Staff 2017-01-10T22:13:29+00:00


Student Escort

Jillian, pictured with Wally (a customers dog). Jillian joined us in October 2017. She attends Walled Lake Central, Class of 2020. She has a Daisy Dog named Chica, and a horse named Iris. Jillian enjoys dance, horseback riding, and art.


Student Escort

Gina, pictured with Kane (a customers dog). Gina joined us in May 2017. She attends Harrison High School, Class of 2018. She has two dogs. A Boston Terrier/Brittany Mix named Sophie and a Aussie/Springer Mix named Pepper. Gina enjoys cooking and art.


Student Escort

Sophie, pictured with her Corgi, Bruce. Sophie joined us in August 2017. She attends High School in Novi, Class of 2018 with plans on attending Wayne State University for Special Education. Along with her dog Bruce, she has a cat named, Meias. Sophie enjoys art.


Student Escort

Samuel, pictured with his Lab Mix, Kenny G. Sam joined us in October 2017. He attends Schoolcraft College and is planning on transferring to a school in Nashville to start his music career. In his spare time he enjoys making music.


Student Escort

Payton, pictured with Alaina's Paws With A Cause dog Uker. Payton joined us in August 2017. She attends Churchill High School, Class of 2019. She has two dogs, a Shih Tzu named Gavin and a Labradoodle named Noah, a cat named Meow Meow, a lizard named Lila and a horse named Jake. Payton enjoys working with dogs and the company of her friends.



Kevin joined our team in 2017 as a play-field coach. He does not have any pets of his own so he loves working at Canine College! Kevin attends Oakland Community College and is majoring in Business Administration. With his spare time Kevin enjoys playing and watching various types of sports. He also loves to play video games with friends. (Kevin is pictured with Jadah the labradooodle).


Housekeeping - Student Care Specialist

Tavaris joined us as a housekeeper and you may even see him helping out up front by running dogs. His brother Donte who has been with us for quite a few years helped him get the job! Tavaris recently graduated from North Farmington High School and plans to attend college for automotive engineering next year. He has a dog of his own named Auntie. With his spare time, Tavaris enjoys playing video games and spending time with his friends.


Field Coach/Housekeeping

Michelle has been with us since February 2016 as a field coach and housekeeper. She loves dogs so much that she even has three of her own! She has two pitt/chihuahua mixes, Luna and Scrappy-Do, as well as, a pitt mix named Scarlett. In addition to her dogs, she has a cat named Stella. With her spare time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her 4 year old son, Jerry. You can also find her shopping, seeing new movies, and eating out with her friends and family with her free time. (Michelle is pictured with Agnes the English Bulldog)



JT is a recent MSU graduate who loves anything involving sports or dogs. He has a puggle of his own named "Cheerio", who loves accompanying his dad to work!

CJ Bentley

Certified Dog Trainer, Training Department Head

CJ started helping Canine College with our training program in April 2015. CJ Bentley is a dog behavior expert who has taught group dog obedience classes for the Michigan Humane Society for 20 years, developed the Pet Education Center, she was instrumental in developing the curriculum and business model that became the MHS Pet Education Center. She helped put MHS on the map with the “positive reinforcement training” philosophy that is now common place but was considered quite progressive years ago. She is a much sought after lecturer and published author. CJ joined Canine College as our Training Department Head in the summer of 2017.


Sr. Student Escort

Holly is our most Senior Student Escort here at Canine College. She actually followed in her brother's footsteps after he was one of our original Escorts as well. Holly will be attending Michigan State University in the fall of 2017. After she graduates from MSU, Holly is planning on enlisting in the army. Holly has a black lab named Belle, who comes in to Canine College when Holly and her family go on vacations!



Kelly has her own cookie baking/decorating company. She works as a coach on all of our play fields. She has a black lab named Boots. Kelly started here in November 2016!



Ryan plays hockey and drives the zamboni for the rink. He works as a play field coach on our Varsity field. He has a kitten. Ryan has been with us since October 2014!



