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 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.
Since I was little, I've always had a passion for animals. I've always been one to rescue cats, dogs and even birds. I have been taking care of animals for as long as I can remember I volunteered at the Seal Beaxh animal Shelter for a year as a dog walker. I did this while working in an office in my adult life and realized that working with animals is my passion. So I dropped my office life and pursued my real dream.
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 for a few years, before deciding that training was something I was very fascinated in doing. I studied dog knowledge and behavior through Wags and Wiggles while getting hands on training. 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’ve been training here for over two years now and look forward to many more!
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!
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!