About the Trainer

Trainer Biography

Donna Elliott has been hooked on training since acquiring two sibling Border collie puppies in 1999. Training became a new way of life with two very active herding dogs and no sheep in the backyard!

In 2003 Donna’s search for help with her high drive Border Collies led her to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers annual conference. From there she enrolled in nationally known trainer Pat Miller’s Intern Academy in Maryland. She completed an intensive week on the study of animal behavioral science and hands on training with dogs from a local shelter. Upon retuning home Donna apprenticed with Michael and Elaine Louviere who specialized in positive reinforcement techniques. Donna worked with them at their facility Twelve Paws Training Academy for a year teaching obedience training to both dogs and their humans.

Donna began volunteering for PAWS Atlanta in 2005. PAWS is the largest no-kill shelter in Ga. She helped bring a training program to the staff and dogs to increase adoption rates. Donna was an integral part of bringing Victoria Stilwell to help with PAWS Atlanta’s training program. Victoria Stilwell brought in Lowes Home Improvement store which donated a $250,000 dollar renovation to the shelter! Victoria is well known for her Animal Planet television show, “It’s Me or the Dog”.

Donna has appeared on Animal Planets “It’s Me or the Dog” and believes strongly in the message this show brings to people about positive training methods. This is a group of trainers hand selected by Victoria to join her in her quest to help promote positive training for dogs.

Donna’s business “Mutts With Manners” was formed from a desire to help the average dog owner have a well behaved life long companion. Her hope is that with the right training dogs will stay in their first home and not be given up or euthanized for behavior problems.

In 2013 Donna completed a 13 week mentoring program with Jennifer Shyrock with Family Paws Parent Education. FPPE is the parent organization of two International Licensed programs: Dogs & Storks and Dogs & Toddlers. This program offers valuable information and support to help parents live peacefully with kids and dogs in the house.

In 2014 Donna was one of the founding trainers that helped launch Canine Cell Mates. This is a program where dogs are pulled from Fulton County Animal Shelter and taken to live with and be trained by an inmate for 8 weeks. Trainers go into the jail each day to teach the inmates to train their dogs. Once the training period is over the dogs are up for adoption and Canine Cell Mates help the dogs find their forever home.

In 2014 Donna completed Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals online course. This is an intensive 8 week course designed to help trainers in all fields of animal training. Trainers from all over the world and every aspect of animal training from zoos to aquariums enroll in this course to learn how to do a functional analysis of behavior problems. Solving behavior problems is based on the same principles regardless of the species.

Donna is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer though Association of Professional Dog Trainers. She has enjoyed teaching group classes at Fido Fido Dog Daycare and Dogma Dogcare. She continually keeps her training skills up to date by attending conferences and workshops around the country. These include workshops and seminars with World renowned behaviorist John Rogerson, Suzanne Clothier, Sue Sternburg, Ian Dunbar, Nicole Wild, Terry Ryan and more.

Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference: 2003, 2008

Clicker Expo Conference: 2006, 2007, 2010

Donna is currently working with her Border Collie Sunny in Rally Obedience. They have their Rally Novice A title.


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