-teens she was addicted to knowing the “why” behind canine behavior and she continued the journey well into her 20’s, earning many credits through canine training programs and seminars. Prior to making the leap in 2015 to pursue a career in Canine Behavior and Obedience Training, Sara worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician and Operations Manager for a luxury doggie daycare/boarding facility in Kansas, her experience in these fields allows her to be a well-rounded professional able to speak to canine health, behavior and management. Since 2015 Sara has worked with over 300 dogs in a variety of cases from developing puppies to human aggressive adults and she finds that each pet offers her a unique reward making this the most fulfilling career she could ask for!

Giulia

Giulia

Giulia, 24, born in Sao Paolo, administrator and studious of human behavior, yes besides humans she loves animals too, specially dogs.

Uniting the best of the worlds, her experience as a 3-year recruiter and her uneasing to bring the best to our growing team in this vast universe of dogs, Giulia is ready to hunt the best talents around the world for our Bark and Birch family.

Client Feedback Group 5592

Catherine

Daycare

Matt, Aaron, and the team are wonderful with my rescue puppy and he loves going to daycare. He's become wonderfully socialised since going to Bark & Birch twice a week -- it's helped him with all facets of his confidence. He was terrified of everything when he first arrived from Bulgaria and now playing with other dogs is his absolute favourite thing! It's also incredibly convenient that he's picked up from home and dropped off in the evening so I can focus on work. 

Anita

5 121 basic training

Elly was absolutely amazing with our puppy Poncho. We booked 5 one-on-one training sessions so that Poncho could learn key skills and the basics and she was brilliant. We would have been lost without her and she made the sessions really fun for all of us. Poncho loved her too. Thank you for a reliable, professional and fun service Elly!

Ana

Daycare

Diego absolutely loves when the doggy taxi arrives in the morning to take him to the daycare. He has attended daycare with B&B for the past 3 months. We appreciate the daily videos and having a tired and happy spaniel coming home at the end if the day!! Thx team, we will definitely continue to use your services.

Pia

2 week residential dog training

My 10 week old American Bully puppy was very bitey, lacked focus and needed some intense basic training. Bark & Birch looked after her from the offset, sent me videos and kept me fully updated on her progress. She returned after 2 weeks much calmer, much less nippey and responding well to basic commands. The handover was really useful and insightful. Absolutely brilliant service, highly recommend! Thank you Bark & Birch!!

Jaymish

8 121 basic and advanced

I purchased a course of 8 obedience training sessions. Good value for money, trainer comes to you , 1 on 1. Our trainer Michaela is very good, as first time dog owners, we had many questions which Michaela happily answered them all, not only in our session but even on whats app for FREE! she also helped us to solve a few minor issues we had with our dog, some knowledge that wasn't in the dog training books or videos that i had read or watched.

Luis

3 week advanced residential dog training

I highly recommend Megan! She trained our dog in a 3-week, one-on-one Programme. She designed a training routine that aligned with my expectations and requirements. Megan was very responsive - I spoke to her on a daily basis, and she also shared plenty of pictures and videos on training sessions. I liked the fact that she only uses positive reinforcement to train dogs and makes sure to give them plenty of exercise and rest every day.

Paula

5 121 basic training

We have just finished out block of 5 training sessions with Bea, she was remarkable, giving us fantastic ideas to keep our German shepherd pup engaged during her training. Mica's recall is certainly a lot better, she walks perfectly on the lead. Our pup is always excited to see Bea, and knows she is going to have a fun training session . I've just booked for more sessions to perfect her recall

Mehmet

3 week advanced residential dog training

Bark & Birch has been great with our new cane corso. John has been very professional and responsive. I was updated daily with videos of the training progress. Definitely amazing in this sector! Looking forward to sending our dog away for protection training in the next couple of months.

Annie

2 week basic obedience residential dog training

Responsive and tailored service. Really understanding of mine and my dog's needs. On walks, my mini dachshund would bark uncontrollably at everyone in sight. Now he is very manageable on walks and will not bark if told so. I love how they send pictures of what my dog is up to whilst in their care :)

Eva & Bruno

Rehabilitation

The team at Bark & Birch gave me all the trust I needed to help me with my french bulldog Bruno. I was looking for an intensive training or rehabilitation Programme so he could feel comfortable around other dogs. They did a great job by taking care of him and showing me video updates. After all, I feel more relaxed when taking Bruno for a walk and teaching him being near dogs. I trust their service and I recommend you all to contact them.

get in touch getintouch

We would like to know how we can help you and your dog, please contact us via the form or by calling us on::

info@barkandbirch.com