Meet the Trainer: Val Petronella

Co-Instructor for Advanced Skills Class

My Name is Val Petronella; I have been training and showing dogs for the last 10 years. I actively show my dogs in conformation, obedience, and rally sports. My current show dog is a standard poodle, Obi. So far we have achieved titles from UKC champion to AKC novice obedience, rally novice, and rally intermediate. Obi also has his Canine Community certificate and Intermediate Trick Dog title along with Therapy Dog titles, and Ninja Dog titles. My passion with my dogs is therapy work. I have been volunteering with my certified therapy dogs for the last 10 years. I am currently in charge of the Therapy Dog group at Abilene Regional. I have a small training group called Scholars N Collars here in Abilene. I have worked with the community and their dogs towards the owner’s personal goals. I also volunteer my time in Sweetwater with the 4H dog project, where we teach young people the skills needed to be responsible dog owners and learn to show their dogs. I enjoy training and showing others how to train
their dogs to be model citizens and more.
I have an old fashion approach to training; I believe in both positive and negative reinforcement, every action has an equal reaction in training. I have been an evaluator for AKC for 7+ years. Through AKC I can evaluate dogs for STAR Puppy certificates, Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine, Urban Dog, Trick Dog, Farm Dog, and Temperament evaluations. Currently, I am the only evaluator in Abilene that can also test dogs for the United Kennel Club’s SPOT testing. I am a former evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, and will soon be a tester/ observer for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
I have helped trainers of all ages work with their beloved pets to meet their goals and aspirations. I take great pride in working with handlers and the dogs, giving them the tools needed to meet their goals. I look forward to helping you strengthen that bond with your dog and building an amazing team.

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