Amy Valentino- Trainer
Amy joined Team RR after graduating from the RR internship program in spring 2018. Amy earned a B.S. in Biology and a teaching license from Duluth’s College of St. Scholastica. She taught middle and high school science for 18 years. In 2018, she decided to trade human education for canine education. Amy’s teaching experience, especially her experience building individualized lesson plans, will be invaluable for RR clients and their pups. Amy’s good nature, in combination with her patience and persistence (skills honed in the nearly two decades spent teaching children), are sure to bring out the best in the dogs of RR. In addition to her three human children, Amy cares for three fur babies, Jake (lab mix), Becky (elkhound/lab mix), and her newest adoptee Buck (St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees mix). While Amy can’t help but love big, fluffy dogs the most (don’t tell Jake and Becky!), she promises to show all dogs immeasurable love.
Ram Reizel- Head Trainer and Owner
Ram is the owner and head trainer at RR Professional Dog Training & Boarding. Ram completed the Dog Trainer Course from the Animal Behavior College in 2007. He went on to complete the extensive Master Dog Trainer Course at the Tom Rose School where he studied Obedience, Agility, Schutzhund, Fieldwork, Tracking, Search & Rescue, and Scent work. He opened his first dog training facility in New York in 2009 where he coached many clients to titles in Obedience and Agility. He has achieved his own titles with multiple dogs, including Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent, and Junior Hunter. In 2011, Ram and his wife, Daniela, moved to Minnesota and opened the Carlton training facility and kennel. In 2016, they added a new facility in Sturgeon Lake, MN. Ram oversees all of the training at RR and is extremely knowledgeable about canine aggression and fear issues.
Kim Forsythe- Trainer
Kim grew up on a farm surrounded by animals. She spent her youth training and showing horses. Her hobby switched to dogs over 15 years ago. She has since trained in obedience, agility, rally, nosework, and therapy dogs, earning titles on 7 different dogs. She “early-retired” from the corporate world in 2014 and became a certified canine sports massage therapist. She joined team RR in September 2016 as a trainer. Kim is currently owned by four awesome dogs. Lucy is a silver lab who was rescued from her previous life as a breeder dog. Faith is rescued golden/lab/aussie/husky mix who was born blind, but she has not let her disability stop her for one second. Both Faith and Lucy are certified therapy dogs who enjoy visiting schools, colleges, camps and nursing homes. The newest family additions are Jersey, an American/English bulldog cross and Teddi who is a spitfire mix of Shar pei, bulldog, jack Russell terrier and beagle.
Sarah Weeks- Training Director (Carlton)
Sarah joined Team RR in October 2017 as a trainer after having graduated the internship training program that same fall. Sarah has several years of experience working with dogs in a variety of settings. She studied for two years at DBU’s veterinary tech program and worked for seven years as an animal care specialist with Silverwood Pet Care in Superior. Sarah and her lab mix Buddy joined forces in 2009. With Sarah’s help, Buddy successfully completed basic puppy and basic obedience classes. Together they are now working on mastering Buddy’s off leash training. Sarah’s relaxed, friendly demeanor make her a great trainer for all dogs, especially dogs who are reactive toward people and/or dogs. Sarah is an invaluable calming presence for the dogs who come to RR.
Tony Chapman- Training Director (Sturgeon Lake)
Tony graduated with honors from the Dog Trainer program of Animal Behavior College in 2013. That same year, he joined Team RR. He also attended veterinary technician school in 2010. Tony’s friendly disposition, positive attitude, and extensive training skills make him invaluable to our program. He specializes in dogs with behavior issues, and is also running our upland hunting program in Sturgeon Lake. Tony and his Black Lab, Saganaga, are working towards being the best hunting team around.
Carey Eckdahl- Trainer and Kennel Director
Carey is a DBU veterinary technician program graduate. She joined our internship program in 2018 and started training full time later that year. On top of her job as a trainer, Carey is supervising our Carlton Kennel and makes sure that all the dogs that stay in our kennel are healthy and happy. In addition to her focus on training dogs for obedience at all levels, Carey devotes time to learning how to train upland hunting dogs at our Sturgeon Lake Kennel.
Lindsey Sundstrom- Trainer
Lindsey has been working as a trainer at RR since April 2018. Prior to joining RR, she worked as kennel staff at Duluth’s Animal Allies, a trainer and staff member at Canal Bark, and a trainer at PetSmart. Lindsey’s always lived around dogs. Lindsey’s main goal at RR is to gain more experience working with reactive dogs to increase their chances of getting adopted or to maintain their current home situations. In the future, Lindsey plans to earn a Master’s degree in Canine Life Science specializing in the neurological study of dog behavior. Lindsey’s patience, empathy, and confidence working with reactive dogs makes her an important part of the RR team.
Robin Moe- Kennel Staff
Robin joined Team RR in 2016 after having volunteered for several years as a dog walker for Duluth Animal Allies. Robin works primarily at the Carlton facility as a kennel assistant. Dogs have long been a part of Robin’s life. Her most recent adoptee, Tiki, came to her from Good Karma rescue. Together, they have trained in obedience, off leash, and agility (Tiki is known to have some great agility moves!) Robin enjoys working with the dogs at RR, many of whom know her as a “human piñata.” Robin’s strong work ethic and commitment to doing what needs to be done to keep the dogs happy and healthy are what make Robin an important member of the RR Team.
Jason Johnson- Trainer
Jason joined our internship program in 2018. He started training full time at the beginning of 2019. Jason is very passionate about dog training and dog behavior. He intends to learn how to train dogs to skijor so he his clients and their dogs can stay active throughout the winter.
Here are our dogs that work with us on canine interaction:
Jim (CD JH) is a 10 year old Black Lab, who is the head demo dog of RR. Jim has been coming to the training arena since he was a young dog, helping Ram and the other trainers work with dogs that need to learn how to better interact with other dogs. When he is not in the arena, you can find Jim in the office, or running around like a puppy. He loves people and attention, as well as watermelon and bananas, so if you see him around make sure to give him some.
Teddi and Jersey Forsythe
Jersey and Teddi are regulars at RR and truly enjoy working. Both girls are just a year and a half old and are best friends, but they clearly have contrasting personalities. Jersey is an American/English bulldog mix with a very laid back personality who loves attention and making new friends either human or canine. She is going to pursue a career as a therapy dog, but while at work she helps socialize other dogs and “teaches” them how to play and interact appropriately. Her little sister Teddi is a fun mix of Shar pei, bulldog, Jack Russell and beagle who likes to live life at full speed. At work she too works to socialize other dogs, particularly young dogs and smaller dogs as her size is not as intimidating. These girls absolutely love going to work!
Buddy is a Labrador/Border Collie mix, who was born in late July 2009. Until a couple of years ago, Buddy was really just a fairly well behaved pet. In the last couple of years, Buddy started working more and more with Sarah, helping her with the reactive dogs she often trains. Buddy’s friendly and calm disposition makes it easier for dogs who are hesitant or scared to calm down, and learn to interact with dogs.