Dog training instructors

At OhMyDog! The Hague, we only invite qualified trainers to present the lessons for you and your dog.

We prefer trainers who are university-educated in a relevant topic (e.g. ethology, psychology, vets, etc.), experienced and certified. But we don’t only look if it clicks on paper and we preferentially hire people who are sociable and easy-going, so the lesson is not only high-quality contents-wise, but you also have a good time doing it.

If you are an aspiring or experienced dog trainer, and are looking for your new challenge, check our vacancy page.

Laure-Anne Viselé-Jonkman : Co-owner, Behaviour therapist, Group instructor and Behaviour Coach

Laure-Anne Viselé-Jonkman

Co-owner, Behaviour therapist, Group instructor and Behaviour Coach

Role at OhMyDog! I founded the school in 2013. My role is to steer OhMyDog!, making sure we keep giving ethically and scientifically sound advice, keeping your trainers sharp and motivated, and doing general management work. I also still teach classes as Head Instructor and still hold the role of Behaviour Coach for my colleagues’ classes.

Role at OhMyDog! I started off as a dog behaviour therapist in 2009 and founded OhMyDog! in 2013. My role at OhMyDog! is to steer the centre: I ensure that we give ethical and evidence-based advice, I monitor the job satisfaction and skills development of our trainers, and I share day-to-day business management tasks with OhMyDog’s co-owner, Stephanie Neijts.

I am the Centre’s Head Behaviourist and I still give group lessons in our dog training school. In all these activities, I strive for a relaxed and trusting atmosphere, for transparent and evidence-based advice and for an animal-friendly approach.  

 

Rodge bday
Laure-Anne’s old dog, Roger

Credentials: Originally a French speaker, I partly grew up in England where I studied Zoology (Newcastle University). I moved from the UK to the Netherlands in 2001, where I still live in the outskirts of The Hague with my husband, son and dog.

I followed my university studies with a postgraduate specialisation in Applied Companion Animal Behaviour (magna cum laude) and a certificate as Dog Training Instructor (O&O). I have also followed countless courses and training programs in ethology, canine behaviour, (Cursus Centrum Dierverzorging Barneveld), kynology behaviour (DogVision), canine first aid and specific dog training techniques.

I keep my knowledge up-to-date by attending continuous education courses and seminars: for example, I obtained the Fear-Free level 1 certificate (to help animals willingly participate in veterinary / grooming treatments).

I am a full member of the following organisations: CertipetNationale Vereniging voor Gedragstherapeuten and O&O

IMG_6637
Laure-Anne and her mixed breed rescue, Roger

Day job:

Behaviourist: I help people with their dog’s behaviour problems through my behaviour therapy practice: Canis bonus. I am also the resident behaviour therapist for the Wateringseveld Animal Clinic in The Hague who are, like myself, certified Fear Free professionals.

Lecturer: I am a lecturer in Annorlunda‘s team, and at the O&O certification institute for dog trainers. I also give seminars to animal organisations (e.g. Dierenbescherming). I also give advice to municipalities and other organisations on dog-related policies.

Writing: I have my own column in the Los Vast, I regularly write for Doggo.nl (the Netherlands’ largest site about dogs) and I write my own evidence-based blog about dog behaviour, besides my work as guest-writer for several websites. 

Personal experience: Partly due to my profession as a behaviourist, my own dogs have come to me with heavy baggage. I have personal experience sharing my life with dogs with behaviour issues stemming from old age, their past as a shelter dog, chronic disease and working line/hyperactivity. This helps me in feeling true empathy with the struggles of my clients in my work as a behaviourist. 

Stephanie Neijts : Co-owner, one-on-one trainer, group instructor, and behaviour coach

Stephanie Neijts

Co-owner, one-on-one trainer, group instructor, and behaviour coach

Role at OhMyDog! I started working for OhMyDog in August 2018, as part of an internship for my BSc. It was immediately obvious that OhMyDog’s vision was a great fit with my ideas on how to run a dog business. Customer demand kept exploding, so I jumped on board as Laure-Anne, who could no longer handle the work alone. That is when we decided to continue OhMyDog as a partnership.

