Instructors & Staff

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Nancy Hansen

Nancy Hansen

Obedience Instructor

Nancy Hansen has been working with dogs all her life. As a child, she  accompanied her older sisters to their dog training classes and dog shows. By the age of 15 she was training and showing her own dog, an Irish Setter, in conformation and obedience trials. Together they earned a CD (Companion Dog) degree and a CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) degree. In 1975 the City of Montebello CA hired Nancy, only 17 at the time, to teach obedience classes for the Parks and Recreation department. She continued teaching classes for the city while attending the University of Southern California. She graduated in 1980 with a BA in Physical Education and a K-12 teaching credential with a special education endorsement.

After graduation, Nancy became a trainer at a personal protection/guard dog kennel while she did substitute teaching for Los Angeles County. In 1982 she moved to West Seattle and started her own business, The Puppy Perfectors Dog Training School.

Nancy has taught private and group obedience classes for more than 35 years. She stays current with new teaching methods, attending seminars and training classes with her own dogs on a regular basis. She is a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers and earned the Certified Pet Dog Trainer title from 2001 through 2005, one of the first trainers in Seattle to do so. She is also a member of the Washington State Obedience Club, an AKC Canine Good Citizenship® tester, a 2009, 2011 and 2013 winner for the Animal Training Services Award, and a 2011 Best of Western Washington top five winner, receiving 46 five-star reviews.

Nancy is active in showing and training her dogs in obedience, agility, flyball and herding. Over the years she has earned obedience titles on six different breeds of dogs. She currently shares her home with three dogs: a Belgian Malinois and two Australian Cattledogs. She also spends time with her “grand dogs,” a Great Dane and a King Charles Spaniel. Nancy is married and the proud mother of three girls; two are college graduates with successful careers and the third has graduated from college and is currently attending veterinary school.

Diana Simonsen

Diana Simonsen

Rally Instructor
Diana has been involved in various dog sports for over a decade – training, competing, and teaching. She is a patient, dedicated instructor and a passionate advocate for positive, force-free dog training.

She attends ongoing formal training to always bring her students the latest customized training solutions, including attending the three-day Clicker Expo annually, studying with expert trainers from around the world, and attending training and behavioral workshops.

Diana is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and the Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals. She is also certified as a AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC, CGCA, CGCU) Evaluator, and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor.

In the ring, Diana and her dogs have achieved multiple Obedience and Rally titles in both American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC). Her first dog overcame behavioral issues to earn the AKC (Rally Advanced Excellent) RAE2 title, and was ranked in Front & Finish Top Ten German Shepherds in AKC Rally for four years. She has also trained in Trick Dog, K9 Nosework, Rally Freestyle, Sheepherding, Agility, and Dog Parkour,

Diana enjoys helping steward the obedience and rally shows, and helping judge Rally Fun Matches and 4-H competitions. She is currently working on the requirements to become an AKC Rally and Obedience Judge.

Outside the ring, Diana participated as a Therapy Dog Team with Therapy Dog International (TDI), visiting Assisted Living facilities. She also volunteered for Washington German Shepherd Dog Rescue, adopting dogs, doing home checks, transporting, and fostering rescued dogs.

She lives with her husband, son, and three-year-old German Shepherd, Valen.

Kathy Weaver

Kathy Weaver

BA, CPDT-KA, CNWI, CTDI, RFE-CI, Clicker, Tricks, Games, Nose Work, Rally, Rally FrEe, Freestyle & Treibball Instructor

Kathy has instructed training classes and competed in a variety of dog sports for over 40 years. A member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild, she stays abreast of advances in training methods by attending training seminars and workshops each year with internationally recognized canine behaviorists and trainers.

She is a certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA,) Canine Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and Rally Freestyle Elements Instructor (RFE-CI), Kathy and her dogs have been featured on television and in newspaper and magazine articles.

Kathy’s dogs have earned trick dog titles; grand championships in canine musical freestyle and Rally Freestyle Elements; achieved CD, CDX and UD titles in AKC obedience; RN, RA and RE titles in AKC rally-o; and titles in NACSW nose work. Breeds she has owned and trained include Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Parson Russell Terriers, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and Belgian Tervuren.

Kathy currently competes with her Belgian Tervuren and Parson Russell Terrier in canine musical freestyle, Rally Freestyle Elements, and nose work.

In her classes, Kathy shares her practical training knowledge and enthusiasm for tricks, performance dog sports and nose work. Her training methods are based on positive reinforcement techniques. Kathy’s primary goals are to strengthen the relationship students have with their dogs and to help them achieve their objectives. Kathy challenges students to be creative in their training and, most importantly, to enjoy working with their dogs. Her motto is “Every training session should be a good time for you and your canine.”

Mary Schurr

Mary Schurr

Competitive Obedience Instructor

Mary has been involved in canine performance sports since 1998. In the first half year she competed, her amazing GSD Remy managed to be the #1 Novice A Obedience dog in the US and she was hooked on Competitive Obedience for life.   Since then she has trained and titled her GSD’s through Utility with multiple HIT performances, multiple breed and Front and Finish rankings. Along with Competitive Obedience, Mary and her dogs have explored and competed in Schutzhund, Agility, Tracking, Flyball, Herding and Rally Obedience.

With a strong background in instructing and training that began with coaching young competitive swimmers, Mary began teaching obedience for Washington State Obedience Training Club and spent several years as the training chair. Stepping in to fill the trainer slot at Pawsabilities, she has since continued training a dedicated group of competitive students in the Greater and South Seattle areas.

The biggest influence on her training style has to be the incomparable Sylvia Bishop and she still attends her yearly seminars. Working with Sylvia she has learned that creating a great relationship with your dog is the best way to enhance performance and enjoyment.  Her student’s dogs are known for performing with great enthusiasm in the ring, and they are as fun to watch as they are to train.

Mary is currently living and competing with her homebred GSD Trip (U-CDX) UD Can CD GN GO RE NAC TN-N HIC HCT TC TDI FFXP FFXG and her newest partner a Belgian Malinois named Jazou.