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My name is Yvonne!
I’m the owner of Ukiyo Dogs.

And beside me is
the one and only

My heartdog, soulmate, furry assistant, and best friend.

MY DREAM — live love leesh

It sparked as a kid and has grown into the wildfire it is today. Let’s be honest, I may be called a “dog trainer” but I’m really a giant nerd obsessed with learning anything and everything about dogs. I truly believe that the more I learn, the better I can be at helping others. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunities I have had in both my career and my education.

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I received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, which concentrated on animal behavior and neurobiology from the Lyman Briggs College. Lyman Briggs is a specialized, science-focused residential college at Michigan State University (MSU). During these years, I worked as a research assistant at one of the best research facilities at MSU.

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I also pursued my Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences at Bergin University of Canine Studies (BUCS). BUCS was founded by Dr. Bonita (Bonnie) Bergin, who invented the concept of the Service Dog in 1975. During this experience I had the opportunity to work alongside Bonnie as a mentor and professor, which taught me invaluable knowledge about training service dogs.

After BUCS, I was hired as a professional dog trainer at a dog training business that specialized in obedience training. During this time, I attained my certification as a professional dog trainer. After working for this company for about a year, I accepted a position as the head trainer and manager. For the next 4 years, I heavily focused on gaining hands-on experience with dogs of every breed, age, size, and gender. And in my opinion, some of the most difficult and most rewarding dogs in Colorado. It was in this process that I sharpened my skills in dog training, found my stride, and gained the confidence needed to start my own business.

Dog training is a never-ending process of learning. While we have a good understanding of dogs, we have only scratched the surface. I’m very grateful that I’m in a field that is always learning and offering research, seminars, webinars, podcasts, and literature that keep us up to date on this process.

One of my favorite seminars to date was when Zahra and I received our certification at the Ford K9 CSDT Seminar:

Why Dog Training?

Dogs have changed my life for the better. I can truly say that I would not be the person I am today without them. I’m truly thankful for each and every dog I have had the opportunity to work with. They have taught me how to embrace the “ukiyo” mindset and lead a more fulfilling life – and for that I’m eternally grateful.

Dogs are our daily reminders
to live as if someone left the gate wide open
to embrace what makes you feel alive
and to chase our dreams.

My dream is to help both humans and dogs live their best lives.
To teach others how to connect more deeply and passionately with their
dogs, themselves, and the world around us.

I truly believe that the more we can help dogs
become the best versions of themselves
the more that they can teach humans to do the same.

And if we can experience this with our dogs,
can you imagine what it would be like
if we could share this same compassion
with ourselves and the world around us?

I believe it can change the world.
And I’m going to spend the rest
of my life learning how.

And this is my dream –
to make a difference in the world
one dog at a time.
This is what fuels my passion –
what makes me feel most alive
what I envision as “ukiyo.”

A man’s dreams are
an index to his greatness.”
— Zadoc Rabinowitz

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