Nicolette Myszkowski, ABCDT
Regional Trainer- Philadelphia, PA
She / Her / Hers
I’m an animal lover, not by choice, but by nature. Growing up as a child of a military service member, we were moving around different parts of the country every 1-3 years. Everything was constantly changing. The only thing that didn’t change was my very strong desire to be in nature and around any type of animal, but especially dogs. As a kid, I didn’t grow up with a dog, but I always loved to dog-sit for our neighbors and watch them train their dogs. As a young adult, I joined the Navy and got to see different parts of the world for myself. I adopted my first dog, Wilson, from a local shelter in Mississippi. Wilson was a very challenging dog to train as he was only 8 months old and was taken into the shelter as a stray. We struggled to find a trainer to help us with his behaviors and I did a lot of research myself to learn how to train him. During my military career I had taken in dozens of fosters to see if we could find a new fit for our family. After my deployment was when we got Sophie, our first golden retriever.
When I separated from the military, I got my first job at a local rescue. I worked at the rescue for about 3 months, and as my health declined, I realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. I began looking for trainers in my area to help me with training Sophie as my service dog, and that’s where my journey with Canine Defined began. I was a client with them and worked with Meg as my trainer for the following year and a half. While working with Canine Defined, I fell in love with canine psychology and loved watching my dog grasp new concepts and complex training techniques. I began looking into ways I could learn more about how to train dogs and I started with Animal Behavior College where I earned my ABCDT certification. During my certification process I continued to work with Meg as my training mentor. I learned a lot and was able to apply my new skills and knowledge to help other people with their dogs. As Sophie was going through some new sensitivities, I decided to get a new prospect for service work. This is where Cal, my newest addition, comes into the picture.
With Cal I’ve been able to use all of my skills and knowledge to train him to the best of my ability! I believe every dog has their own learning styles, motivators, and thresholds. This has given me some perspective on how to handle different dogs, their situations, and how to help their handlers create the best relationship with their dogs. Currently, I live in Philadelphia with my husband and my three dogs. We take daily walks to the park and every other week or so we find a hike to go on near us. I’ve always loved being in nature, now I can be in nature and I’m able to share it with my dogs. My dogs also participate in AKC events such as sports and conformation, which is incredibly fun and fulfilling for both me and my dogs! Cal is currently training for scentwork, conformation, and rally in addition to service work.