Instructors at MVDT

Averill and Genie

Dogs can teach their handlers new tricks too. Averill’s Aussie Genie showing her how to balance.

Averill Ring

Averill has taught dog training classes since 1985. She trained and exhibited Saint Bernards and Australian Shepherds in obedience and conformation from the early ’70s until 1997 or so. Agility became her passion since she saw a demo at the Philadelphia Kennel Club show in 1994.

She has participated in many conferences, seminars, workshops and camps on dog behavior and training, and agility performance in particular.

She now teaches all levels of agility at Mountain View. She is committed to communicating fair treatment of the dogs who work so hard for us, and to sharing her enthusiasm for the sport of agility and the bond that is formed when training our dogs and playing with them in this (or any) sport.

She currently is competing in agility with her young border collie Salsa. When not playing with her dogs or teaching classes, Averill works as a web designer.


Holly Hammerle

Owned by dogs for 40+ years and training in agility for 15, Holly trained her sheltie, Twister, through an MX, AXJ and a UACHX and competed with her in Advanced USDAA and in NADAC before retiring her due to an injury. Her second sheltie, Summit, is trained through an AX, MXJ and a UACH and is running in Novice USDAA, Novice NADAC. Holly has also handled several other shelties and corgis as well as Tess (the first St. Bernard to achieve an AKC Novice Agility title) through her AX and OAJ and a Novice NADAC Gamblers title. Holly has also titled dogs through CDX and UCD in Obedience. She’s now running her young Sheltie Scamp in agility trials, and training her puppy Brig.

Holly is a UKC certified agility judge. She also travels the area presenting workshops and seminars. Holly brings to agility a unique combination of 34 years of teaching PE and coaching that allows her to take agility techniques and break them into manageable parts and to provide drills that will work those specific skills. She works to challenge handler/dog teams to work ahead of their current skill level for constant improvement.

Cathy Hughes

Cathy, one of the founders of Mountain View Dog Training, has been training dogs and caring for animals for more than 30 years. She was an animal health technician in Washington state for 15 years and it was then that she started behavior counseling for pet dog owners. Her first position training dogs was with a security company in 1971; since then she has apprenticed with trainers and instructors, a professional handler and two boarding/training kennels. In an effort to stay on top of all techniques, Cathy has attended countless continuing education courses, conferences, camps and seminars related to animal care, animal behavior, behavior modification, dog training and class instruction. She has trained dogs in obedience, agility, herding, tracking and protection. Her current menagerie consists of a Labrador retriever, “several” border collies, a terrier and a Papillon.

Patrice Leipham

In her early days Patrice lived on a Pennsylvania farm with lots of exposure to dogs and horses; she competed in horse events. She then went to college and became a musician and music teacher with several notable achievements in both careers. However, she missed her farming roots and returned to horses until an injury led her to downscale to dogs, specifically Rottweilers. Her first Rottie was Jessie, a wild rescue who had degenerative joint disease. Although this limited her obedience career it didn’t affect her sense of smell. Jessie was the first dog to complete the qualifications for a TDX at Oatlands Plantation in Virginia. Several more Rotts followed through the years and completed advanced titles in obedience and agility. Several were ranked in the Top 10 Rotts in America in both sports. Presently she is campaigning Tubbs who completed his UDX, OM1 and OTCH at age 4, and picked up a TD along the way. She also competes with Tubbs in Agility.

Sally Petty's dogs

Sally’s dogs doing a lovely group stay.

Sally Petty

Sally has had animals since *forever*. Started out training & competing with horses. She still trains, shows and does therapy visits with her Miniature Horses.

Sally started teaching dog training classes first in Vermont and now in VA since 1990. Before that she managed an animal shelter for 11 yrs in MA, gaining much experience from observing and working with dogs of many breeds and temperaments.

She started clicker training in 1991, and has attended many seminars, workshops and clicker expos, to keep current on new techniques and to improve her training skills.

Sally is very involved with therapy dog volunteering, having been a team with six of her Goldens and two of her Aussies since 1993. She became a Tester/Observer for Therapy Dogs Incorporated (now Alliance of Therapy Dogs) in 1994, and is the founder of Waggin’ Hearts Therapy Dogs group & Books & Barks Reading Partners Program, a local therapy dog group based in Rappahannock County.

Sally is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Sally is proudly owned by 3 Golden Retrievers and 3 Aussies.

Linda Vance

Linda Vance, our puppy kindergarten instructor, has been training dogs and caring for animals for more than 20 years. She received her Veterinary Technician training at Bel-Rea/Alameda East in Aurora, Colorado. (Yes, the same Alameda East featured on “Animal Planet”; go ahead, ask her about Drs. Taylor and Fitzpatrick.) After leaving Colorado, Linda worked at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech for ten years, and then for several years as office manager for a local veterinary hospital. During this time she also held leadership positions in the Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians and was voted Veterinary Technician of the Year by her peers.

Linda teaches that dogs are happiest when the owners are able to communicate with them in a clear, unambiguous manner. After an unsuccessful response to traditional compulsion training, Linda discovered “clicker training” as a means of communicating, saw the positive results, and quickly became an advocate. She is a strong supporter of early training and, because her methods are so gentle, there is every reason to “get ’em young and raise ’em right.” She frequently attends training seminars and workshops to keep current and hone her skills. She has a wonderful Sheltie named Libby, on whom she tests all her new ideas, and a Tibetan spaniel, Tuck, who makes a wonderful couch potato. He says, “after all, somebody’s gotta do it.”

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