Alicia Gautille has enjoyed training dogs starting from a young age. When she got her ﬁrst dog, a black Lab puppy, she taught him various different cues and tricks to show off to family members. Alicia’s love of animals led her to seek out a degree in Animal Science at Penn State in hopes of becoming a vet. During her time there, she raised a service dog puppy for an organization located near campus. Training a service dog using positive reinforcement sparked the desire in her to continue along the dog training path instead of the animal medical ﬁeld.
After college, Alicia landed a job as a bed bug detection dog handler for a pest control company in Maryland. She and her Golden Retriever, Terp, inspected houses, department stores, government buildings, and many other places in the DC metro area for bed bugs—and found plenty! After a few years of searching out bed bugs, Alicia started a new job as a diabetic alert dog trainer, traveling all over the country to aid clients in training their service dogs. Training diabetic alert dogs was very rewarding, but traveling three weeks out of every month quickly took a toll, so she moved back to Pennsylvania and took a job as an obedience and behavior trainer at a full service dog kennel.
During Alicia’s time training pet dogs at the kennel, she received her CPDT-KA certiﬁcation from the Certiﬁcation Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). The CPDT is an independent standardized test of dog training knowledge and abilities. Alicia enjoyed using her variety of training knowledge and experiences to help owners train their dogs in better behavior and obedience cues.
Alicia is excited to be back training service dogs with the PAWS Training Centers team. Her passion is helping those with disabilities gain independence through the aid of a well-trained service dog. Alicia currently lives in Montgomery County with her boyfriend and their two dogs — Terp the Golden Retriever, and Spartacus the Lab/Golden cross.