Evansville Obedience Club

Our Instructors

Meet Our Instructors

Mary Walker, Training Director

Classes taught: Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Adolescent Dog, CGC

Breeds: Standard Poodles     Meet Mary's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):


Awards: EOC Team Award 2022

Club Service: EOC Training Director, Membership Committee

Biography: I have loved dogs all my life and have been obedience training my own dogs since 2006 when my husband and I brought home our first standard poodle puppy. We have since added and trained four more wonderful standard poodles over the years and are constantly amazed at the intelligence and eagerness of a dog to learn.

Obedience training helps provide a foundation in good pet manners, and it teaches the human so much more about communicating and building a good relationship with your dog. Training introduced my husband Jim and I to a great community of other dog lovers, and gave us the opportunity to spend time having fun with our dogs. We continue with obedience classes and have gone on to compete in Obedience, Rally Obedience and Agility.

Training Philosophy: Positive and relationship based training philosophy.

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Kitty Gilbertson

Classes taught: Puppy Class

Breeds: Lhasa Apso and Tibetan Terrier     Meet Kitty's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):
UAG1, RN and CGC

Biography: I've been a member of EOC since 2000. After taking my first class I was hooked! This was not surprising since my love affair with dogs started at an early age. These kind of training opportunities were not available to me growing up, so I love to encourage people to take advantage of everything that's available today for them and their dogs.

Training Philosophy: The purpose of the Puppy Class is to introduce the handler (you) to training your puppy. And to introduce the puppy to learning. My goal is to make it fun for everyone. This class is purely positive reinforcement. The idea is to create an environment where the puppies can be successful. We address basic behavioral issues privately before and after class sessions, but class time is for learning and fun!

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Debbie Yoder

Classes taught: Beginner 1, Beginner Advanced, Skill Building

Breeds: Chinese Crested, Red & White Setter, Irish Setter    

Titles (showing highest in each area):
AKC: Information pending
UKC: Information pending

Club Service: Past President, Past Chair of Trial Committee, Past Trial Secretary


Training Philosophy:

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Mimi Nicholson

Classes taught: Puppy through advanced; Rally; specialty classes including engagement, proofing, and Beyond the Basics. AKC certified tester for STAR puppy, all levels of CGC, FitDog, Trick Dog, and Farm Dog.

Breeds: Border Collies     Meet Mimi's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):
AKC: UD, PUTD, all optional titling classes, RAE3, PT, CGCA, CGCU, FDC, TKI, FitDog, Conformation Championship pointed
IABCA: International Honors Championships to Platinum level
ICE: Honors championship, Rally-O level 3

EOC: Team Award, Rally Award, Achievement Award
UKC: Total Dog, reserve HIT

Club Service: past Secretary, past President, Mentoring Committee, Library Committee

Biography: Originally from St. Louis, MO with several stops before Evansville. I received my PhD in English from Purdue and for many years taught English composition, literature, and other subjects at the college level.  Had a state and federal grant for regional teacher training and development for the last 10 years before retirement.  Served on the Evansville-Vanderburgh County School Board for 24 years.  Was a Master Gardener until the weeds won.  Am now happily retired and spending time and money on my beloved border collies.

Training Philosophy: The secret ingredient of a great training relationship is seeing your dog as a partner and exercises as games that build a strong bond between the two of you. Whatever your objectives, casual to competition, they can be accomplished with positive training that creates engagement, mutual respect, and simply the joy of working together.

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Dave Chrisman

Classes taught: Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Retrieve, Heeling

Breeds: Standard Poodles     Meet Dave's Dog

Titles (showing highest in each area):

Club Service: Vice President

Biography: I have owned dogs my entire adult life. I’ve always had an interest in dog sports but only recently began participating. I own and operate MonsterClean when not having fun with dogs.

Training Philosophy: Least Intrusive Most Effective.

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Doris Phillips

Classes taught: Rally Novice, Rally Intermediate, CGC

Breeds: All American     Meet Doris's Dog

Titles (showing highest in each area):

Biography: I have pretty much had a dog my entire life. I was a member of EOC many years ago and earned a CD with my Newfoundland, Shasta. I came back to EOC when we adopted our current dog, Bryzzo. I feel that training and competing with my dog creates an even stronger bond between us and as an instructor I want to help others achieve this bond with their dog. I also enjoy being with people who love dogs as much as I do. Before coming back to EOC there were just not enough “dog people” in my life

Training Philosophy: I believe in positive training, but just like people, different dogs have different ways of learning and I want to help students find what works best for their dog.

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Cathi Blackburn

Classes taught: About Everything

Breed: Labrador Retriever, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois    

Titles (showing highest in each area):
Retrieve: MH, MNR, GRHRCH
Schutzhund: AD

Judge: Hunt Tests, Field Trials

Club Service: Retired EOC Training Director

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Lynn Miller

Classes taught: Rally Novice, Rally Intermediate, CGC

Breed: All American   

Titles (showing highest in each area):

Awards: Terry Blake Rally Novice A Award

Club Service: Club Secretary, Seminar Committee

Biography: Dogs have always been a huge part of our family. My husband, Kirk, and our two sons have welcomed many incredible dogs into our home including our funny and loyal boxer Blue, a sweet Yorkshire terrier named Indy, an energetic cockapoo named Bogey, as well as our beloved Aussiedoodle, Teddy Rrific. I began training my dog, Teddy, in AKC Rally and obedience a few years ago and love spending time with him while working on these fun and rewarding dog sports.

