Instructor Biographies

Lora Cox

Lora Cox has been teaching classes throughout the Bay Area for over fifteen years. She judges Obedience and Rally at all levels for both the American Kennel Club and ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America) and has even been invited to judge in Germany! When she is not teaching, judging, or training her own dogs in Obedience, Agility, Herding, Rally, and Tracking, she is involved with gardening, quilting, sewing, and paper-crafting.

Lora was ten years old when her first dog, a Lhasa Apso, was expelled from obedience class for biting the instructor. Years later she rescued a puppy who looked like a smooth-coated Aussie but turned out to be a Catahoula Hound who dragged her through the neighborhood. This time, she was hooked on obedience, and Calico earned her mixed-breed Utility Degree.

Lora teaches privately and has trained a service dog for an individual with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She has put various titles on her dogs. Duke, Vista, and Ranger have OTCH points in AKC events; Tucker and Duke have OTCH titles in ASCA, and Ranger is working toward his ASCA OTCH. Lora continues to challenge her dogs in the highest levels of Obedience, Tracking, and Herding.

Denise Gormish

Denise Gormish has been training and trialing dogs in canine sport events for 20 years. She has titled in obedience, rally, tracking, agility and NoseWork. She has also participated in pet therapy. Her favorite sports are the scent events of tracking, NoseWork and Scent Work. She enjoys watching dogs learn the scenting game, take charge of scenting and do amazing things with their noses. She has competed successfully and titled in NACSW/SDS NoseWork, AKC Scent Work, AKC tracking and ASCA tracking with her English Cocker Spaniels.

She also enjoys using basic obedience skills such as shaping and targeting as a way for the dog and handler to have fun teaching obedience skills. She takes classes, reads and discusses dog training to learn more about dogs, best training practices and to facilitate the best dog and handler relationship.

Diana Rapa

Diana Rapa

Diana Rapa is a CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) and a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator. She has also completed both levels of the Canine Behavior Academy with Trish King, attended seminars by Dr. Ian Dunbar, Suzanne Clothier, Debbie Jacobs, and attended an online course by Karen Pryor. She continually researches and stays current on the most modern, science-based training methods.

In 2010, Diana founded The Perfect Dog ( rescue. Since then, her rescue has saved, rehabilitated, and re-homed an average of 100 dogs per year from local kill animal shelters. Diana specializes in special needs dogs, both behaviorally and medically. She's worked with deaf, blind, feral, fear aggressive, leash reactive, to name a few.

In 2017, Diana was hired as a program trainer with UnChained (, where her rescue dogs go into juvenile hall and the incarcerated youth are taught how to train dogs and help make the rescue dogs more adoptable.

Diana is also involved in Agility, currently competing with three of her dogs in USDAA, as well as Freestyle Disc Dog training.

Diana has been teaching group dog training classes since 2012. Her passion is not only in rehabilitating shelter dogs, but also teaching pet parents the canine language, so that pet parents can better understand and communicate with their dogs and develop a great, compassionate, fun, and positive relationship with their dogs.

Reena Walton

Reena Walton

Professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 1990.

The APDT is an international dog trainers' organization that uses and recommends "no force methods" of training; instead it uses positive motivational methods, such as food lures and rewards, clicker training ,behavior modification, and proper management of pet dogs.

I have been teaching dog training classes on the SF Peninsula for close to 25 years. I have taught with four different dog training schools as well as through Petco stores and local Parks and Recreation. I also teach private dog training lessons.

I have taught all levels of dog classes, from puppy classes all the way through competition classes. Some other types of classes I have taught are, Clicker Training, beginning agility , Pet Assisted Therapy training, Fun and Games.

I am an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and have held CGC classes and tests for many years. I was a Tester/Observer for TD, Inc. for several years, and was part of the founding group of Therapy Dog Teams at Stanford Hospital and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital.

I also have spent many years doing Animal Assisted Therapy with my shelties in the past, and feel it is a very rewarding way to volunteer my time to a great cause.

I have spent the last six years coaching a blind handler with her guide dog, to teach her formal competitive obedience so she could compete in Obedience Trials. She and her dog have gotten their CD Title and CDX title with my help. I have been coaching and taking them to practice matches and obedience trials and assisting her in the ring between exercises as well.

I have been training and showing my own dogs in obedience trials since 1985 and also train and compete with my dogs in rally and agility trials.

I have had 10 dogs of various breeds over a time span of 38 years. Currently, I have two Shetland Sheepdogs.