Rick Pisani, CPDT-KA - Training Director, Competition Obedience

Rick Pisani has been training dogs since 1987, teaching competition obedience classes as well as puppy kindergarten, basic manners and Canine Good Citizen classes. His students have obtained all level of AKC obedience titles, ranging from Novice Obedience through UDX and OTCH, as well as rally titles. He has been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) since 2005.

Rick attended the Instructors Training Course in 2004 hosted by Rondout Valley for Adoption and Dogs of Course, and was awarded the "Inspiration Award" at the ITC by his fellow classmates.

Rick has an outstanding record of accomplishments with his dogs, including Obedience Trial Championships (OTCH) on three different breeds, as well as multiple High in Trial and High Combined awards.

Rick took Shetland Sheep Dog NOC OTCH Sir Malcolm MacDuff UDX4 from Novice A to an Obedience Trial Championship, winning the Gaines-Cycle Super Dog award in 1995. MacDuff became AKC National Obedience Champion in 1996.

Rick's Golden Retriever CH-OTCH Wingmaster's Ounce of Gold UDX5 VCX WC, Can CD, was the 15th dog in the history of Golden Retrievers to obtain the dual championship designation, and was the Gaines-Cycle Open Class winner in 1994.

Rick's Border Collie OTCH Shoreland's Wild Thing UFX RA OA OAJ earned Multiple High in Trial and High Combined awards along with numerous placements in local and National Obedience tournaments.

Rick also competes in agility. His adopted shelter dog, Australian Shepherd Nani, who was born deaf, recently completed her USDAA Agility Dog Champion (ADCH).

His newest dog, Smooth Coated Border Collie Disco, is being trained for obedience and agility.

Ann Mandelbaum, CPDT-KA

Ann Mandelbaum, CPDT has been training dogs for 30+ years. She earned her first title in 1979 with her Novice A dog, Nobble. Since then she has earned over 30 titles in Obedience, Rally and Agility, in the United States and Canada, on six different dogs, including several Obedience Highs in Trial. Four of her dogs have earned the Utility title.

She as been teaching for about 25 years, helping others learn to enjoy their dogs and to earn more titles than she can keep track of. As a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) she is required to maintain ongoing training in approved dog-related seminars, etc. for periodic recertification.

Currently she teaches competition obedience at PCOTC. She also teaches obedience, rally and Leslie McDevitt’s “Controll Unleashed” program and works with clients privately on dog training and behavior issues.

Ann can be reached at

Cindy Rubin

Every dog and handler can find joy and satisfaction in training.

I started teaching for PCOTC in 2000 and had taught for the Kaeley Obedience School in prior years. My career in dogs started in 1977 when I was employed as a licensed veterinary technician. After working in private practices, I retired from the position of chief surgical nurse for Surgical Animal Welfare League of Westchester County Spay Neuter Clinic in 1979.

I started training in competitive obedience with my English Cocker Spaniel, Muffin in 1988. She went on to be a CH UD, and at the same time I was training Willie, the first UDX dog in the breed's history. Guy came along and remains the breed's only CH UD MX MXJ. Yes, I have branched out into the world of agility, but I remain committed to obedience. My Border Collie has a CDX as well as agility titles.

I pride myself in being able to accurate "read" dogs of all breeds and adapt my training methods to best help that dog and handler team. I believe in upbeat, positive methods and my students have gone on to earn over 50 obedience titles. Aside from titles, I want my students to be happy members of their families and our communities. 

I take great joy in recently helping an "untrainable" dog become a happy canine citizen (oh yes, she is also a CGC TDI RE ARCHX ARCHEX CDX-H). I will work through any problem in a consistent, reassuring way, both for the dog and the owner.

I can be reached at

Mary Elizabeth Simpson

An experienced trainer since 1987 and the owner of Joyful Canine Training, Mary-Elizabeth Simpson (APTD, IACP) has worked with various training schools and with professional trainers over the years. She is an AKC CGC evaluator. Mary-Elizabeth teaches both obedience and breed handling at Port Chester Obedience Training Club.

Mary Elizabeth is an active competitor in Obedience, Agility and breed competitions with her Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Australian Shepherd and Border Collies. All of her dogs are titled in one or more of those areas. Some have even attained their Canine Good Citizen's Certificate and have attended nursing homes. Not only has Mary-Elizabeth competed her dogs but has done obedience and agility demos, appeared on Channel 12 news in both CT and NY, appeared in the Stamford Advocate and Times as well as Greenwich Times newspapers documenting her training accomplishments. In addition to running her dogs in performance she has also handled other people's dogs in agility and breed and has done very well, placing at the Westminster dog show and even qualifying for Crufts twice.

Mary Elizabeth is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, International Association of Canine Professionals and various breed clubs. Mary-Elizabeth works on a private basis with dogs who have behavioral problems or need basic training or re-training, as well as working with people who are serious competitors in agility and obedience. She does Pembroke Welsh Corgi rescue and has retrained and re-homed many Corgis as well as mixes successfully. 

Mary Elizabeth can be reached at