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.

Sónia

Marketing Manager

Sónia worked happily in the advertising industry for 6 years when she saw an opportunity and decided to move to England and embrace the digital marketing world.

In London, she worked in the gaming industry creating and launching digital campaigns for more than 12 countries. 

Now back to sunny Portugal, Sónia is in charge of all the marketing communications for Bark & Birch. Her role at Bark & Birch is to strategize and create content to maximize our clients’ presence at the top of the funnel. She also puts automated systems in place to nurture our leads.

Boy

Accountant and Financial Analyst

Boy's interest lies in the hidden secrets within data and how they reflect a business. He is responsible for analysing and processing all incoming data, financial and non-financial. He is also responsible for most of the accounting within Bark & Birch.

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

Thomas Verrone

Head Trainer
Thomas started his 28 year career in canine as a trainee for the Passaic County Sheriff canine unit in 1994

Jennifer Prentiss

Head Trainer
Jennifer has been training pet dogs and detection, search and rescue, service dogs for the disabled since 1998

Kris Stone

Kristopher has devoted himself to the animal industry for 13 years, and has been a professional dog trainer for 3 years

Mike Mielnicki

Mike has worked in the canine industry for over 10 years. He has worked as an animal control officer and a canine handler.

Brittany Williams

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

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

Cynthia Rogriguez

Cynthia has been serving a diverse dog community for the past 6 years in all forms of training

Lauren Russell

Lauren studied animal science in Oahu Hawaii and that’s where she became a certified dog trainer

Katrina Nagra

Katrina' s 10 years' experience have made her successful in training and rehabilitating dogs of different breeds

Rich Cassens

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

Sunny Gurule

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

Samuel George

Samuel's trained with basic obedience, then Rally competition, group classes and eventually Medical Service Dogs.

Jay Bicknell

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

Aaron Lee

Aaron has been a professional trainer for about 8 years now. He started as Kennel help working in a veterinary clinic.

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.

Ashlee Lenik

Hello! To begin with, my name is Ashlee and I am beyond excited to get the chance to work with you and your dog.

Nataniel Miguel

Nat has also 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.
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Anthony Cavallo

Anthony began his career with the US Air Force in 2012 as a Law Enforcement Officer and transitioned into a Military Working Dog Handler and Trainer specializing in Explosive Detection and advanced obedience.

After 9 years and 2 tours overseas 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 CGC Evaluator and Doberman Pinscher Specialist.

Currently, Anthony assists multiple non-profits across the country in providing service dog training to disabled veterans and is ranked among the top 25 service dog trainers.

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Manny Hernandez

Manny Hernandez is a retired Deputy Sheriff and an army veteran.

He's a specialist in dog behavior work, basic, intermediate and advanced obedience work, home protection, Police K9, Handler and decoy instructor. 

Manny obtained his certification at the Balu Dog Training Center located in the City of 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. With this great background Mr. Balu taught him the core of training, tools of dog psychology, behavior, 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 of various countries and the District Attorney's Office of San Bernardino County.

Manny spent 10 years in the U.S Army and this is where his love for training dogs began.

Prior to that Manny developed his love for animals at the age of 7 when he found his first German Shepard and trained it to do fun tricks and to follow him everywhere he went. Manny has a profound love for animals and has always fought to find homes for rescue dogs and help family and friends with their pets.

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Thomas Verrone

Thomas Verrone started working for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department in 1991. In 1994 he started his 28 year career in canine as a trainee for the department's canine unit. In 1997 he graduated at the top of his class with his first patrol dog Max. Due to health reasons Thomas had to retire Max and returned to the canine academy with Rex. Thomas again graduated at the top of the class with canine Rex. Thomas and Rex were the first dual purpose team to be trained for the department. In 2001 Thomas was promoted to be an assistant trainer for the canine unit. Thomas continued to obtain many certifications in the field of canine training. Thomas obtained the highest certification of "supervising canine trainer" for both patrol and scent dogs and was again promoted to the head trainer position for the department's canine unit. In 2003 Thomas started his own small canine business while still working as the trainer for PCSD. From 2003 - present Thomas has supplied explosive detection teams for several of the largest companies in the cruise industry. Since 2003 Thomas has also trained hundreds of family pets in the area's of basic and advanced obedience, behavior modification, and personal protection 

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Jennifer Prentiss

Jennifer has been training dogs since 1998.  She has many years of experience training pet dogs and working dogs (detection, search and rescue, service dogs for the disabled). 