Blake volunteers at a Bat Sanctuary. He works as a coach on our Varsity play field. He has a lab mix named Arti and a Russian Tortoise named Bobalovintopsinfrotsi that is 5 years old and has a life expectancy of 50 years. Blake is an Eagle Scout and has a Bachelors Degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. Blake started here in March 2015!


Honors Training

Sarah joined our Canine College Training team in 2016 and is most often seen answering questions about our dog training program. She is a 2011 graduate of U of M with a degree in History and Environmental Studies, she loves to stay home with her dog Sandie and read. Sarah was more of a cat person but once she Sandie entered her life she fell in love with dogs.



Lynette is one of our Varsity field coaches and has been an animal lover her whole life. Her employment history includes working with animal in every job. Lynette has 2 dogs of her own: Tremmel, who is a Beagle/Bassett Mix, and Whitaker, who is a Pit Bull. With her free time, she likes to volunteer at the Mutts and Mutts Animal Rescue.


Student Care Specialist

Kristin is one of our housekeeping staff. She loves animals and has quite a few of her own: Max (Cockatiel), Sparty (Leopard Gecko), Bailey (Shih Tzu/Maltese Mix), and a tarantula. When she isn’t working, she loves to read and watch movies with her pets. (Kristen is shown in this photo with Prince the mini poodle).


Student Services

Donte does it all here at Canine College! He enjoys the dogs and has one at home named Auntie. He is an exceptional artist and creates the art on our Campus Happenings board. In his free time he likes to go running on the beach, go to the movies and hang with his friends.



Linda has been grooming with us for years - just a few years after we opened. She has been grooming for 7 years and most of our staff call her the, “Dog Whisperer.” When she isn’t at Canine College, she likes to travel, and spend time with her grandchildren. Linda also has 2 dogs of her own: Maggie Mae and Griffin. (Linda is grooming Prim)



Brittney, close friend of Admissions Specialist Emily, joined Canine College in late 2014. Starting out as just a Playfield Coach, we quickly realized that she was fit for multiple positions in our building - you can find her anywhere! Brittney absolutely loves pugs and has been a dog lover her whole life! Although she doesn't have a dog of her own, Brittney has two cats named, Bella and Zoey. With her spare time, Brittney can be found going to concerts and movies, traveling with family and friends, and going to Detroit Red Wings games! Brittney is pictured with Clutch the Rottweiler!


Admissions and Coach

Dylan started working with us in October of 2014. He was drawn to doggy daycare by his passion for dogs and one day hopes to purse a vet technician degree. Dylan can be seen in the playfield and at the front desk as an Admissions Specialist. Dylan has a gorgeous black pit bull at home named Dozer. On his days off, he enjoys attending music shows and spreading positive vibes. The staff and all the dogs love Dylan!


Student Care Specialist

Eric joined our team as a student escort and excelled so well that he now is one of our Student Care Specialists! He has a doodle, poodle, and mutt at home who keep him company while he games the nights away. Prior to working with us, Eric had little experience with dogs besides his own, but has shown to have natural abilities working with our favorite hounds!


Lead Coach

Sarah joined our team in July 2013. She has a biology degree from Grand Valley State University. Sarah enjoys drawing and hiking in her free time. Sarah loves animals, she has two golden retrievers named Jack & Maya, a toad, & a bird. Sarah loves the Varsity field!


Coach and Student Services

Alaina joined our staff in early March 2013! She does many different jobs throughout Canine College. She owns 3 dogs, Loki, Lola & Cookie. In her spare time she raises & trains service dogs for Paws With A Cause.


Admissions Specialist

Darlene joined our staff in November 2013. You may have seen Darlene in our lobby prior to that with her dog Shelby, as they were a customer before joining our staff! Her furry Canine College Student, Shelby, an American Eskimo, started attending daycare back in April 2011. Darlene is a proud grandma of three girls and a boy. She loves nothing more than to spend her spare time gardening and taking care of her koi pond. Her favorite flowers are peonies and roses.


