training_indoor_roomProviding training to your dog is one of the most important things owners can do for their pets. A well-trained dog is a joy to live with and is pleasant for your neighbors and visitors to be around.

It is never too late to train a dog. We recommend that you start training your puppy as soon as you get him or her home, but older dogs can start in basic training and do very well. Learn more about our Training Instructors below and read descriptions of all the Training Courses offered at Town & Country. Sign up for one of our training course today! 919-387-7833



pennyPenny began training her family’s dogs as a young child, and her love of dogs and working with them has been her primary passion in life. Penny began professionally training and competing with dogs in 1988. She and her husband, Dale McElrath, have bred and shown some of the top Flat-Coated Retrievers in the country in the conformation ring.

In addition, Penny has put the most advanced level titles on several breeds in Agility, Obedience, Rally and Flyball. Currently, Penny’s All-American Dog, Cameo, is one of the top-ranked mixed-breed dogs in AKC Agility and is a qualifier for the 2013 AKC National Agility Championship. Penny and Dale own a small farm in southern Alamance County that includes a flock of sheep, and they work their Border Collies on sheep and have earned a number of herding titles on them.

Penny works for the Raleigh office of the American Kennel Club and is a writer for many national dog publications. She is the recipient of a writing award from the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and is a nominee for two DWAA awards in the 2012 competition.


 breanneBreanne has been an animal lover her whole life. She started teaching her family poodle mix tricks when she was in elementary school. At the age of 14, with money earned from pet-sitting, she got her first dog who she immediately started training in agility. Throughout middle school and high school Bre had thoroughbreds and warmbloods horses that she competed in hunters and jumpers. She still enjoys training horses and uses many of the same principles used in dog training. Professionally, Breanne works as a civil engineer and enjoys NC State football games-Go Pack!

Bre currently has two Papillons: Pogo and Beckham. Beckham is in training to become a rally, agility, flyball, therapy dog, and Pogo is a retired therapy dog who has many agility and rally titles. Bre is a CGC evaluator and Love on a Leash Therapy Evaluator and works for the AKC as a GoodDog! Helpline Trainer. Bre teaches Rally, Puppy Agility, Therapy Dog, and Sport Sampler classes at Town & Country.

elizabethElizabeth is an avid competitor in several dog sports with her shelties, Sandi and Nivy. She loves participating in activities and events that involve her dogs. Her shelties have titled in AKC agility and CPE agility, as well as AKC, UKC, and WCRL rally competitions. She is an active member of the Triangle Shetland Sheepdog Club and has fostered for Triangle Sheltie Rescue. Elizabeth and Nivy are a therapy dog team and make regular visits to assisted living residents and rehabilitation patients. They have recently joined the See Spot Read program visiting libraries and schools.

Elizabeth believes in positive reinforcement training and feels it creates a strong bond with your dog. The more time spent on consistent and positive training the greater the rewards for you and your dog. Elizabeth is a Love on a Leash Therapy Pet evaluator, a Canine Good Citizens evaluator, and works as an AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainer. Elizabeth teaches classes in Rally, Canine Good Citizens, and Therapy Dog.

shawnShawn began training her first dog at the young age of 12 (a hound mix), and picked the “training bug” back up in 2003 when she adopted her first whippet. She studied at the longest-running clicker training school in the southeast (in Florida), learning positive reinforcement methods. Shawn’s earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in psychology, tying her study of operant conditioning (shaping of behaviors) with dog training.

Moving to NC in 2013, Shawn is now a full-time pet portrait oil painter artist at Artspace in downtown Raleigh. She is owned by several whippets, one of which comes to work at her art studio.

Bella Bean, her work companion, is a retired therapy dog through Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society), and was the winner of the 2007 American Whippet Club’s Willow Award (therapy dog award). Two of her whippets (George and Newman) compete in flyball with a Raleigh-based team, Go Dog Go! Newman also competes in disc dog (frisbee) and will soon be in dock diving competitions.

Shawn has trained, taught, and/or assisted in classes of obedience/manners, flyball, agility, rally, and reactive dog behavior.

HilarieHilarie has lived with dogs for her entire life. She grew up with Wirehaired Dachshunds and has shown dachshunds and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons in conformation, obedience and agility. Her professional career has been in graphic design and she has worked for several advertising firms and corporate in-house creative departments. She is also a dog artist who does canine portraits and is an AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainer. 

She believes that dogs just want to make their people happy. Any dog can learn, and when a dog is trained to know what his people want, he becomes an involved member of the family. Nothing compares with the special relationship we develop with our pets when we can communicate with them through positive training  – whether for competition or basic dog/family life skills.

Hilarie lives with her human family, two Wire-haired Pointing Griffons and one retired racing Greyhound.


LindseyLindsey is an innate animal lover who has grown up in the animal care industry.  In 2014, Lindsey received her dog obedience instructor certification from the Animal Behavioral College.  She currently serves as a full-time receptionist at Town & Country while also conducting training classes part-time.  Lindsey shares her home with her two dogs, a golden retriever named Conner and a beagle mix named George Bailey, two rabbits and two chinchillas.  

Lindsey believes it is our job as dog owners to learn how to clearly and effectively communicate with our furry friends.  Her primary training methods are free shaping to reward your dog’s natural behavior and lots of positive reinforcement to a make them feel like a rock star.  Lindsey takes great pleasure in helping make your dog the polite family member you want them to be. 

catherine-pic2Catherine, an avid animal lover, has been around dogs and horses her whole life. Her interest in training became evident when she taught her Quarter Horse how to bow for a carrot. From a young age, Catherine could be found riding her reining horse in preparation for national events. This highly disciplined sport not only exposed her to a wide variety of working breed dogs, but also tougher her how to read animal body language, work as a team, and think ahead of her four-legged partner.
Catherine enjoys helping owners build strong relationships with their dogs while taking an active part in the training process. While receiving her dog obedience instructor certification from Animal Behavior College, she learned the immense value of positive reinforcement.
She currently lives in Raleigh with her 2 Canaan dogs, a cat, and a parrot.

Bbrandonrandon started working with dogs at an early age training his family dogs. Later,  Brandon began volunteering at local shelters in Connecticut and eventually found himself handing the behavior rehabilitation cases for the Humane Society there.  He then began taking on private clients and started his own behavior center.

Upon moving to North Carolina Brandon took on a few private clients and eventually found a home at Town & Country ACC.  Brandon has a degree in Canine Emotion and Cognition through Duke University and a degree in Dog Psychology.

Brandon recently took his dog, Gozer, through the Canine Good Citizen evaluation where Gozer received his CGC and CGC Advanced titles.


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