My tasks as OMD’s co-owner focus mainly on strategy, planning and management. I also continue to be a group instructor for our group classes, as well as giving private dog training lessons in our clients’ homes.

Credentials: Since 2015, I have been avidly keeping up with the latest relevant research papers, evidence-based books, and seminars on dogs and dog behaviour. I also steered as much of my MBO (Animal Management) and BSc (Animal health and management) as possible towards that topic. As part of my learning programme, I have followed internships with, among others: the police dog centre, a Rottweiler breeder/trainer, pet stores and a service dog organisation.

I am also a graduate with the Hondenspecialist certification program in behaviour therapy and puppy coaching. These studies are based on modern techniques and solid insights into dog behaviour, which is what attracted me to the program.

Stephanie and her dog, Frey
Stephanie and her dog, Frey.

Daily work: I am responsible for co-managing OhMyDog, which I combine with giving group and one-on-one lessons. These one-on-one sessions can centre around putting the advice given during a behaviour advice and evaluation session into practice, or designing a tailor-made programme focusing on the students’ learning goals.  

Personal experience: 5 years ago, one of the dogs I was walking needed a new home so we fostered her ‘temporarily’, but we adopted her. By giving her the space and guidance she needed, this problem improved so much that she not only learnt to interact with other dogs without a problem, but she even became a very apt communicator with other dogs, which still fills me with pride. My experience with her has given me insights (and understanding for the owners) that I can use during my private training sessions. Unfortunately, Freya passed away recently. I now have a Golden retriever, who was originally destined to become an assistance dog (Buddy dog for PTSD patients) but did not make the last suitability tests because of her fragile temperament. Guiding her and sharing our lives with her is also an invaluable learning experience. 

Romy Groeneveld : Behaviour coach and instructor

Romy Groeneveld

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog: I started at OhMyDog! in november 2019. There, I could experience everything I’d learnt during my studies in real live. With my scientific bend, and my constant hunger for knowledge, OMD’s evidence-based approach fits me like a glove.

My role is to give puppy and obedience classes. In my lessons, I first focus on the owner-dog bond: raising a pup is by no means an easy feat, and can be trying at times. I love to see students achieve success during the training, and thereby dare enjoying their dog again. 

Credentials: After my BA in Greek and Latin Culture, and my MA in Journalistm and New Media, I also completed the O&O’s Dog Training Instructor programme. I have complemented this with a number of Continuous Education courses: Personal Home Dog Training Instructor (Tinley Academie), Nose work (Module 1, Tinley) and Dog learning (DogVision). I love to keep learning, so I also attend seminars and congresses (e.g. Victoria Stilwell’s Dog Behavioir Congress).

Romy en Nino
Romy and Nino, her Golden Retriever.

Day job: I worked in PR for a while, where I would help bring companies positive media attention. I have recently started my own business, where I give private training and on-line packages to dog owners in Delft.

Personal experience: Nino, my rescue Golden Retriever, still teaches me about dog behaviour every day. I love to bring the insights I gained from my daily life or my studies back to my students. 

Nino started out quite insecure: everything was new for him. A lot of patience and structure have helped him come out of his shell. Mantrailing (following a human scent trail) has also done wonders for his self-confidence. 

One of the biggest eye-openers for me, at OhMyDog, was that you do not have to push your dog into problem situations that he cannot deal with. I have also learnt to gauge (and respect) his boundaries by observing body language. Nino often gets harassed by other dogs, for example, and word on the street has it that you should let this play out. I am now choosing to support my dog, and get him out of these situations. Nino trusts my judgment, and our bond has only grown since then.

I am also working on spontaneous eye contact during walks. He can now focus on me when we pass someone, whilst he used to get distracted and I couldn’t get through to him anymore. We give our own students these types of tools, to help them enjoy their dogs in daily life. 

Svetlana Kleyner : Behaviour coach and instructor

Svetlana Kleyner

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog: I joined OhMyDog!’s diverse international team in 2019 and am now in charge of Basic Obedience lessons and Puppy classes. During these lessons, I give owners the tools they need for a loving and comfortable relationship with their dogs. What I love about teaching for OhMyDog is that no two lessons are the same: every dog is an individual and every owner is different; and I get to tailor my classes to the needs of my students.