Certified Dog Trainer

Debbi joined our staff in July 2013 after deciding to leave the corporate world and follow her passion, working with dogs. She trains service dogs for people with disabilities, and is currently a Puppy Raiser for Paws With A Cause, where she also helps with the training of the puppies. Debbi passed her Trainer Certification in 2016 after working as a volunteer trainer and Behavior Specialist with the Michigan Humane Society. She is our in-house full-time dog trainer and can be seen in our training center Monday - Friday. In her spare time she is a wife and mother of three, and can be found on a lacrosse field watching her boys play or her husband coach! Debbi's email at Canine College is


Admission Specialist

Sam joined our staff in April 2013. Sam's sister, Amber, also works with us as one of our managers (you might have seen her in the lobby). Between Sam and her parents, she has two dogs, Tonic and Tequila, as well as 3 cats, Marco, Max, and Mandy. In her spare time, Sam loves to read. When the weather is nice Sam, along with Tonic and tequila, will walk up to Silver Dairy in Farmington for some ice cream. (Sam is pictured with Tonic and Tequila) Get to know Sam - we have plans to keep her here a long long time!


Student Care Specialist

Lauren joined our family in 2013 and loves helping us by making sure all our furry friends are taken care of properly and lots of love! She is the quiet one in our Canine College family, but we learn something new about her every day! She has a gecko and a black cat named Panda. In her spare time, Lauren likes to volunteer with the birds of prey at the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Lauren has a degree in computer animation and really enjoys drawing, especially birds. She is a great addition to our team! Welcome Lauren!


Student Services

Emily joined our staff in March 2013, originally as a Student Escort. Soon after she decided to become a member of our Student Services Department. Emily is attending the University of Michigan - Dearborn and is majoring in English with a minor in Journalism and Screen Studies. She has two boxer mixes named, Captain and Dooley, as well as 2 guinea pigs, named Abby and Fluffy. In her spare time she loves to go to concerts and travel with friends. Emily is a huge Detroit Red Wings fan and can be found at games regularly!


Playfield Coach

Alison joined our staff in February 2013. You will often see her in the Varsity field - Allison has a beautiful Golden named Griffin who is at her side while she works on her many arts and crafts projects. Alison loves drawing and knitting and LOVES the BIG dogs! Welcome Alison!


Facilities Maintenance Manager and Playfield Coach

Fred joined our faculty in January 2009 and we don't know how we got along without him! Fred was looking for part-time work and ended up staying on FT, taking a lead position here. Fred loves all dogs and is most often seen in the Varsity playtfield. However; Fred and his lovely wife own several pugs, Lulu is most often seen tearing around on the JV field. Fred is a Certified Pet Care Technician.


Playfield Lead Coach

Stephanie joined our faculty in April 2007. Steph had little exposure to dogs prior to working at Canine College but quickly found she loved them! She has worked her way through the pack and is now one of our primary Lead Playfield Coaches. Stephanie knows every dog, every characteristic ... she is amazing! She is the proud owner of Carley, a dog we were fostering at Canine College whom she adopted! Stephanie is a Certified Pet Care Technician.


Assistant Dean

Amber joined our faculty (drumroll ...) August 2006! Amber loves Border Collies and is the proud owner of Gunnar and Shooter! Amber is responsible for admitting top-notch recruits to Canine College for a smart, healthy and vibrant student community.


Dean of Students

Heather joined our faculty in October 2009. She has loved animals all her life and is the proud owner of Prince (poodle mix), Dillon (unknown mix) and Mason (pug). Heather is often seen at the front desk, helping our furry student's owners, working with staff to keep the front lobby, aka the Bark Shoppe, in tip top condition. Heather works hand-in-hand with the faculty keeping Canine College at the head of the class in dog care services!

Deb Watkins


Deb Watkins opened her dog daycare, boarding, training and grooming facility in May, 2006. As the years passed and with the help of a supporting family and a terrific faculty, she was able to move the business to a larger building in January 2010 just 8 doors down the street from the original business to support the growing demand for quality canine care in a fun environment via Canine College! Deb has two dogs - Gracie, a young Golden Retriever and Remy, a Shorkie. Deb is grateful for all of the support she has received over the years from so many people .... “With a quiet look of their eyes, lift of their paw, sidelong glance and those wonderful smiles and playful antics they melt my heart and wash away the problems and troubles of the day.” D Watkins