MEET OUR TEAM
After graduating from The University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in biology, Shelby realized she wanted a career that involved animals. Growing up she always had a passion for animals, specifically canines, and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. During her college career, she worked at many doggy daycares and veterinarian hospitals, where she discovered she was interested in dog behavior more than the science of dog medicine. Her first dog, Tucker, a shih-poo, was what initially sparked her passion for dog training. She got Tucker, her freshman year of college, and in her spare time taught him a bunch of funny tricks (just what every freshman should be doing). Training came very natural to her and she loved the bond it created between the two of them. After graduating, she spent a year working and managing a doggy daycare, boarding, and grooming facility, but her mind kept coming back to her passion for dog training. That’s when she did some research on how to become a dog trainer and found out about The Dog Wizard Academy. And since then…she has not looked back! It is the greatest job in the world getting to help dogs live better lives!
A little about her fur family members:
Tucker– A 9-year-old shih-poo that is Shelby’s little shadow. He knows a bunch of silly tricks and has quite a goofy personality. He holds a very special place in her heart.
Hurley– An 8-year-old pit-lab mix, was Shelby’s second dog. She was rescued from the side of the highway and now lives a wonderful life alongside her brothers. She is a happy-go-lucky pup who loves everyone!
Taz– A 6-year-old border collie, is full of personality and intelligence. He loves to play fetch with his tennis ball, go swimming, and learn tricks. He is also an agility dog with plans to compete in the future.
Bandit– Bandit, who is Taz’s littermate, was also added to the pack! He is polar opposite of his brother but is super smart and handsome!
Lauren had a passion for animals since she can remember. Growing up there was never a time her family did not have 2 or more dogs. In college, Lauren acquired her first personal dog, Harley, a Male Chihuahua. She was lucky enough to be attending Lees-Mcrae College which was actually one of the very few pet-friendly campuses in the US where Harley lived in her dorm and attended classes with her! She trained him in Obedience, Rally Obedience and Agility (which was by far both of their favorites!), not to mention all the crazy tricks he learned! Many were apprehensive about her choice of breed however she proved them wrong by raising up a happy, confident, well behaved pup. After returning home Lauren began working at a boarding and daycare facility where she was fascinated by learning to read dogs cues and body language and others could tell she had quite a natural knack for it! Lauren was then given the opportunity to become and Assistant Manager of a very knowledgeable well-known holistic dog and cat store where she learned a vast amount of knowledge on proper species appropriate nutrition for our carnivorous canines, along with other overall knowledge of keeping our dogs healthier in a more natural way. The whole-time Lauren realized something was missing when she met Shelby and Cranston and they saw a gift in her with dog training. Her dream was realized. With her pack of three she hopes to shed (pun intended) a positive light on showing how proper socialization, structure and obedience can bring the best out of your dog no matter age, breed, or gender.
A little about Lauren’s right paws:
Wesson- Wesson is a 5 year old Golden Retriever/Cane Corso mix scooped up off of craigslist at 1.5 years old. He is a big goober and just a love. We like to call him the Godfather of the dogs. Wesson’s helps Lauren with her appointments and is a rock star when it comes to helping re-socialize aggressive dogs. Wesson is Therapy certified and Lauren enjoys practicing AKC rally obedience with him.
Blue- Blue was originally rescued from Eastern Herding Dog Rescue by Shelby as a failed foster attempt because she fit in so nice with the pack. Blue came to us basically feral, with little human contact. Blue was then adopted by Lauren and the rest was history. This little 8-year-old Blue Heeler is a changed pup. She has blossomed into the perfect dog. you won’t see her far from her Knight and Shining Armor, Wesson. Blue loves to wrestle and run agility!
Harley- Harley is a 8-year-old Chihuahua. Harley started the passion of training for Lauren. As a younger pup Harley competed in competition obedience but then went over to Agility which became his forte. Harley is possibly the coolest Chihuahua you will ever meet and you can frequently see him out at big local dog events representing and showing off for WDW! Harley these days is working back into competition Obedience and Rally Obedience.
Dewayne Freeman is a proud father of two(Chase and Everly), owner of 4 personal dogs (Leo,Avery,Cricket and Quell) and a professional dog trainer from Leland N.C. He has been training dogs since he was 14 years old in many different facets all over the United States. His experience includes Military and Police Working Dogs, Hunting and Competition Dogs, as well as Family Dogs. Dewayne has had the opportunity to work with some very respected trainers from all over the world, giving him the chance to learn different training techniques that he can bring to you and your dog and help you achieve your training goals. Dewayne has a passion for pets and truly enjoys training both dogs and their owners. He is fully committed to providing the most effective solutions for you and your furry companion so you can learn how to work and communicate with one another leading you both to live your life’s to it’s happiest and fullest potential.
Leo- This guy is the true O.G. He was a gift for Dewayne on his 19th birthday and had been his best bud for the last ten years. This guy has traveled the country and trained with hundreds if not thousands of dogs and people. Now most days he likes to kick back, relax, and just do his own thing.
Avery- Dewayne purchased Avery with the intent to make him a Military working dog. This big goofy guy weaseled his way into Dewayne’s heart and he just couldn’t let him go when the time came. Avery is getting up there in age too but still has a lot of play in him. He loves flopping on the ground and playing with puppies and little dogs.
