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About Our Trainers

About Our Trainers

Michelle Rizzi, CPDT-KA, CAP-2

Manager of Behavior and Training

Michelle Rizzi, CPDT-KA, CAP-2 has been a professional dog trainer since 2001. Michelle is a nationally Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) and an active member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

Michelle began working with shelter dogs at the SPCA in Los Angeles in 2001. The following year she moved to Salt Lake City where she was the first trainer to introduce Positive Reinforcement Training. She taught a variety of classes at the Humane Society of Utah for the next seven years specializing in behavior modification for fearful and/or aggressive dogs.

“I get to work with dogs all day, come home to my own dogs in the evening, and I’m still eager to greet every dog I pass by on the street; I know I am in the right place!”

With a strong background in training shelter dogs, Michelle is happy to be working at Woods Humane Society where she can continue to have a positive impact on improving and enriching the lives of pet dogs.

Eric Stockam, CPDT-KA

Behavior and Training Manager

Eric Stockam moved to the Central Coast 6 years ago after growing up in El Dorado Hills, California. Eric began working with dogs over 7 years ago and got his start at the El Dorado County Animal Shelter where he both volunteered as well as fostered dogs and cats.

Eric began working for Woods Humane Society as an Animal Caregiver and quickly applied his interest in canine behavior, fulfilling the requirements to become a nationally certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA) in late 2016, with the mentorship of our Behavior & Training Manager, Michelle Rizzi. Prior to working as a full-time dog trainer Eric’s employment has included veterinary assistant, grooming assistant, pet sitter, and animal caregiver.

This prior experience has given Eric knowledge and skills in a variety of fields related to dog handling and training that has helped him develop effective and humane training protocols for a variety of different situations and environments.

His dog training experience includes private obedience, aggression, group classes, and work in shelter environments. He is always expanding his knowledge by attending seminars across the state and keeping up to date on the newest canine science and training protocols. Eric has learned over the years that the most important things in dog training is patience and empathy.

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