MEET OUR DOG TRAINER INSTRUCTORS | THE DOG WIZARD ACADEMY
Gretchen Hollifield - Founder and CEO
I have been training dog for 20 years now. I always knew that I wanted to work with dogs for a living, but I had no idea what kind of a roller coaster I was in for when I started this journey. First, after graduating from college, I decided to try a more “traditional” career choice but realized really quickly that I was miserable in the office setting. I needed to be with dogs and outside preferably. So, I decided to go back to school to become a dog trainer.
After graduation, I realized really quickly that I loved being a dog trainer, but I only made just above minimum wage, which was hard to live and pay bills without having another job. So I spent the next 6 years figuring out the ins and outs of what worked and what did not, which programs were most rewarding, and what produced the happiest clients, and of course what produced the happiest dogs. Once all this was figured out….I started The Dog Wizard in 2005 and never looked back. I finally felt like I had a career instead of a job. I also felt like I had a future that I could plan by and prepare for retirement one day. As a result of this journey, I figured out that there was a void with existing dog trainer’s schools that teach aspiring dog trainers how do what they love without sacrificing their career, income, freedom, and happiness. SO, I started the Dog Wizard Academy to fill this void and help future dog trainers live the dream that I have been living for the past 7 years!
Lorrayne Hurley - Franchise Consultant
Lorrayne has been with The Dog Wizard from almost the very beginning back in 2006. She started out a client that needed help with a dog she rescued that had been beaten by some teenagers. Charlie had lost an eye due to severe abuse and was extremely nervous and unsure. Luckily, he was rescued by one of the biggest animal lovers on the planet, and he is now a very fun loving goofy happy beagle mix. Lorrayne used to be the first voice everyone heard when they called The Dog Wizard but these days she works as Gretchen's assistant helping run things at the Academy. We stole her from the music business, as she is an awesome musician (ask her to sing). Her work ethic is amazing along with her wacky humor! And her accent certainly doesn’t hurt either. A smart, funny, English-Irish, Vegan animal rights activist, is how we describe Lorrayne. She resides with 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 rats, 2 children, and a husband too.
Clyde Burger - Head Treat Tester
Clyde Burger takes his position of head treat tester very seriously. He will not let a bad treat enter the training field. Many times, Clyde will eat mediocra treats himself just so other dogs do not have to be subjected to subpar treats. Clyde takes pride in quality control and searches for only the best ingredients in the treats. Clyde is also very generous with his treats, as he visits the homeless shelters frequently to deliver the tastiest treats to it's residents until they find a home of their own. Thanks Clyde Burger for taking on this role and saving the the dog world some lbs.
Cousin Eddie - Head Social Coordinator
Cousin Eddie, aka known as Eddie Boy, is a natural in his social coordinator role. He loves to get large groups of friends tougher for networking, marketing events, or just a good ole' fun party. He loves connecting new and old friends to make for a bigger network and audience. Regardless whether he is at the doctor for rear end exam or the local watering hole, Eddie Boy can make a friend anywhere. We feel lucky to have Eddie Boy on our team!
Noelle Woodhead- Office Manager
Noelle has been part of The Dog Wizard family since she started her path as a trainer in Charleston SC in 2012. After 5 years in the Lowcountry and 4 years of helping dogs and their owners to have a better life, it was time to get back to her roots in New Jersey. It was a tough decision not to be hands on with owners and their dogs but now as the office manager she gets to continue to be part of the wizard family and clients lives! Her first hand knowledge of the training side adds a huge benefit to the day to day operations in the office. It helps us be more efficient, creating processes to help better our clients experience as she understands our clients needs that much more! Whether you are a first time caller or a current client, Noelle’s passion for canine’s and their people exudes from the moment you start talking to her. She has an unending love for her three dogs Lexi, Trinity and her newest addition Huckleberry as well as the man that stands by her side, Evan. Noelle is focusing on field trial obedience with Huckleberry and has the pleasure of frequenting the river with the dogs and exploring the beautiful trails and landscape of The Garden State.
Amy Campbell - Office Assistant
Amy is a recent transplant to Charlotte, and The Dog Wizard is very lucky to have her on the team! Amy has a very important role with being the first point of contact for Dog Wizard clients. She helps manage the day-to-day needs, phone calls, and appointments which she does flawlessly. The best part about her job is not only getting to talk with clients about their dogs but also having her rescue mutt, Winston, hang out with her all day! We would be lost without her.