Michelle Veenstra, ABCDT
Michelle has been training dogs for almost 30 years, but her love for animals started when she was a child. She would often rescue animals and bring them home. Over the years, she has worked with all types of dog breed: herding, terrier, hound, toy, and working dogs. She currently has 3 dogs, plus a foster dog in her family. And because of her passion for dogs, she dedicates a large amount of her time to rehabilitating and training dogs at the Los Angeles Animal Shelter. At this shelter, she has been extremely successful in by using positive reinforcement training to modify behavior of dogs that were labeled as “aggressive and stressed,” and get them adopted into forever homes. Supervisors at the shelter utilized her education and her skills to help train other employees and volunteers, along with assisting in changing the culture of the treatment of dogs in the shelters.
Michelle recently retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where she served over 33 years. Throughout her career she was responsible for training department personnel. The last 7 years of her career, she was appointed to the position of the Commanding Officer of training for the entire police department. She received Level 3, State of California Peace Officer Teaching Certification, along with, Executive Management Certification from the California Peace Officer Standard and Testing (POST), and other training certifications during that time. She also earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management and a Masters of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership.
After she retired, she wanted to continue her love for teaching so she combined it with her love for dogs and became a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College (ABC). She continues her passion and education by attending different workshops, such as Canine Body Language, Health & Stress with Dog Behaviorist Turid Rugaas, Shelter Canine Behavior from Bound Angels University, Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dog Training & Behavior Academy, Working Dogs Causality Course with Integrated EOD Concepts, along with self-education of different areas of dog training and consulting with more seasoned dog trainers.