Meet the owners Certified Professional Dog Trainers - Knowledge Assessed
Carol A. Byrnes,
owner / instructor
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed / APDT Professional member / Associate Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants / Member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals / Charter member of the Association of Force-Free Pet Professionals Guild / Owner of Diamonds in the Ruff
Dana L. Byrnes,
owner / instructor
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed /
APDT professional member,
Owner of Diamonds in the Ruff
Carol & Dana opened Diamonds in the Ruff in 1996 with the goal of providing positive, dog and people friendly training for Spokane's pet owners. Their goal is to not just teach the mechanics of training, but provide instruction that helps their students develop an understanding of how dogs learn and view the world. (more About Us)
Behavior is the number one killer of pet dogs. More dogs are euthanized for bad behavior every day than are euthanized for overpopulation. According to the Humane Society of the United States, only 35% of all family dogs live out their natural lives with their original owners.
It is estimated that over 65% of the dogs surrendered to shelters across the country have a behavior problem that could have been prevented with early training, or could have been solved had the owners known some basics about dog training and behavior.
Dogs owned by humans who understand canine behavior and a few simple key components of learning theory will raise dogs who will become cherished members of the family. These dogs are more likely to remain in their homes permanently. We also understand that most pet owners do not want to be training "experts." They have busy lives and other priorities.
We and our staff of great trainers will strive to give you the tools you need to teach your dog to be the best friend he can be. Carol has developed a curriculum designed to meet the needs of families and their canine friends.
"What is My Dog Saying? - Canine Communication 101"
"WONDERFUL lecture & time well spent! I highly recommend anyone attending ~ whether you've been around dogs all your life, are adopting that first family member or already volunteering at local rescue, shelter or sanctuary... there's always room for improvement & something new to learn! **Highly Informative** and taught in positive & friendly environment that encourages audience questions. THANK YOU, Carol Byrnes & Diamonds in the Ruff - Training for Dogs & Their People for being amazing resource for the animals in our community!!"
- Mary Charbonneau, Washington Basset Rescue (WABR)
Meet Your Instructors
Diane has been a DITR instructor since we opened our doors in April of 1996. Her interests are competing in Canine Freestyle (dancing with your dog) and Agility. Diane loves tricks, games and relay races and brings them to all of her classes, especially the Foundations 2 Fabulous and Holiday Manners classes. Diane coordinates all performances of the Ruff Revue dance troupe.
Cathy is a long-time DITR instructor and has taught just about every class we offer and developed many of the fun advanced classes on our curriculum. In June of 2019, Cathy and her husband Larry retired to live on the Washington coast on the ocean. Although she is miles away, she continues to help dogs and their owners long distance!
Kim teaches a variety of classes at DITR, from beginning through advanced. In addition to group classes she also provides early puppy-hood education opportunities through Puppy Primer one-on-one lessons and our Sunday Puppy Confidence sessions. Kim began assisting in 1998, moving into the role of lead instructor in 2000 and passing the exam to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2012. She is a retired veterinary technician with over 25 years in veterinary medicine.
Amy is a dedicated and focused trainer, assisting and instructing at Diamonds in the Ruff for many years. Amy is an avid clicker trainer and in addition to teaching beginning through advanced classes, she leads the Tails & Trails hiking and snow shoeing class. In 2012, Amy passed the exam to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She and husband Dan are owners of Prairie Dog Pet Mercantile on Regal just N of 57th and in Kendall Yards.
Travis grew up surrounded by dogs and immersed in dog training with his parents, DITR owners Carol & Dana. He began assisting classes at DITR in 1996 when Diamonds in the Ruff first opened. After taking a break to start a family, he returned to assisting duties again in 2011 and took on full charge instructing duties in 2014. He sat for the CCPDT exam to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and passed in April of 2016. Travis shares his home with three human kids, two Italian Greyhounds, a Silken Windhound, and three cats. He volunteers with Carol as a class instructor for the Pawsitive Dog prison training program at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, starting in 2018.
After 35 years of customer service, Vicki finally retired. Now she can concentrate on more fun stuff--like dog training and dog sports. She adopted "Silly Sally" the border collie from Othello Rescue in 2010. "She has been the dog challenge of my life. I believe dogs teach us as much as we teach them." Vicki and her border collies, Sally, Oliver & Henry enjoy competing in agility. Vicki created "Me & My Dog" with her daughter Amy Barker. In 2014, she added "Agility for Fun" to our summer class offerings. Vicki is an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator and offers classes and testing year round.
Instructor - Assistant
Anita became involved as a class assistant through her work as part of the training team for the Pawsitive Dog Prison Training Program at the Airway Heights Corrections Center. She joined our Ruffian crew in the summer of 2014 as a class assistant for Diamonds in the Ruff and became a full-charge instructor in the summer of 2019. Anita loves animals of all kinds and has a soft spot for homeless pets. Anita enjoys helping owners build great relationships with their dogs. Anita became a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in 2019 and is working toward her CPDT.
Assistant - Ruff Revue member
Nancy is always fun, positive and professional and sets our students at ease. She has been assisting for DITR since the early years! Nancy and her Aussie Schuyler enjoy dancing with the Ruff Revue freestyle dance troupe and have created some pretty clever dance routines. Nancy is also a member of HEART - Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team where she has been dispatched to help rescue animals from floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
Dakota grew up with dogs, but it wasn't until she started volunteering with rescues in Los Angeles that she discovered her passion for working with them. While trying to break into the film industry she filled her free time volunteering, starting with simple walks and working up to basic training classes with under-socialized dogs. She started a job at a doggy daycare, which also sold high quality pet food and products. This is where her passion for helping dogs be the best they can be, from behavior to nutrition, began. She started at Prairie Dog Pet Mercantile in the Spring of 2016, and became an assistant at DITR in the Spring of 2017.