What appealed to me about OhMyDog! is the evidence-based approach. Although this requires extra reading and research, we only recommend something if we have solid grounds to believe that works. There’s no sense of “mysterious knowledge” available only to the chosen ones: we are transparent about the advice we give. We teach you only the best available professional practices, and we focus on exercises that anyone can master!

Credentials: I have a PhD (in Linguistics), which I put to good use in embracing OMD’s evidence-based principles. I have also graduated from the following international courses on dog training and behaviour: Dog Emotion and Cognition – Duke University; Animal Behaviour and Welfare – University of Edinburgh; The Truth about Cats and Dogs – University of Edinburgh; Introduction to Genetics and Evolution – Duke University and I have read a ton of specialist books on the topic.

Svetlana and Mexican naked dog
Svetlana in ‘conversation’ with one of her students, a Mexican naked dog.

Daily work: I am a Research Integrity Adviser at Springer Nature, which I combine with giving online classes to groups of Russian owners about dog behaviour.

Personal experience: My first dog was Tesla, whom I rescued from the streets of St.-Petersburg. It is Tesla’s many behaviour problems that led me onto the path of learning about dog behaviour. After achieving many successes with Tesla, I took another dog from the street: Simba. She turned out to be a very different kind of hard case (high reactivity and separation anxiety). I keep learning from Simba every day. I also have a third dog, Axioma, a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd.

Lucas Brands : Behaviour coach and instructor

Lucas Brands

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog: I joined OhMyDog!’s team in March 2021. I feel right at home with the evidence based yet fun approach to dog training. When teaching Basic, Advanced and Beyond Obedience for OhMyDog, I adapt my teaching strategies to the needs of dog and owner, providing them with the tools they need to strengthen their bond.  

Credentials: As a social worker, I used to work alongside clinical behaviour analysts and I trained as a behaviour technician for which I co-wrote and implemented data-based behaviour modification plans. Though no longer working in that field, I have kept my knowledge up to date through courses in applied behaviour analysis (e.g. University of South Florida and TAGteach), as it is relevant to working with dogs too. 

I am currently studying to become a canine behaviourist through a regulated Canine Behaviour Practitioner programme (The DoGenius, level 5 diploma). This programme is preparing me both academically and practically to work as a canine behaviourist. I have taken a lot of other dog training and behaviour-related courses too, such as Module A and B at the O&O, Illis ABC’s Foundations of Animal Training and Shelter Training and Enrichment (Karen Pryor Academy). I have also attended a ton of webinars (e.g. Aggressive Dog – Mike Shikashio and the APBC – Dog-Ibox) 

Lucas and Wiske
Lucas and Wiske, his working line Cocker Spaniel.

Dayjob: I am focusing on my studies at the moment, and I am full-time personal assistant to my needy Working Cocker Spaniel Wiske. 

Personal experience: Wiske has taught me a lot about meeting the needs of working line dogs. Before developing chronic back issues, we used to do basic gundog training and scent work together. Not only does Wiske suffer health issues, but she also used to struggle with behaviour issues. A combination of management and knowledge, but also a lot of love & patience, have helped me successfully modify these issues. Having a working line dog with health and behaviour issues living as a pet in a city can be quite a challenge! Before Wiske I had two Schapendoezen (with whom I did FCI-obedience). 

Yvonne Gerz : Behaviour coach and instructor

Yvonne Gerz

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog: At OhMyDog, I found a team of highly skilled and motivated instructors. I happily joined their international team in April 2021. At OhMyDog, they use evidence-based dog training methods without force, which really appealed to me. The most fulfilling aspect of my role as an Obedience Instructor is to watch a dog and his/her owner come in on their first lesson, and to see how they grow as a team and the harmony with which they interact by the end of the course.

As a Behaviour Coach in my colleagues’ lessons, I give additional attention to individual dogs or owners struggling with a particular exercise. 