Training Philosophy: Positive and relationship based training with a focus on play along the way

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Sheryl Froehle

Classes taught: Beginner One, Beginner Two, Intermediate

Breeds: German Shepherd, Sheltie     Meet Sheryl's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):

Awards: EOC Blumenaur Award - multiple times

Club Service: Building Manager

Biography: (information pending)

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Lauren Kincaid

Classes taught: Puppy Class, Rally Coaching, Intro to Rally O

Breed: Black Labrador Retrievers    

Titles (showing highest in each area):
AKC: Obedience: CD, RM, RAE(2), OAP, NJP, CGCU, TKA, THDA

Awards: 2013 EOC Good Sportsmanship Award, 2020 EOC Dorothy Lang "Teddy" Award

Biography: I have lived with a dog or dogs most of my life. The first dog I ever loved was an English Cocker Spaniel. Dandy was my grandparents’ dog. He was quite a character and was the proverbial dog who stole a string of sausages off the butcher’s counter and ran out of the shop with the butcher in hot pursuit. Then it was Border Collies, because, well that’s where I lived in Scotland before my expedition to the New World. I came here to marry my husband who says he really wanted my dog and I was just part of the package. That dog was Jason, my first black lab who came with me from Scotland. I learned a lot from this master. He was followed by Cree named for a river near my home in Scotland. He was my first E.O.C. trained dog. He was a world champion counter-surfer. Then came the twins, Shane and Brodie, littermates who came to me from very successful Labrador and Newfoundland breeders in Martinsville, IN who became really good friends. There are some good stories as to how I was lucky enough to have these two brothers. They started me in Rally and Obedience competition and also Therapy Dog visits with all the training and visits involved with that aspect of our lives. They were a hit wherever we went. Sadly, I lost Shane in 2022 and now Brodie is my sole doggy companion, demo dog and therapy dog.

Training Philosophy: Positive, patient training with respect and love at both ends of the leash.

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Shelby Buono

Classes taught: Beginner One, Beginner Two, Rally, Beg. Agility

Breeds: Chihuahuas, Labradors, All American, Brittanys     Meet Shelby's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):


NADD: Dock Master, Dock Junior Excellent

Awards: EOC Performance Dog of the Year 2021, 2022

Club Service: Trial Secretary, Trial Advisory Committe, Training Instructor, Board Member

Biography: My love of dogs goes far beyond ribbons and awards. My parents when I was younger didn't really let me have dogs, until I got my first Chihuahua. I begged and begged for a dog, and finally I got one. She was the best and taught me so much. I taught her all kinds of tricks and to me that is all they were. Little did I know, I was teaching her obedience along the way. I was told I wasn't "allowed" to have any more animals until I was grown and out of their house. Well, when I moved out, I most definitely went for my dream of having larger dogs and sport dogs at that! I now own 5 and foster dogs as well to find forever homes. I always dreamed of doing something with dogs that would earn me a stable income and allow me to be happier in my working life. To this day, I have not worked a single job that didn't involve dogs. I am a Professional Bedbug Detection K-9 Handler and Trainer. My Nesdca certified K-9 and I work everyday to eradicate and find bedbugs in the Tristate area for Mcmahon Exterminating. Everyday is a blessing to be working and doing what I love. When I am not working, I am showing my dogs and involved in many club activities to keep me and my dogs on their toes with our obedience, rally and agility

Training Philosophy: Relationship Based Trainer - Utilizing relationships and games to get positive and chain reacting results. As a dog trainer, I am in it for the long haul and truly love helping Evansville Obedience Club's students achieve greatness within their dogs. I believe there is no better training than marinating every command with a cookie, marker and praise.

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Deborah Wade

Classes taught: Puppy, Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Rally Novice

Breeds: Poodles, Miniatures and Standards     Meet Deborah's Dogs

Titles (showing highest in each area):
AKC: CD, RE, CH, NAP, NAC, SWN, FCAT. Flyball Team Member
UKC: Obedience: U-CD
American Herding Dog Society: HCT-sheep


Awards: National Speciality Club Medallion for Agility, National Specialty Club Cup for Obedience

Club Service: member since 2000, past Club Secretary, Trial Secretary, Seminar Chairperson

Biography: Poodles were in my life before I was born. I trained my first poodle in obedience at 13 years of age through 4H, earning what was then a Grand Champion ribbon. During high school and college poodles were still part of my life, but not competitive training. I got back to training in the 90's when I started working with Rosie Baldwin. In order to start to compete, I found the Evansville Obedience Club. I am a CGC, STAR Puppy Evaluator, and AKC Fetch Judge. I am a past member of the Agility Club of Evansville. I have also been an active member of the Evansville Kennel Club as President, Vice President, Secretary, Seminar Chairperson, and Hospitality Chairperson for the Kentuckiana Cluster of Dog Shows.

Training Philosophy: Be positive, Be patient, Be consistent.

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