Making it as a dog professional is hard.
We’re here to help!

Join the waitlist!


Join our coaching program to get help with…

Tough Behavior Cases

We meet monthly to discuss case studies and share tips and ideas.


Challenging Clients

Learn about dealing with client issues in our live calls and presentations.

Growing Your Business

Get tips on adding staff, marketing that works in the real world, and more!

Four Trainers- One Mission

The four of us have more than five decades of professional experience as dog professionals. Over the years, we’ve each tried a lot of different things. We stumbled some of the time but kept going anyway, learning what works (and what doesn’t) as we went along.

A few years ago, we happened to wind up in a small Mastermind group together. It didn’t take long for us to discover that we (a) worked really well together, and (b) could help each other stumble less.  A couple of years after that, we realized our many years of experience (including the mistakes we had made) meant we could help other dog professionals avoid some of the mistakes we had made, and find a smoother path to the business of their dreams.  The result is this coaching program.

The Freak’n Awesome Dog Project was created by Irith Bloom, Cassi Perez, Maria Schultz, and Laura Hills.

Here are some highlights from our careers as dog professionals:

  • Irith speaks at conferences, seminars, and webinars worldwide, and is faculty or a board member for multiple dog-related organizations.

  • Cassi owns the most successful dog walking/pet sitting business in Sacramento, CA.

  • Maria is a branding and design expert, as well as a social media influencer.

  • Laura regularly hosts dog events at her 15,000 square foot facility and grows her profits through strategic partnerships with local organizations.

  • Cassi and Laura both have brick-and-mortar facilities with retail.

  • Laura and Irith have been running businesses in the dog training industry since the early 2000s.

  • Laura, Irith, and Cassi all mentor other dog professionals.

  • All four of us have extensive education in dog training and behavior.

  • We’ve all done both training and behavior consulting for many years, ranging from puppy classes to canine fitness, dog sports, behavior consulting, and more.

  • We’ve all worked with clients both privately and in group classes and workshops.

  • Between our four businesses, we have a staff of 35 people.

  • We have written a book together, and Maria has written three others on her own.

Laura Hills

In 2001, Laura found a young, stray dog she named Dudley who changed the trajectory of her life. Dudley was challenging from day one, and as he matured, his behavioral issues only worsened. When looking for local resources for help, Laura received many suggestions that made her uncomfortable. This led her to search the internet, where she stumbled across a seminar on the topic of reactivity given by a well-respected behaviorist. Little did Laura know attending that seminar would put her life on an entirely new path. Laura eventually left her corporate job and founded The Dogs’ Spot – Dog Training Center, which is located in North Kansas City, Missouri. Laura and her staff specialize in teaching Puppy, Manners, Agility, Reactive Dog, and other group classes. Laura also enjoys earning Trick Titles (including with her blind and deaf collie, Fiona), competing in Agility, and taking cross country road trips with her husband.

Laura is a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA), Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT), Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), N.A.D.A.C. Endorsed Agility Instructor, Fear Free Certified Professional, AKC Canine Good Citizen and Trick Dog Evaluator, and Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer, Faculty Advisor, and Mentor.

Irith Bloom

Irith has loved animals for as long as she can remember. She grew up with dogs, gerbils, and a pet snake (who was housed far from the gerbils), and was fascinated by horses. After years of (unsuccessfully) begging her parents to let her ride, she took matters into her own hands and won a horse in an essay contest. Irith’s parents were too busy to train the animals, so Irith got good at teaching useful (from the human point of view) skills to non-human animals. A self-admitted geek, Irith has spent a great deal of time studying the science of behavior. She is fortunate enough to be invited regularly to give presentations on a variety of animal- and learning-related topics. Her writing on these topics has been published both online and in print.

Irith is faculty at Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior and DogBiz’s Dog Walking Academy. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA), a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA), a Canine Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC); a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT); a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP); a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), and a Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She is a Fear Free Certified Professional and certified in TAGteach, a positive-reinforcement method for teaching humans.



Cassi Perez

Cassi has spent her life around animals. At a young age, she began riding and taking care of horses. As a child, she was always bringing home kittens and strays and begging to keep them. She began pet sitting and house sitting for family and neighbors at the age of 12. She later worked with children as an ABA behavioral tutor while working towards her BA in psychology. After some wildlife-inspired travel to India, to see tigers, and Africa, to see mountain gorillas in the wild, Cassi decided to use her background in behavior and her love of animals to start Midtown Mutts, a dog training, dog walking, and pet sitting business in Northern California. Midtown Mutts has now grown into
a team of 20 dog walkers and trainers.

Cassi is a certified trainer through Karen Pryor Academy (KPA-CTP) and Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA-CDT). She enjoys adventuring around town
and in the wild with her husband and hounds to breweries and cafes.
Hiking, camping, and kayaking are the things that make Cassi the happiest. Cassi also runs Hound Culture, an online community that helps others find adventures big and small, at home, around town, and in the wild,
with their dogs by their sides.

Maria Schultz

Maria is an outdoor enthusiast, author, and dog trainer. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Maria is now based in central Virginia, where she lives with her husband and three Australian shepherds, Riley, Bodie and Willow. The first day Maria ever got on a stand up paddleboard Riley was with her – they learned the sport together. That summer they attracted lots of attention and curiosity from people who wanted to learn to paddle with their own dogs. There were few resources available on training this skill, so Maria took matters into her own hands and combined her passions for graphic design, dog training, and paddling to create her first book How to SUP With Your PUP. Since then, Maria has also published Paddle Tails, Reflections on People and Dogs Who Find Balance on the Water, and My Dog and Me, a Bucket List Journal for Dogs and Their People. Maria also teaches SUP PUP classes and basic manners classes, as well as holding clinics on canine fitness and outdoor adventures with dogs. When she’s not out paddling, Maria also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, and finding new ways to wear herself – and her dogs – out.

Maria is a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT), and an ACA-certified
stand up paddleboard instructor.


The membership includes:

• Monthly coaching calls
• Monthly case study meetings
• Monthly presentations on different topics
• Support between live events
• Access to a peer community

Making it in the dog training industry is tough.
We’re here to help.

Use the form below to join the waitlist!

Get OUR book

Do your clients pester you with questions about their puppies incessantly? Take some of the load off by giving them a copy of the book many pet professionals now give to all their puppy clients, Your Puppy and You! 

The book is a step-by-step, interactive guide that helps pet parents make progress and keep track of puppy milestones from eight weeks to two years of age. Raising a puppy can be overwhelming for your clients, but Your Puppy and You is here to help!