Quell- Dewayne always wanted a Belgian Malinois. On his birthday in 2019 a friend made that wish come true. Quell is an excellent addition to the team and brings lots of playful energy everywhere she goes.
Cricket- This pretty little Australian Shepherd mix was a local shelter dog that was just too cute to pass up on. Dewayne rescued her with intent of enrolling her into our Premier Puppy Program. Crickets ability to communicate with other dogs is outstanding. She can play hard with the roughest of pups or be sweet and sensitive with the most anxious making her a huge asset to his pack!
Everly Freeman is a 4 year old Dog Training Apprentice and Dancer who lives with her family in Leland N.C. She has been going to work everyday learning from her Daddy and other professional trainers since she has been able to walk. Everly is a quick learner and a great distraction to dogs in different training programs, teaching them focus and how to be nonreactive towards children. She loves playing with the dogs and making sure they get their daily dose of exercise and putting on dance shows for them while they relax. She is a great asset to have around and truly will be someone to learn from the older she gets.
Chase Freeman is a 6 year old Dog Training Apprentice, local Theatrical Actor and Dancer who has his small roots set in Leland N.C. Chase has been raised around dogs and loves spending time working with his Dad and other respected trainers, teaching all breeds important training techniques. He has skills and passion that surpass that of any other 6 year old, is wise beyond his years and has a heart of gold. Chase loves talking and working with clients and really spending time with each dog giving them lots of love and companionship. Each pup that crosses his path truly leaves a paw print on his heart.
Renee is a Kentucky native who grew up always having a passion for dogs. After graduating from the University of Louisville, she enjoyed careers in yoga teaching and massage therapy, but above all else, loved spending time with her pup. Her dog, Brego is truly who led the way to her Dog Wizard future after going through a board and train program for his leash reactivity. Brego's dramatic results not only changed her life, but instilled a passion in her to help other families like hers to improve their quality of life with their best friend! Outside of loving dogs, you'll find Renee is directionally challenged, usually doing something outdoors, and often accompanied by a craft beer! Here’s a little bit about her boys:
Brego- a 6 year old German Shepherd who inspired Renee’s Dog Wizard path! He’s as handsome as they come (he definitely knows it) and is most certainly a Momma’s boy. He’s never far from her side, and is still learning how to work through some of his anxiety. Brego is by far the king of the house, and enjoys anything where there’s a tennis ball!
Winston- a 1.5 year old Golden Retriever, and is the definition of a happy-go-lucky guy. Win loves anyone, everyone, everything, and would be perfectly happy to lick you to death. He follows Brego everywhere he goes, and is by far the little brother who completes their family.
Rachel Garris – Lead Office Manager
Rachel happily joined The Dog Wizard team in March of 2017! She has grown up with a love of dogs her entire life, so becoming a part of this team was an absolute dream! She and her favorite girl, Lucy, her 11 yr old rescue, handle the day-to-day logistics of the office. Their daily routine includes talking with
dogs and their people about their goals in training, scheduling appointments, and managing the office tasks. The best part of her job is being part of such a
wonderful team, and helping build positive relationships between people and their pups. In her free time, Rachel loves to play roller derby and macrame. Rachel is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time outside hiking with Lucy and her two active and energetic sons.
Amy Campbell – Office Manager
Amy has been with the Dog Wizard Office team since December 2016! Amy has a very important role with being the first point of contact for Dog Wizard clients. She helps manage the day-to-day needs, phone calls, and appointments which she does so well. Amy has a passion for helping customers at the highest level and ensuring they feel great and know that there is hope for their dog. The best part about her job is not only getting to talk with clients about their dogs but also having her rescue mutt, Winston, hang out with her all day! When she’s not helping us in the office she can be found enjoying the outdoors with Winston. We are grateful to have her on our team!
Chloe Debrowski – Office Manager
Chloe is a New York native! She began working with people with disabilities while obtaining her bachelor’s in Social Work. Throughout this journey, she noticed much of her free time was spent caring for animals, so she began a dog sitting business. She took it upon herself to volunteer and give back to the community at local animal shelters and sanctuaries in her free time. Chloe used to competitively ride horses but now just enjoys riding in her free time. Chloe discovered these experiences brought her immense happiness and consequently to shift her career toward one involving helping animals. Chloe is a proud and loyal member of our Dog Wizard family. When you talk to Chloe about your dog and the troubles you are having you will immediately feel at ease with her compassion for you and your dog! One of the best parts of her job, she gets to spend time at home with her two pups Bax and Benji.
4 Legged Employees
Hollywood- 19yo Palomino AQHA, The brains of the herd. Bert- 19yo Dunalino AQHA, The big goober Tango- (Not Pictured) 19yo Sorrel AQHA, Mr wonderful.
Sterling- 6yo Miniature horse, Diva extraordinaire
We have 5 goats and our newest addition is Cotton( left picture) out of our Blossom and Argo! Moose (right picture)
Gidget- 3yo Mini pig, a little diva that love belly rubs! (left) Delilah- 3yo Mini pig- dramatic and sweet, loves to sunbathe(right)
Gus and Woody
Owned by Lauren. These 2yo kitty cats are quite comical. They LOVE dogs and probably think they are one. They adore
every single puppy that comes into their home. You will always find them tumbling around with a pup anytime possible.