Fran has more than 30 years of experience training animals and teaching people. She started working for a horse trainer at age 15 to help pay the expenses of her show jumper and by age 19 was taking on her own clients. She graduated from USC School of Nursing in 1982 and began her career as a Registered Nurse while continuing to train horses and teach their owners. Throughout Fran’s career in nursing, she sought out opportunities to use her teaching skills in patient and staff education. Fran worked as a Certified Rehab Nurse and Team Leader at The Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara until 1993 when she sold her horses in order to buy a home in San Jose.
After her San Jose home purchase, owning show horses was no longer financially feasable, so Fran decided to try her hand at dog obedience training. In 1994 Fran’s search for a dog training mentor led she and her Weimaraner puppy to Bay Area Dog Training. Her goal was to achieve the same joyful and sharp performance that she saw Mike Hatjes (Owner of BADT) demonstrate with his dogs. Fran’s dog became the highest scoring Weimaraner in the nation in Novice Level Obedience at the age of 14 mos, and Fran had begun her career as a dog trainer!
Fran continued to work as a Rehab Nurse as well as train dogs in her free time, and in 2006 she completed her internship with Bay Area Dog Training and began working for BADT half time. The other half of Fran’s time was spent as a Rehab Nurse for a disabled children’s program. At BADT, Fran taught group classes and provided private in-home training for clients with a wide variety of goals. In addition to teaching all of her clients how to give their dogs a solid obedience foundation, Fran worked with clients to resolve problem behaviors occurring in the home, in the show ring, in agility, and in therapy work.
In 2012 Fran retired from her Nursing career and returned to Santa Barbara to start “A Better Life Dog Training”. Fran’s personal goal is give all of her clients the tools they need to make their dogs happy and reliable companions. Her special interests are, senior dog owners, difficult to train breeds, and owners seeking to make their dog an outdoor adventure partner. Through her training, Fran looks forward to creating a better life for Santa Barbara dogs and their owners!