Jennifer was a working dog handler for three dogs (live find, human remains, explosive detection and narcotics detection).  She has been a certified dog trainer for the CCPDT since 2013.  

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Kris Stone

Kristopher has devoted himself to the animal industry for 13 years, additionally, he has been a professional dog trainer for 3 years. He began with basic and advanced obedience training then shortly learned about his inherent love for behavior modification. Anxiety and aggression is what really piqued his interest as a behaviorist. Training has been Kristopher's lifelong passion, and he is always excited to focus on transforming relationships between you and the animals that enrich our lives!

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Mike Mielnicki

I've worked professionally in the canine industry for over ten years. My canine background began as an animal control officer and that led to work as a canine handler in law enforcement. 

In addition to that, I've worked for Invisible Fence training dogs in customers homes as well as private breeders raising and training family ready pups in crate training, housebreaking and basic obedience. Now, I'm excited to bring the skills I've acquired to Bark and Birch and help dogs and owners enjoy each other’s company.

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Brittany Williams

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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Karena Marrero

Karena Marrero is an animal behaviour specialist. She grew up in Orlando, FL and now lives in sunny San Diego. She's been training dogs and birds for almost 9 years, using operant conditioning. Karena is looking to further pursue her career and knowledge with dog training and she can’t wait to train your pup!

 

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Kristi Mallett

Kristi has been training for 20 years. She practices obedience training (on & off-leash), protection, trick, and therapy. Kristi is also a certified CGC trainer/evaluator for the A.K.C. She has prepared dogs for commercials and helped prepare dogs for Animal Planet's Funniest Moments and Miss Canine America and has worked with many high profile and celebrity clients.

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

Kristi looks forward to meeting you and helping as many families have healthy relationships with their furry family members. 

 

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Cynthia Rogriguez

Originally, from Los Angeles, California, Cynthia has had the opportunity to service a diverse dog community for the past 6 years.

Los Angeles is one of the mecca's for owning a dog, and Cynthia has done it all, from behavior modification training to your basic dog walk, to pack hikes and everything in between. She grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, bunnies, birds, so it is safe to say, from a young age, she was an innate animal lover. But it is dogs who take the cake! Cynthia has dabbled in different forms of training varying from your basic obedience and puppy prep, to mild reactivity, to enrichment training in nose work, agility, urban herding and therapy work.

 

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Lauren Russell

Lauren's biggest passion is getting to work with dogs! She studied animal science in Oahu Hawaii and that’s where she became a certified dog trainer! She has been training dogs for  3 years now and has successfully trained over 100 dogs! Lauren specializes in working with dogs with high anxiety and aggression but also loves teaching basic/advanced obedience. She has two dogs of her own, an 8 year old Boxer and a one year old Belgian Malinois. Lauren loves all breeds and can’t wait to make your dog the best it can be!

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Katrina Nagra

Katrina has over 10 years of experience within different animal industries ranging from veterinary, hydrotherapy for dogs, dog training, grooming and many more. 

Katrina spends most of her time outdoors walking her own 3 dogs and riding her 2 horses.

 Katrina's experiences over the years have allowed her to become successful in training and rehabilitating dogs of different breeds from basic/advanced obedience, anxiety, aggression and reaction behaviours, Katrina has achieved positive outcomes in all cases. 

Katrina's thrive of success definitely shows in her training and rehabilitation cases with many different dogs.

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Rich Cassens

I’ve been a K9 Handler with Nevada County Sheriffs Search and Rescue and California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) since 2011, and with El Dorado County Sheriffs Search and Rescue for the last 2 years. With these entities, I train and deploy dogs in Search efforts for missing and deceased individuals in suburban and backcountry terrains throughout the state of California. I also serve as Mentor and Primary Evaluator for CARDA and K9 Team Lead for El Dorado County SAR. Search and Rescue sparked my interest in Obedience training and K9 scent work. I enjoy teaching handlers how to build drive in their dogs and utilize that drive to hunt specific odor.

Whether it’s human remains, natural oils, narcotics, or even certain nuts or bed bugs, teaching a dog the game of how to find what we’re looking for is sometimes challenging and always rewarding.

In scent work classes, we teach the dog to associate odor (birch, anise & clove) with a reward: either high value food or a toy. Once the dog understands the association between odor and reward, then we create the game of hunt for odor.

In 2016 I became a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College, and in 2018 I left my job as an Animal Control Officer with Nevada County Sheriffs Office to strike out on my own as a dog trainer. Through my company I offer Basic and Advanced 1-2-1 Obedience, behavior modification for aggressive and reactive dogs, 2-6 week Board and Train, day training, and scent work classes.

