Specialty Instructors

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George Berger, CNWI

Specialty: Therapy Dogs

George Berger has had a lifelong passion for and involvement with dogs through obedience, Nose Work, and therapy dog training. He is a member in good standing of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). At PCOTC, he is teaching Therapy Dog and Nose Work classes.

For several years, George has been doing canine-therapy work, first with his Labrador/Golden Retriever, Dixie. The pair made over 500 visits at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the pediatric units at Roosevelt and Bellevue Hospitals, and the Hallmark Assisted Living facility, all in the New York metropolitan area. Now, George's second dog, Paco, a Chihuahua mix, has become certified and has 200+ visits worth of experience.

Berger coordinates the therapy dog program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, and is the trainer for that program. He and his dogs have been certified/registered by the Delta Society, the Good Dog Foundation, and Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Berger was Publisher of AKC (American Kennel Club) magazines, 1999-2006. He has served as President of the Irvington (NY) Public Library, The O'Hara Foundation, and the Otsego County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He is currently on the advisory Board of National Education Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), was President and is now Second Vice President of the Port Chester Obedience Training Club.



Fran Hellman

Specialty: Breed Handling

Fran Hellman has been an owner-handler for over 30 years. She has enjoyed numerous wins with both her homebred and acquired dogs, some of which include: Best of Breed, Group placements, Best of Winners, Best Veteran, Best Puppy in Show, and Best Owner/Handler. She has on occasion handled dogs for other owners.

Fran's beloved breeds are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Golden Retrievers. Her kennel prefix is "Sunjays."

Fran has also trained several dogs to various AKC performance titles and has certified several therapy dogs. She actively visits nursing homes and schools with her therapy dog Victoria.

Fran is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and the owner of Four Paws Guidance Dog Training, LLC.

Fran's instruction is based on positive reinforcement methods.

Contact Fran at sunjaysgrs@aol.com


Marty Levy

Specialty: Disc Dog

Marty Levy has been competing with his disc dogs for more than 15 years. His Border Collies Penny, Nan and Meg compete in disc and often demonstrate the sport. Nan competes in distance events and little Meg has already been successful in distance and freestyle events, winning a combined championship in her first novice Skyhoundz New Jersey State Championship. This past summer Meg was second Novice dog in the Open Division at the Skyhoundz Northeast Regional Qualifiers. She was also first Micro dog and second Overall in the combined Freestyle/Distance and accuracy of last year's Skyhoundz New York State Championships.

Marty enjoys nothing more than teaching handlers and their teammates how much fun playing disc with your dog can be. Marty teaches handlers to throw and dogs to catch with a systematic approach that emphasizes dog safety and fun.

When not training his dogs, Marty is a professor of human orthopaedics and a program director for a residency program in orthopaedic surgery. He has contributed to Clean Run magazine, writing articles on issues of injury to dogs participating in agility. He has a good slant on what makes dogs succeed, physically and mentally, and he's not so bad with humans, either.