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Dog Trainer Has New Digs in Leominster

November 27, 2018

Amy Schuller, with her hound Lab mix Molly, talks about her business, In Stride Pet Dog Training, LLC, at the Leominster site. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE/JOHN LOVE Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Peter Jasinski

pjasinski@sentinel andenterprise.com

LEOMINSTER -- Despite being an avid animal lover, Amy Schuller didn’t always picture the life she ended up leading.

“I had horses and goats and different kinds of livestock growing up because I love everything,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work with animals, I just didn’t realize how much I’d be working with people and their animals.”

Schuller is a dog trainer and it’s a job that requires training people almost as much as it requires training the animals they own. She serves as something of the interpreter between the two parties involved.

“I find what we do as people is not always helping the dog. It’s a lot of miscommunication because of the differences in body language and sensory cues we have,” she said.

Schuller has been working to bridge that understanding gap between human and canine for six years now, but for the first time she has a classroom of her own to teach in. She recently opened the first brick-and-mortar location for her business, In Stride Pet Dog Training, and she’s looking forward to making northern Worcester County a better place for dogs and dog owners.

Her lessons focus first on the basics of obedience training, going over simple commands and helping establish ways for owners to hold on to their dog’s attention even when surrounded by distractions. Lessons are built around positive reinforcement and educating owners on body language rather than just conditioning dogs through punishing them when they do something wrong.

“Training used to be a lot of leash-pulling when the dog didn’t obey, but that’s like me smacking you for not being able to solve an algebra problem when I didn’t teach you what numbers were first,” she said.

Schuller offers classes for dogs of varying obedience levels. Students as young as 10 weeks old can enroll in “puppy kindergarten,” but there are also classes for local four-legged “senior citizens.”

Having a physical location for her business, Schuller explained, now opens up the possibility of having group classes, which can be an important experience when trying to teach a pet to socialize with other dogs, but In Stride will continue to offer in-home visits as well.

For cases like these, she typically brings her own dog, a 13-year-old hound-lab mix named Molly, to help relax the canine students that are easily agitated around others.

“I’m just so happy now because I’m going to be able to help even more pets,” said Schuller. “I think having this location is going to be crucial to a lot of folks.”

Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53

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