Dog Day Afternoon is privileged to have some of the most highly experienced and certified dog trainers in the Northern Virginia area providing instruction. Dog Day Afternoon is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
Sandy Sproull Kowalski
Sandy has been breeding and showing Golden Retrievers in Conformation and Obedience since 1978. Her dogs have obtained titles as Champions, Best of Breed, Utility Degree, Obedience Trial Champion, Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog as well as hunting titles. Sandy has served as an instructor for Solid Gold Obedience Academy, Dulles Gateway Obedience Training Club as well as community education programs and 4 H groups.
Sandy has done extensive work with Canine Companions for Independence and other service dog groups helping people with special needs. She has worked with rescue groups and shelters providing evaluations and programs for behavioral modification.
Sandy regularly attends seminars staying current with the latest concepts in dog training. She is an active member of the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club, the Golden Retriever Club of America and the American Dog Owners Association that lobbies for pet legislation. She is a licensed UKC Conformation and Obedience Judge and is an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She volunteers her time to judge Conformation and Obedience matches for local breed and obedience clubs.
Her philosophy – “There are very few bad dogs, only owners that need a little training.”
Deb has been around dogs her entire life and started teaching training classes in 2005. She started with Dog Day Afternoon as a trainer for our Day School program. Currently she is responsible for our popular Puppy Kindergarten group classes introducing new dog owners to the world of owning a puppy. She prides herself on making sure each owner understands how to communicate with their new additions while teaching both dog and human the ins and outs of basic obedience. Deb and her Shiloh Shepherds, Chase & Rock, volunteer in the community with the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad and the local pet therapy program.
Deb and Chase compete in confirmation and Chase has earned her Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications. She is competing in obedience for her CD. Deb is a member of the Shiloh Shepherds Club of America as well as the International Association of Canine Professionals and the Association of Pet Dog trainers.
Phil joined the Dog Day Afternoon in 2008. He is a certified instructor and specializes in teaching people how manage and handle their dogs so they can coexist in a balanced and healthy environment. He teaches a Basic, an Intermediate, and an Advanced dog training classes as well as provides private training for individuals with dogs that have behavioral issues such as fear; aggression; leash walking and resource guarding.
Phil and his wife own four German shepherd dogs and a cat and they are very important members of their family. His dogs assist him from time to time as demonstration dogs in his obedience classes. Phil is also a competitor in a dog sport called Schutzhund where he has titled two dogs. His current working dog has a Schutzhund III title and still going strong.
Phil’s Philosophy of dog training is based on a “balanced” approach where “markers” are used to indicate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Rewards and consequences are also used to communicate the desired and undesired behaviors. Phil believes that the world we create with our dogs is based on our energy, our consistency, our ability to create and enforce boundaries and our ability to communicate clearly.
The newest member of Dog Day Afternoon’s instructors is Dr. Nancy Tang. After 30 rewarding years as a Pediatrician, Nancy has left medicine to pursue her passion for dog training. Nancy started training dogs in the 1990’s with her favorite breed, the Doberman Pinscher, and spent many years rescuing and fostering this often misunderstood breed. Since then she has been a student of dog training philosophies and the science behind training dogs. There are a lot of parallels with raising young children!
As a volunteer for Veterans Moving Forward since 2013, Nancy has trained 2 service dogs (both yellow Labs) for wounded veterans. As Dog Day Afternoon’s Day School trainer, she uses reward based, positive reinforcement techniques to help dogs become well-mannered family pets, and helps their owners learn techniques to achieve this goal.