Bio – Samantha Bissell

Sam Working with a few Hounds - Bio - Samantha Bissell

Sam is a life-long animal lover. Her early formal training originated with horses before leading to her true passion; working with dogs. As a young adult, she created a program teaching young children (Kindergarten – second grade) how to approach and interact with dogs. Additionally, she trained her own dog for her A.K.C. Canine Good Citizen award, to prepare for dog therapy work at nursing homes.

Sam’s passion for working with dogs led her to attain a Master’s degree in Psychology, while she worked in a Dog Cognition Lab in New York City. Her research focused on the owner-dog relationship and how playing with your dog releases ‘love’ hormones for both dogs and their owners. To further develop her understanding of dog behavior, she continued her education by enrolling as a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska Omaha. This avenue of research expanded into how early life stress can affect the relationship between dogs and their owners as well as the availability of the dog’s DNA to encode for the stress response.

Serendipitously, Sam met Dog Gone Problems’ founder David Codr at the Aksarben Farmers Market when he was in the process of rehabilitating a little Border Terrier named Max. This chance meeting led to Sam working with David and becoming an invaluable member of the Dog Gone Problems team; bridging her academic dog-knowledge into the real world. Sam was inspired by the work that David did, helping people and families transition from having a challenging relationship with their dogs to having a true companionship. After starting out as an intern, Sam spent hours shadowing David at his behavioral sessions to gain knowledge and experience. This led Sam to became the lead trainer who created the curriculum for our puppy training and socialization classes. Sam has now graduated to conducting her own dog behavior and training sessions.

Dogs are fascinating – they have been bred to understand people far better than any other animal. This is why the bond between us is so special. However, it can be tricky to understand what your dog is communicating to you. This is Sam’s favorite part of her work; helping people like you better understand your dogs, help problem solve for unwanted behaviors and provide you with the necessary tools to build a wonderful relationship with your dog.

Whatever behavior problem you are facing, Sam will create a custom strategy to help you and your dog be successful. Depending on your goals and the behavioral issues you are facing, she offers both Behavior Sessions and Dog Training. The Behavior Sessions are up to three-hours long to provide the time to work on several behavioral issues at once. Dog Training appointments are one hour long, typically used to target one or two specific commands, tricks or obedience training; loose-leash walking, the Stay, basic commands, or additional support after a behavior session.