Rachel is one of the founders and trainers of Alpha Instincts. Growing up, she always loved the idea of working with and being surrounded by animals, never having fewer than two dogs in her home. While attending college, Rachel volunteered for a balanced dog training company & rescue, and her passion for rehabilitation and training only grew. During her time there, she gained a lot of experience working with dogs of all ages, temperaments, and behavioral issues. This knowledge allowed Rachel to grow in her ability to train and guide clients towards building a balanced, lifelong relationship with their dogs. She has worked with and rehabilitated hundreds of dogs and is continually learning and expanding her education on different training methods & dog psychology to bring the best training possible for her clients and their companions.
Nick is one of the founders and trainers of Alpha Instincts and has experience training all types of dogs, including dogs with severe behavioral issues. Nick is a driven trainer with a love for applied behavioral psychology - the study of applying psychological principles of learning theory in a systematic way to modify behavior. Growing up, Nick always asked the question "why?". Why do things work the way they do? Why does the brain function in the manner that it does? The question of "why" is what motivates him to learn new things every day and apply it to dog training and every day life. Nick's hard work and discipline came from his time serving in the United States Army and it was around this time when he decided to get his first canine companion - a German Shepherd. After spending 4 years as an infantryman, he got his first civilian job as a dog trainer and fell in love with the industry. Rachel and Nick decided to venture off and create their own dog training company, Alpha Instincts, after seeing how much they could better dog's lives, help their families, and set a new standard of quality training. Nick is passionate about all aspects of dog training, however, competitive obedience will always be what excites him most. His goal with Alpha Instincts is to continue helping dogs with behavioral issues, empower families with training knowledge to help them succeed, and to bring "heart & soul" into all facets of Alpha Instincts' training. Ultimately, Nick's long term ambition is to become one of the world's most renowned dog trainers - among names such as Bart Bellon, Dave Kroyer, Hans Verbruggen, and Michael Bellon.
Vanessa is a trainer who started as the primary videographer & photographer and learned the ropes of becoming a trainer soon afterward. Before joining the team, Vanessa worked for the WHNT News 19 station as a photographer. Before that, she was a stagehand for the local event venue, where she set up everything from wedding receptions to live concerts. Vanessa has always had a passion for dogs, and it was re-ignited after adopting her dog, Castiel. Cas came with severe dog reactivity and anxiety issues, and Vanessa sought opportunities to help him live his best life. After interviewing Rachel & Nick for a segment with WHNT, Vanessa fell in love with the process of training and strengthening her bond with her dog. She decided to change career paths because she wanted to help others understand that their dogs' possibilities were endless with the right tools and knowledge.
Clarrissa is a trainer at Alpha Instincts with deep compassion for animals and a continuous drive to help as many as possible. She has a determined goal to become a veterinarian in the future and learn more about dog psychology through training. She has two rescues, Echo & Charlie. Echo is the oldest and formerly bounced from home to home, never fitting in due to his anxiety, severe fear-aggression, and lack of training. And Charlie was found abandoned as a young puppy. Clarrissa gained an interest in training to gain better insight into the root issues that Echo was having to work through those issues rather than keep the world hidden from him. Learning about Alpha Instincts' balanced training methods motivated her to pursue a career in dog training to help families better understand their dogs through training.
Justin is a trainer at Alpha Instincts who has a passion for dogs and seeing their potential come to fruition. Coming from a strong military background, he believes discipline is foundational to bettering oneself whether that is a person or animal. Justin was able to see his dog, Tank, blossom into a more confident and well behaved dog through the classes from Alpha Instincts. This ignited a want to pursue a career as a trainer to help dogs and owners alike reach their potential.
Argos has been a dog for three years and is one of the best. He plays a very important role in keeping morale at a consistent high across the company. He also plays tug-of-war with everyone to keep the team in tip-top shape.