About Us

Owner and Trainer – Marie Devaney Conyers

Marie-Cozy-Harry-OutsideHello and welcome to The Fundamental Dog, where we are dedicated to helping dogs and their people build relationships based on trust and understanding. I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to love your dog but not be able to “control” him. For over a decade, I’ve studied with some of the leading experts in positive-reinforcement dog training, and I find great joy in sharing that knowledge with others.

As a volunteer with two national rescue groups (first Aussies, then Springers), I’ve fostered well over one hundred dogs – and they have been my best teachers! I’ve also taught dogs in shelters, provided training to shelter adopters and volunteers, and counseled foster parents and adopters around the country.

As a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, I completed an intensive education and was required to demonstrate a high level of skill in training dogs as well as teaching dog owners. For more info about this certification, visit http://www.karenpryoracademy.com. I’m also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. I strive to keep current with advances in dog training through seminars, workshops, books, and professional trainer practice and discussion groups. View my list of my educational activities.

Read about my dogs here.

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Our Team Of Instructors

Judy Walter – FLYBALL & AGILITY

JudyWalterJudy has been involved in flyball since 1999, achieving the Flyball Grand Champion (FGDCh) title with three dogs! She has also received Flyball Master (FM) with one dog. If you’d like to see what’s involved in that achievement, check out this linkhttp://www.flyball.org/flyball_titles.html

Judy has also been training for agility since 2000, and has numerous agility titles with her dogs, including ADCh Platinum, MACh2, and Lifetime Achievement Gold.

DogsMACh “Carly”, RN, MXB, MJB, AXP, AJP, XF, ADCh Gold, LAA Gold, PDCh, FGDCH MACh 2 “Kick”, MXS, MJS, T2B, XF, ADCh Platinum, LAA Gold, FGDCH “Trace”, ADCh, MX, MXJ, MJB, T2B, OF, FM “Mia” CIT (Cutie in Training)

All of Judy’s dogs are personal rescues or rescues adopted from Border Collie Rescue Texas. Judy is a sensitive, observant and kind trainer who believes totally in positive reinforcement training. She vows that a clicker and treats are her most valuable training tools. Judy lives in Tomball with her four dogs and frequently, a foster dog or two.

Sharon Shoemaker – PUPPY AND BASIC CLASSES

Sharon is a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Behavior and Training, where she graduated with distinction with her standard poodle, Noah. Sherry has assisted in the training of dogs for over 15 years, and currently has a private obedience training business based in the Katy area. Noah convinced her to adopt her second poodle mix, Danny, who was meant to be a temporary foster-in-training for poodle rescue. Sharon will often be found at The Fundamental Dog instructing our Little Dog Manners, Puppy Classes, or Basic Manners groups, when she can take time out from seeing her own clients, cooking for her church, baking fabulous cakes, or enjoying home life with her husband, her dad, and two lucky dogs.

Mary Kay Hasseman – THERAPY

Mary Kay

Mary Kay is a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor  Academy of Animal Behavior and Training, where she trained dogs  as well as horses with clicker training. Her competitive titles with dogs include an AKC Obedience CD. Mary Kay has successfully competed in international level dressage competition, training and showing two Thoroughbred horses to the Prix St. Georges level. She has taught riding and trained horses at her own facility for over 30 years.

marykaySince 2008, Mary Kay has been designing programs for her miniature horse, Trinket, a Delta Society Pet Partner, to  visit special education classes in the Magnolia and CyFair  School Districts. Her work with Trinket inspired her to  complete the Delta Society Pet Partner Instructor course and to offer classes in training therapy animals. Mary Kay and her dog Kismet have been reading partners for  elementary students since 2012. Mary Kay, Daisy and Kismet performed freestyle routines at the Houston World Series of Dog Shows for the past  three years. She recently launched Tutors with Tails, a new program in 2015 featuring  mindfulness based learning activities with therapy animals.

Mary Kay loves to share new thoughts and ideas with students and their animals. She resides in Tomball, TX with her husband and their 6 horses, a miniature donkey, 2 rescued  dogs, and 4 cats.

Dean Nistetter – THERAPY

DeanDean Nistetter is a Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Behavior and Training. He has a strong passion for working with dogs as therapy animals and has been involved with various pet therapy programs for over 11 years. He and his pets have contributed thousands of hours of volunteer therapy service at hospitals, trauma recovery facilities, assisted living centers, alzheimer units, rehabilitation facilities, and schools. Dean currently serves as a Board Member for Montgomery Pet Partners, Inc. (MPP). He is also MPP’s Director of hospitals, senior living, and TIRR services. Dean’s personal pets trained as therapy dogs have included Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Great Danes. He is currently training a new Great Dane puppy (Gabby) to become a registered therapy animal.