Certified Dog Trainers - Tustin 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.
Tustin Assistant Training Manager
I have always loved animals. Ever since I was young I always wanted to work with or help animals in some way. I received my B.S. degree in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University in 2014. Over the past 6 years, I have had a wide variety of jobs with animals as a dog trainer, veterinary technician, and zoo keeper just to name a few. As a zoo keeper, I worked with hoofstock, carnivores, primates, birds, and marsupials. I was lucky enough to become the primary kangaroo keeper.
One of the reasons I love being a trainer at Wags is the endless amount of resources we have to help the dogs. It's a great feeling to see a dog that has been struggling with something and over time see them work through it and know that you helped them to have a happier life.
Gretchen Mavrovouniotis, PhD, CPDT - KA
I got my start in dog training when I volunteered at a local animal shelter in 2001. Around that time, I had heard about clicker training and started using it with both of my own dogs and the dogs at the shelter. I joined the Wags & Wiggles Apprenticeship Program in 2007, passed the CPDT-KA exam, and became a trainer at Wags & Wiggles in Tustin when it opened.
I enjoy teaching all levels of dog obedience, sport dog classes, and tricks. I compete in Rally Obedience, Agility, and Musical Freestyle. I love helping both dogs and people learn new things! When I'm not working with dogs, I work part-time providing training in Six Sigma process improvement techniques. I am also a volunteer naturalist at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary where I teach school children about the sanctuary and the birds that live in it.
Since I was little, I've always had a passion for animals. I've always been one to rescue and have been taking care of dogs for as long as I can remember. I volunteered at the Seal Beach animal shelter for a year and started dog walking on the side while working in an office.
I loved working with dogs so much that I found myself joining the Wags and Wiggles team! I gave baths in addition to working with all the dogs in the play area. I studied dog knowledge and behavior through Wags and watching the dogs learn gave me motivation to teach. I became a trainer and now I get to do what I love every day!
I have always been in love with all different kinds of animals ever since I was a little girl! I used to volunteer at the Orange County Animal Shelter with dogs and then I spent 5 years as part of the Orange County Animal Control explorers program. Before I began working at Wags, I worked with horses at a stable for about 4 years. I trained them in different styles, trained kids how to ride, and guided horseback riding trails throughout Irvine park.
I fell in love with training dogs when I became a teacher to my 2 month old Pit Bull puppy, who is now 1 1/2 years old. She helped me learn different dynamics and patience with dogs, including dogs who are reactive and scared of life. Besides training at Wags, I am also a play floor supervisor on the weekends and a bather during the week. My next goals are becoming an animal control officer and training Pit Bull and German Shepherd rescues to be service and barn dogs.
I have had a passion and love for animals for as long as I can remember. I've had a variety of animals throughout my life ranging from horses to dogs to birds and everything in between. Dog agility was always something that intrigued me. At 10 years old, my parents got me an Australian Shepherd named Summer. I took one agility class with my favorite little fluff ball and was instantly hooked! I proceeded to add to my collection of pups throughout my teens with Border Collies Toby and Whisper.
As a graduation present from college, I got my new Border Collie, Mesa. Mesa is now three years old and competing in the masters level in both AKC and USDAA. She has qualified for USDAA Nationals in her first two years of competing and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my special little red girl!
I love training dogs because of the connection you get with these special four-legged creatures. They truly are "Man's Best Friend." While I love working with the dogs one-on-one, teaching a class and seeing the bond between a dog and their owner grow over the course of the session is really what puts a smile on my face. I can't wait to see you and your pups in class!