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DWA Faculty

Meet your Dog Walking Academy faculty

DWA faculty are:

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Highly experienced, credentialed dog trainers

Our instructors are top dog trainers with many years’ experience to back up their topnotch schooling credentials. They’re ready to answer any dog behavior questions you may have, and to help you troubleshoot issues you’re seeing on your walks.

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Engaging instructors

Regardless of the course location you choose or whether you take our online program, you’ll enjoy engaging instructors skilled at sharing ideas, building new skills, and keeping the pace moving right along.

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People-friendly teachers

Our instructors have excellent credentials, experience, knowledge, and skills. But to share all of that requires a human connection. That’s why we seek supportive, down-to-earth instructors who enjoy teaching people as much as dogs, and who love giving back by helping others pursue a living doing what they love.

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DWA Faculty

Veronica Boutelle, MA Ed., CTC

Co-Founder, DWA Director, Instructor

Veronica is the author of How to Run a Dog Business and The Business of Dog Walking, the co-author of Minding Your Dog Business, and writes for multiple industry journals, including regular business columns in PPG’s Barks from the Guild and APDT’s Chronicle of the Dog. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and dog training schools across the country and internationally, teaching dog pros how to help dogs for a living in countries ranging from North America to South America, Europe to Down Under.

Veronica holds a masters degree in education and has made good use of her previous career as a high school classroom teacher, teacher educator and university lecturer, and curriculum developer to bring more effective education and instructional strategies to the dog industry.

Veronica is the former Director of Behavior & Training for the San Francisco SPCA, and a valedictorian graduate of Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers. She got her start in the industry as a dog walker, owning and running a small dog walking company before turning to training. She founded dogbiz (then dogtec) in 2003 in response to fellow Academy graduates’ struggles to master the business side of their important work to change the lives of dogs.

Picture of DWA Instructor, Josh Boutelle

Josh Boutelle, CSAT, CPDT-KA


After more than a decade of helping San Francisco dogs and their people, Josh turned his attention to helping fellow dog professionals grow their businesses online. He builds digital marketing campaigns (social media ads, e-book and webinar marketing, and more) for dogbiz clients and, through his business Digiwoof, writes and creates professional websites and logos for R+ dog pros.

Before jumping into the world of online marketing, Josh operated City Pups SF in San Francisco, supporting dog owners struggling with leash reactivity & separation anxiety in dogs. City Pups also served as a model and widely respected dog walking service for well over 10 years. Josh is a graduate of The Dog Training Internship Academy, Malena De Martini’s Separation Anxiety Trainer Certification Course, and also holds his CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

Picture of DWA Instructor and Consultant, Alexis Davison

Alexis Davison, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


Alexis is committed to the education and support of fellow dog professionals: She is a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, charged with teaching the KPA Dog Trainer Professional Program in Australia. She serves as the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy instructor for all of Australia, occasionally offering the program to dog walkers in New Zealand as well. She speaks regularly at professional dog training conferences and provides one-on-one support as a dogbiz business consultant.

Alexis is a nationally accredited Dog Behavioral Trainer with a Certificate IV in Dog Behavioral Training in Australia, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), and an internationally Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Named 2014 Dog Trainer of the Year by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia, Alexis’ professional memberships also include the American Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild Australia.

DWA Support Staff

Picture of Deborsha Lashway, Officer Manager

Deborsha Lashway

Client Support & Program Manager

Deborsha supports DWA staff and is the first stop for anything you may need as a DWA student. She can answer your program-related questions, help you troubleshoot any online tech issues, and probably take care of just about anything else you can think to reach out about. And if not, she’ll cheerfully figure it out or find the right person to do so. Behind the scenes we refer to her as “Awesomeness Incarnate.”

Before joining dogbiz in 2008, Deborsha held administration management positions in the health-care industry.