About Sara

Sara McLoudrey is the owner of FLEX Dog Training. Sara has been a professional dog trainer since 2004, when she started her first dog training business ROOT Dog Training based in Highland Park and Highwood, IL. ROOT Dog Training grew to having its own training boutique and employed a number of additional trainers. In 2016 Sara’s family pulled up their ROOTs and replanted them in Portland, OR and Sara started FLEX Dog Training.

Over the years Sara takes great pride in the certifications she has earned from a variety of organizations. Currently Sara is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT), a FitPaws Master Trainer through FitPawsUSA, a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) from the National Association of Canine Scent Work, and a TAGTeach Level 2 Instructor from TAGteach International (TAG-L2).

In the beginning…
gusFor Sara, like many kids, she dreamed of owning a dog. That dream was realized when she was 9 years old and Gus the Schoodle was her first dog. Gus was never formally trained, but competed in 4H shows and loved to be taught any trick Sara could think up.

In college Sara started volunteering for a service dog organization, first with vacation homing service dogs in training and then doing therapy visits with her Border Collie/Kelpie mix Scout. It was through this organization Sara met her husband Mark and his service dog Bailey. Bailey developed reactive behaviors towards other dogs, that were becoming dangerous. A friend suggested having Bailey see Dr Karen Overall, a Veterinary  Behaviorist. Little did Sara know at the time that the 2.5 hour appointment would change her life and the lives of many dogs to come! Dr. Overall shed light on the fact that the traditional, punishment based training techniques used on Bailey were causing and then exasperating Bailey’s behavior issues. Sara knew she had dogs because she loved dogs and never wanted to hurt them. In order to go forward with the training she loved so much she needed to find a compassionate way to train.

In 2001, Sara started training completely positively with her second Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Dara (SR Foxgrove’s Daragan at Redberry CDX RAE JH WC CGC TDI NW1) It was hard to find like minded trainers at the time, especially in the retriever field community, but she pressed on.

Over the years Sara has trialled her own dogs and trained clients dogs successfully in conformation, AKC competition obedience, AKC WCR/APDT rally obedience, NACSW nose work and AKC and NAHRA hunt tests.

Resume


Certifications
Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT)
FitPaws Master Trainer
Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI)
TAGTeach Level 2 Instructor from TAGteach International (TAG-L2)

Associations
Pet Professional Guild
Association of Pet Dog Trainers – Professional Member
National Association of Canine Scent Work
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club-USA
American Water Spaniel Club

Seminars
Pet Professional Guild Conference, (3 days), Tampa, FL November 2015
Elite Nose Work Skills with Jeff McMahon, Melrose Park, IL October 2015
FitPaws Master Trainer Seminar, Denver, CO May 2015
Sniff Fest (3 days) Melrose Park, IL March 2015
Fred Helfer Nose Work Seminar, Kenosha, WI July 2014
Nose Work Instructor Continuing Education, Melrose Park, IL June 2014
Copy That! Seminar Pat Miller (2 days) Hagerstown, MD March 2014
Nose Work Seminar and Camp (5 day), Colorado, October 2013
Victoria Stilwell Trainers Seminar (3 day), various presenters, Atlanta, GA, Sept 2013
Nose Work Seminar, Melrose Park, IL, March 2013
Dog Bite Conference, Jim Crosby, Victoria Stilwell, Denver, CO, November 2012
Denise Fenzi Problem Solving Seminar, Mundelein, IL, June 2012
Fit Paws Instructor’s Seminar, Boulder, CO, April 2012
Nose Work Seminar, Melrose Park, IL, April 2012
Patricia McConnell, Advanced Behavior Seminar, Madison, WI, October, 2011
Nose Work Instructors Seminar, Melrose Park, IL , September, 2011
Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT), Grisha Stewart, Plainfield, IL, September, 2011
Dr. Karen Overall (2 day seminar), Melrose Park, IL, August 2011
Denise Fenzi Building Drive and Motivation Seminar, Mundelein, IL, June 2011
Nose Work Instructors Seminar, Melrose Park, IL, April 2011
Clicker Expo: Michelle Pouliot, Kay Laurence, Emma Parsons, Ken Ramirez Lectures, Chicago, IL March, 2011
Nose Work Instructors Seminar, Melrose Park, IL, Dec. 2010
Dr. Karen Overall, Milwaukee, WI Oct., 2010
Michele Pouliot The Perfect 200 & Freestyle Training, Minneapolis, MN, Oct., 2010
Introduction to Nose Work, July 2010, Schiller Park, IL
Relaxed & Ready: Helix Fairweather, Megan Cruz, West Lafayette, IN, May 2010
Agility Right From the Start: Eva Bertilssen, Emelie Johnson Vegh, Mundelein, IL March 2010
Clicker Expo: Kathy Sdao, Alexandra Kurland, Kay Laurence, Emma Parsons, Michelle Pouliot, Julie Shaw, Ken Ramirez Lectures, Lexington, KY, March 2010
Lori Waters Obedience Problem Solving Workshop, Mundelein, IL Feb. 2010
Professional Animal Training Seminar with Ken Ramirez (Sr. VP of Training at the Shedd Aquarium) (5 day seminar), Chicago, IL, Aug. 2009
Dr. Ian Dunbar, (3 day seminar), Downers Grove, IL, July 2009
Nicole Wilde Creative Client Coaching, Plainfield, IL, May 2009
Clicker Expo: Kathy Sdao, Tia Guest, Steve & Jen White, Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ken Ramirez Lectures, Providence, RI, March 2009
TAGteach, Theresa McKeon, Boston, MA, October 2008
Esther Zimmerman Positive Attitude Training, Mundelein, IL, September 2008
TAGteach, Theresa McKeon, Chicago, IL, July 2008
Suzanne Clothier, Shiller Park, IL, May 2008
Control Unleashed, Elburn, IL, May 2008
ClickerExpo: Ken Ramirez, Morten Egtvedt & Cecilie Køste Lectures, Lexington, KY, March 2008
Jean Donaldson, Chicago, IL Fall 2005
Patty Ruzzo, Hanover Park, IL, Spring 2005

Dog Titles (highest title achieved)
Dara:
Nose Work 1 (NW1), Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE), Companion Dog Excellent (CDX), Junior Hunter (JH), Started Retriever (SR), Working dara-with-bumperCertificate (WC), Canine Good Citizen (CGC), Therapy Dog International (TDI), AKC Conformation pointed
Dash: Rally Advanced (RA), Companion Dog (CD), Junior Hunter (JH), Working Certificate (WC),
Therapy Dog International (TDI)
Ditto: Rally Novice (RN), Working Certificate (WC), Therapy Dog International (TDI), AKC Conformation pointed
MayDay: Championship (CH)
Nelia: Rally Novice (RN), AKC Conformation pointed
Pogo: Grand Champion (GCH)
Rizzo: Nose Work 3 (NW3), Nose Work Level 1 Vehicle (L1V), Nose Work Level 1 Exterior (L1E), AKC Conformation pointed