Certified Dog Trainers - Tustin Team
All Trainers are certified or working towards certification (CPDT) - the only independent nationally recognized program providing the most up-to-date positive reinforcement training.
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 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 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!
For the past 8 years I have come home from work proudly covered in dog hair. When I started working at Wags and Wiggles in 2011, I fell in love with the company. Throughout my years at Wags I have done a little bit of everything, but I found that my true niche was working hands on with the dogs. My role at Wags is split between working in our big dog room as Operations Manger, and as a trainer with our behavior and training team.
Whether it’s teaching an excited puppy how to walk with a loose leash, or helping a reactive dog make a progressive breakthrough, Wags’ positive reinforcement methods are enjoyed by the dog, the owner, and the trainer.
My passion for animals is something I was born with, and I have worked with a wide range of species. I spent a few years volunteering at my local wildlife rescue center, traveled to Thailand to work with elephants, and recently returned from an internship at a conservation center working with big cats.
I have loved working with all different types of animals, however, the deeply rooted bond between dogs and humans is incomparable. Dogs are the best!
A few months ago I officially became a dog mom and adopted Frida, a Xoloitzcuintli, from Mexico. Now I spend most of my free time making sure my former street dog is living her best life!