Michelle McCarthy is President and Founder of K9 Home Schooling, which provides instruction based on positive reinforcement/clicker training methods since 1999.
Michelle is a nationally recognized Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Therapy Animal Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Dog Behavior Consultants are required to demonstrate competency in five core areas including assessment and intervention strategies, counseling skills, behavioral science, knowledge of animal behavior and species-specific knowledge in order to obtain certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
Michelle has completed advanced certification programs in canine behavioral studies and stays current by attending seminars by certified trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians and other credentialed experts.
Michelle offers group classes and clicker training workshops in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Plymouth and Chelsea. She teaches Companion Obedience, Charm School, Reactive Rover, Outdoor Adventures, Socialization Outings and Therapy Dog Prep School for puppies and adult dogs. Michelle offers seminars and workshops for dog trainers, training groups,veterinarians, groomers, shelter/rescue workers, dog walkers and pet sitters. For students who prefer one-on-one training or those who need a behavior consultation, onsite training is available at our Ann Arbor, Jackson, Plymouth, Howell and Chelsea locations.
Michelle developed the first Therapy Dog Training Program in Southeast Michigan. Therapy Dog Prep School is unlike any other class in that it is geared specifically towards the training needs of those pursuing Therapy Dog Testing. Michelle's expertise in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy allows her to prepare canines and humans for testing by national therapy dog organizations. This includes working with families to raise and train Social Support Therapy Dogs for children with special needs. In 2005 Michelle worked closely with the staff of Chelsea Community Hospital to develop a Therapy Dog Program officially launched in September 2006. She serves as their Consultant for Testing and Screening of new Therapy Dog Teams. Michelle and her Registered Therapy Dog Faye make visits to Chelsea Community Hospital where Faye participates in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy sessions with patients. Michelle and Faye visit various residential facilities in Washtenaw County.
In 2010 Michelle partnered with Dr. Mark Bowers of the Ann Arbor Center For Behavioral Pediatrics to develop and present the workshop Pawsitive Comfort-Special Dogs For Special Kids. Dr. Bowers addresses the 'goodness of fit' between child and dog. Michelle discusses the process of raising, training and working Social Support therapy Dogs for children with special needs.
Michelle and her Therapy Dog Leo launched the first R.E.A.D. Programs (Reading Education Assistance Dog) in Washtenaw County at the Chelsea and Ann Arbor District Libraries. She currently makes visits to a local elementary school with her Therapy Dog in Training Enzo.
Michelle is a member of Therapy Dogs, Incorporated, Tester for Therapy Dogs Incorporated and R.E.A.D. Pet Partner. Michelle and Faye routinely give presentations to help others learn more about Animal Assisted Therapy.
Aside from raising and training her own dogs, Michelle works as a Training Consultant for various Therapy Dog and Service Dog Programs. Michelle has raised and trained a variety of working dogs that have gone on to careers in Search and Rescue, Therapy Work and Service Work. She also works closely with families to raise and train Therapy Dogs and Service dogs for Children with special needs.
Michelle lives in Chelsea, Michigan with her husband, three children and 2 Labrador Retrievers Faye and Enzo.