Certified Dog Trainers - Rancho Santa Margarita Team
All Trainers are certified or working towards certification (CCPDT) - the only independent nationally recognized program providing the most up-to-date positive reinforcement training.
Kelly Pettigrew, CPDT-KA
RSM Assistant Training Manager
I joined Wags & Wiggles in 2014 and couldn't be prouder or happier to be a part of such a wonderful team of dog lovers and enthusiasts. While I love all dogs, I'm known for my particular love for Boxers, having had four in my life. My childhood boxer Tug started a lifelong love of the energetic, goofy and smart breed. My next two boxers, Butters and Zak, were the first dogs I trained, with Zak becoming my first working and demo dog at Wags & Wiggles. I recently adopted a 6-year-old female boxer named Zelda which has been a wonderful challenge and joy.
My particular passion is working with dogs that have behavioral issues. It is so rewarding building trust with both the dog and the owners, watching them both find their confidence and teaching them skills to help them cope with life together and form a positive relationship.
I am grateful for the opportunity Wags & Wiggles has given to me to continue learning and working with dogs and owners who just need some guidance. My favorite parts of my job include teaching our Zen Dog class and working with dogs who need some extra guidance in our Board & Train program.
When I'm not obsessing over dogs, I enjoy eating too much food with my family and friends, going on hikes, watching my favorite sports teams, playing video games, and traveling both in and out of the country.
RSM Assistant Training Manager
Christine started teaching dog classes over 14 years ago and has been actively involved in dog training for 22 years. She was born and raised in Orange County, moved back to the area with her family in 2014, and is thrilled to be a part of the Wags team!
Christine loves to work out, whether it is at her local Orangetheory Fitness, hiking, obstacle course racing, or running. She also enjoys healthy cooking, experimenting with new recipes, and gardening. She has been married for 11 years and has two young, active boys.
Her current dogs are Motor (a 10-year-old Australian Shepherd), Myth (a 6-year-old Border Collie), and Pedal (a 2-year-old Chiweenie Rescue). Christine teaches a large variety of group classes at W&W.
Amanda Hudgins, CPDT-KA
I started dog training at UC Davis, where I earned a BS in Animal Science with an emphasis in Behavior. I was raised in Orange County and have always had animals in my life! I grew up riding horses and raising service dogs. I am a self-proclaimed "dog nerd" with knowledge about canine nutrition, breeds, health, and behavior.
I began at Wags and Wiggles as a client in 2015. I wanted consistent training opportunities and socialization for my young puppy. I soon joined the Wags team and consider it a privilege to be involved in such an amazing program! I am a certified CGC evaluator and I teach a variety of classes for Wags.
Outside of work, I enjoy taking agility classes, hiking, playing bass or singing for my church, and hanging out with my husband and three kids. I currently have a Border Terrier named Jovie and a Wirehaired Vizsla named Rheese.
Natalie Bookout Gonzalez, CPDT-KA
I was born and raised in Southern California. My two biggest passions in life are animals and volleyball. I have played volleyball my entire life, and earned the opportunity to play volleyball at the University of Oregon. I graduated early from Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
Growing up my family had a lot of animals from dogs to cats to iguanas. After I graduated from college in 2015, I got my dog Strider, who is an Australian Shepherd mix.
My journey with Wags and Wiggles began when I decided to start the apprenticeship program in January of 2018. I did my apprenticeship at the Tustin location and then had the opportunity to join the RSM training team! I received my CPDT-KA certificate in the Fall of 2019.
It is such an awesome thing to go to your job everyday and absolutely love what you do. I am so blessed to be a part of the Wags team! Outside of training, I also coach volleyball at a local club. In my free time I enjoy going to Disneyland, watching Netflix, and playing beach volleyball.
I was born and raised in Europe, in a small but very beautiful country called Lithuania. I actually received my Masters in Law back home and worked as a junior lawyer for a couple of years. However, training animals was my most favorite thing to do, so I left my law office and got into the dog training world!
I started working in the Lithuanian Kennel Club office, and trained dogs independently. I have a smart and active Labrador Retriever, and together we competed in Obedience and Rally competitions. She has been trained in multiple fields, including Obedience, Rally Obedience, confirmation shows, and mantrailing. She is also an animal assisted therapy dog and knows a lot of tricks!
I traveled to and from the United States often and finally moved out here in 2017. I lived in Santa Barbara for over a year and worked at a dog training facility there, then decided that I want to move down to Orange County. That was a great decision, because now I work at Wags and couldn't be happier being part of this team!
I am a long-time owner and lover of dogs! I am a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner Dog Trainer (KPACTP), Certified Dog Trainer and Cat Trainer through the nationally recognized Animal Behavior College (ABCDT), and an Associate Nose Work Instructor (ANWI).