 

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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

I have over 13 years of behavioral modification experience and worked with a variety of animal species. I am American Kennel Club (AKC) certified, and able to certify any dog for the canine good citizen (CGC) cert. Specialized and skilled in quick response strategies for complex behavioral problems and troubleshooting techniques. From basic obedience to modifying aggressive behaviors. Specialized skills in medical service dog training for specific needs to help recipients mitigate a healthy lifestyle. I believe The relationship between an animal and its owner is a unique connection and I know each animal is different, I am able to tailor different techniques to personalize each plan by Helping both pets and their owners understand each other simply by bridging this gap of communication. My goal is to be at “your service” for anyone in need of expertise.  From assisting and teaching private lessons to handle aggressive canines with bit records.

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Samuel George

My 10+ years of training has led me to realize what an incredible connection exists between humans and dogs. It is with the deepest gratitude I can express and articulate, that I am able to be a conduit of that bond. My training originally began with basic obedience, then Rally competition, group classes and eventually Medical Service Dogs. The certifications obtained have allowed me to also become an AKC certified evaluator to conduct CGC (Canine Good Citizen) testing. I take deep pride and satisfaction in assuring our clients are receiving the best available training and creating a relationship of clear and concise communication so that we are all on the same page. 



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Jay Bicknell

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 greater from the early beginnings of 9 years old. He has vast knowledge and experience with many different breeds over the past 36 years of training.

Jay has trained many Gun Dog breeds over the years. Jay has competed in retriever test, 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. Being a lifelong cattle farmer having a good cattle dog only made since. A good cattle dog makes life much easier on the farm.

Jay enjoys seeing a dog reach its full potential. "Dog training is a never-ending process of evolving."

He has a wife of 23 years and six kids. Jay enjoys spending time as a family hanging out on the farm. He adores passing down the love of dog training to his kids. 



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Aaron Lee

Hi my name is Aaron Lee. I have been a professional trainer for about 8 years now. My experience start as Kennel help working in a veterinary clinic. I worked under my mentor who had over 30 years experience. I worked as her apprentice for about 2 before successfully completing Petco’s dog trainer program and becoming a certified trainer and AKC evaluator. 

 

While working at Petco, I ran group classes, workshops and private lessons. As I gained more experience I wanted to branch out into more areas of dog training. I started and operated my own dog training Company. I offered basic to advanced obedience, behavior modification and introduction to sport dog training (agility, obedience and rally). 

Now working with over 200 dogs, I find myself working with Bark and Birch to build excellent human and canine bonds through up to date training methods. I look forward to working helping with the training journey with each and every one of you.

 

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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. From there Jenny went on to compete with her own dogs in a variety of sports such as: dock diving, agility, obedience, and rally. While competing with her own dogs is her passion she loves working with dogs and their humans so they can get a better understanding of each other and enjoy living together.

From basic to advanced obedience Jenny understands that each dog is different and you must work with each individual in the style they learn best. Jenny has successfully placed over 50 service dog teams- many of the dogs coming from shelters. Seeing the difference service dogs can make in peoples lives is something that has continued to fuel her love of dog training. She also has many dog and handler teams competing in various sports like agility and rally. Jenny specifically enjoys working with reactive dogs- she enjoys working out the puzzle of dog behavior and watching the progress they can make in such a short time.

 

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Ashlee Lenik

My passion for dogs blossomed when I first started showing in AKC confirmation. Later on down the road, I started taking training more seriously. I’ve handled and worked with multiple different breeds. From chihuahua’s, to Cocker Spaniels, to Siberian Huskies and Dutch Shepherds! My different types of training range from a basic family dog, to show confirmation, and obedience training as well. 

 

I am always here and available with any questions you may have! Feel free to reach out to me whenever! I cannot wait to get this journey started with you, your pet, and myself!




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Nataniel Miguel

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.



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Adam Piñero

Adam Piñero 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 behavior and protection training. He believes that the most important piece of training is building strong relationships between owners and their dogs.

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. It's invaluable on my busiest days. We've been out of London for lockdown and I can tell he's really missing it, so he'll definitely be signed back up when we come back to the city.

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 board and Train

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 board and train

I highly recommend Megan! She trained our dog in a 3-week, one-on-one program. 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 board and train

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 board and train

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 program 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 love to know how we could be of help to you and your dog, please contact us via the form or by calling us on:

 

+1 888-694-0561

 

info@barkandbirch.com