Gwen is as dedicated to the human end of the leash as she is the canine end. A retired school teacher, Gwen got a dog upon her retirement and began her journey of dog training at DITR. She now has two labradoodles that are her walking companions as well as ambassadors of joy! She attended many of the classes with her dogs as a student and is now assisting the trainers. Gwen joined us as an intern assistant in the summer of 2017 and soon took on regular assisting assignments.
Arielle and her husband are owned by two dogs who are the same breed, but very different personalities. Fernie is a petite little Rat Terrier who is shy and worried and Louis is a larger, athletic Decker Rat Terrier who is bold and scrappy. Arielle brings a flexibility and deep toolbox to her ability to help our students. Her dogs have taught her much about the need for adjusting approaches based on temperament and individual needs. Arielle joined our Ruffian team as an assistant in the Fall of 2018.
John has had a life long love of dogs and became interested in dog training when a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy made its way into his life in 2017. He loves dogs of all sizes but has a soft spot for the big guys. John and his wife Andi have attended many of the DITR classes with both their Berner and their Chocolate Lab and are big proponents of positive methods of dog and human training. A firm believer in that there are always new things to learn, if John is not assisting with a class you may see him in your next class with one of his dogs.
Taryn believes that each dog is a gift who comes into our lives for a reason, and teaches us exactly what we need to learn so we can grow into our full potential as kind humans and leaders.
In her first dog, a yellow lab named Milo, Taryn learned just how much love a dog and human can share, bringing joy with every breath, and flattering her into thinking she was a pretty good dog trainer! He loved to show off his fabulous tricks and go everywhere with her, enabling Taryn to do things she may not have been able to without such an amazing partner (from backpacking, to beaches, to the alpaca barn, he was always at the ready!). Milo gave Taryn his strength so that she could eventually find her own.
Eva brought hope when Taryn needed it most, helping her shape her life and purpose when life’s many challenges seemed too great to face.. “Hah! You had better up your training game there, mama!” said Eva (a blue standard poodle), and sent her deep down the dog-training rabbit hole, while making sure there is laughter every single day (and at a little over 2 years old, Eva already has more fancy letters behind her name than her entire family, with more to come! Evenstar Hope of Zeus SPOT CGC TKI).
Taryn is a member and instructor with the Coeur d’Alene Dog Fanciers, and she and her husband enjoy caring for Ru (12 year old pit/ridgeback rescue), and Snoopy (6 year old retired racing greyhound), and volunteering with Greyhound Pets of America. She joined our team in the Spring of 2019.
Thanks to the lessons of her many amazing dog and human teachers, Taryn is now able to support other teams in their growth and development, helping both ends of the leash learn to become true partners and enjoy their lives together. She is passionate about using current, scientifically proven training methodology in building strong foundations and solid relationships, so that each team can move towards their individual goals while enjoying their work and partnership.
Not in the Spokane area, but looking
for a positive trainer near you?
Dr Megan Bauer, DVM
Assistant - Advisor
Dr. Megan Bauer is a graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a small animal general practitioner with a special interest in behavioral medicine, especially canine anxiety, canine cognitive decline, and feline behavior. In addition, she is Fear Free Certified. Megan loves agility training with her dogs Remi and Oliver. Megan joined our team as an assistant in March of 2018 and is always available to advise us on veterinary related questions and concerns.
Dr. Megan Cathey is a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in the behavior and welfare of dogs and cats. She has taken additional training in this area, and has been providing behavior consults for 3 years. As a veterinarian, she is able to evaluate, diagnose, develop, and implement a treatment plan for behavior problems for your pet, including Rx care. Dr. Cathey started offering behavior consults for dogs and cats at our training studio in November of 2014.
Also check out the Force Free Trainers list.
Dr. Fanucchi began her veterinary studies at Tuiuti University in 2001 in her home country, Brazil. Shortly thereafter, she began her path to behavior medicine in 2002 where she began her work with exotic animals and wild species at the Pomerode Zoo in Pomerode, Brazil. In 2003, she moved on to work at the Parana Jockey Club where she did rehabilitation and behavior modification of racehorses for retirement. In 2004, Fanucchi worked simultaneously in the Animal Medical Center in New York and the ASPCA headquarters. She focused primarily on behavior training and working first hand with rescues for ASPCA.
After her time in New York, Dr. Fanucchi graduated with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and uprooted to Florida. In Florida, Dr. Fanucchi trained more extensively under a board certified veterinarian in behavior medicine and spent time working primarily with small animals at Country Inn Animal Hospital, which was also the facility within the Miami Border Patrol unit, for training of dogs to detect chemicals and explosives. In 2010, Dr. Fanucchi moved to Pullman, Washington to pursue her PhD, and her research focused on attachment systems and effects of separation in dogs.
Since moving to Pullman, Washington, Dr. Fanucchi has taken on various roles in academia as well as the community. She currently holds a Clinical Instructor position at Washington State University where she teaches courses on behavior of exotic and domestic animals, and is now seeing behavior cases in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She also runs the Shelter Training Program at our local Whitman County Humane Society where she serves on the board of directors.