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Sam started training dogs in 2008, after her first dog was killed by a larger dog. Inspired to use training to keep dogs safe (and alive), she apprenticed under the late Margot Woods, a nationally renowned dog trainer (and founder of Fido’s for Freedom). Sam graduated in 2011 with a BS in Biology from UMBC, and graduated from Margot’s Professional Dog Trainer program shortly after.

Sam opened Leash Free Living in 2012, where she has been able to assist thousands of dogs along in their training journey, and continues to be inspired to use training as a gateway to fun and exciting adventures with dogs.

While training pet dogs to behave for their owners in a home and community setting is her main goal, she also competes in AKC Obedience and Rally competitions with her own dogs and client dogs to continuously challenge and refine her training skills. Sam has put titles on nine different dogs (listed below), including earning Rally Championship Titles with two Golden Retrievers and earning the first and only Obedience Trial Championship with a Maltese.

  • Labrador Retriever, Pete: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title (Video)
  • Labrador Retriever, Holly: Companion Dog Title (Video)
  • Golden Retriever, Lily: Companion Dog Title
  • German Shepherd, Diesel: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title (Video)
  • Golden Retriever, Zach: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent, Rally Master, RAE, Rally Champion (RACH) (Video)
  • Golden Retriever, Sadie: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent, Rally Master, RAE, Rally Champion (RACH) (Video)
  • Maltese, Rugby: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title, Utility Dog Title, UDX Title, Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH), Rally Novice, Rally Advanced (Video)
  • Doberman, Bourbon: Companion Dog Title, Companion Dog Excellent Title, Utility Dog Title, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent, Rally Master, RAE (Video)
  • Schnoodle, Lemon: Companion Dog Title, Rally Novice Title, Rally Advanced Title (Video)

Sam currently has three dogs of her own: Rugby (14 year old Maltese), Bourbon (9 year old Doberman Pinscher), and Lemon (4 year old Schnauzer x Poodle). Rugby is living the retired life, but you can still find Bourbon assisting in socialization and demonstrations at Leash Free Living. She also makes an appearance in the Rally ring occasionally. Lemon has made her debut in the Obedience and Rally rings and is perfecting her skills to complete her remaining titles in the next year.

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