Credentials: My ‘human’ qualifications are: HEAO propedeuse, HBO Middle Management, Masterclass internal communications + SRM for communication professionals. In terms of canine education, I obtained a kyno massage diploma (Silverlinde, 2018) and am currently working towards completing my Dog Training Instructor programme (Gaus Academy). I am also on the specialisation track for ‘Nosebedience’ – Tracking and Detection at the Detection Centre in Rotterdam.

Yvonne and Tony
Yvonne and Tony, one of her rescue dogs.

Daily work: In 2013, I settled back into the Netherlands after living abroad as a diplomat for 18 years. I currently work part-time as a senior advisor in a policy department.

Personal experience: Whilst abroad, I trained and rehabilitated my own stray dogs, and helped in K9 shelter situations in Uganda (2000-2004). I also provide daycare for emergency cases.

Sylvia Marinus : Behaviour coach and instructor

Sylvia Marinus

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog:  I first crossed paths with OhMyDog as a student, in 2018. After a less fortunate experience with another dog training school, starting with OhMyDog was like a breath of fresh air. The team clearly loves and understands dogs. After the puppy course, I followed OBD1, OBD2, OBD3 and even the dog/child classes. The dog behaviour bug had bitten me, and I couldn’t learn enough. Joining the team was the next logical step for me. After an intensive learning period, I started teaching my own puppy class in 2021, in which I help owners guide their dogs in this oh-so-important period.  

At OhMyDog, the dogs’ well-being comes first, and we focus on helping dogs and owners treat each other with respect. This focus gives you the best chance at a stable, happy family dog, and at building a solid bond for your dog’s whole life.  

I am also a Coach (I support the instructor in his/her lessons), where I offer 1-on-1 help to owners, and, if necessary, help the dog relax a little. Despite the lessons officially being group lessons, Coaches allow us to give each owner a personal touch.  

Credentials: I am a certified Kynological Instructor (O&O). My interests in dogs lie in the effect of castration; vaccination or titration; and dog massage and training with the senior dog. I also have two daughters (and many pets), and I find child-dog interactions in the family fascinating and want to delve further into this.

Sylvia and Keetje
Sylvia and Keetje, her Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

Daily work: Besides teaching and coaching at OhMyDog!, my other great love is: homes. I work in a small-scale real-estate agency in The Hague, where you will mainly find me in the office, together with my dog Keetje (the Floor Manager). What do real-estate and dog training have in common? Working with people. I am a real people person!

Personal experience:  I put everything I learn through my certifications, workshops and books into practice with my own dog Keetje (Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen), before passing it on to my students on the field. The richest field of knowledge that I have discovered about dogs is dog body language, through which I have learnt to read and understand my own and my students’ dogs so much better.

Pjotr Walraven : Behaviour coach and instructor

Pjotr Walraven

Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog: Eager to learn more about dog training – especially scientific and ethical training methods – I joined the OhMyDog team. After completing an intensive learning programme, I started teaching my own puppy classes for OhMyDog. Teaching these classes really appeals to me: I get to give people and their young dogs a strong foundation for further obedience training. I can also share advice about animal welfare and the prevention of behaviour problems.
 
Credentials: After completing my propaedeutic year in social work, I ventured into various academic disciplines, from Safety Management to History. I found out that studying is not for me and decided to retrain as a dog trainer. That is why I am now following Tinley Academy’s programme to become a certified dog training instructor.
 

Pjotr and Kyra
Pjotr and Kyra, his German Shepherd cross.

Dayjob: I am focusing on my rescue dog and my studies at the moment. 

Personal experience:  Kyra, a shepherd mix who was scared of other dogs, taught me so much about dog behaviour. Working on her fears taught me a lot about helping a high energy dog cope with stress and anxiety. I also learned about the importance of management, in parallel to actually working on the behaviour problems. I later also adopted Cooper – another high-energy shepherd mix. Cooper came to me with his own problems: because of his back issues, he is restricted in how much he can physically exert himself. So we had to find other ways to keep him mentally engaged and challenged. We learned a lot of tricks, regularly do nose work and have come up with all kinds of games.