Melissa Nelson has trained dogs professionally for 4 years plus an additional 3 years as volunteer. Prior to working for CPT and upon graduation from Texas A&M University, Melissa was employed by Power Paws Assistance Dogs in Scottsdale, Arizona. While at Power Paws Melissa held the titles of Trainer and Canine Development Coordinator. Her primary duties included training service dogs for recipients suffering from diabetes, mobility impairments, and psychiatric disabilities. She also taught puppy raiser classes, both on-site and off-site in public settings, communicated general health and wellness instruction to Power Paws recipients, monitored post-placement progress of recipients and service dogs, conducted public speaking in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and coordinated the Arizona State University “Sparky’s Service Dogs” program, where students assumed volunteer puppy raiser duties.
While attending college at Texas A & M, Melissa immersed herself in animal related occupations and volunteer activities that helped prepare her as a professional trainer post-graduation. Melissa worked as kennel technician, during which she learned to maintain records and perform daily and emergency husbandry practices for boarded animals. She performed as a volunteer intern at a veterinary clinic, where she assumed the duties of a veterinary assistant. Most relevantly, for 3 years she was a volunteer puppy raiser for Aggie Guide Dogs and Service Dogs. She also volunteered in hippotherapy programs for the Gallop Foundation (College Station, TX) and upon graduation continued hippotherapy service as a volunteer for Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship in Scottsdale, AZ.
In May 2014, Melissa Nelson graduated from Texas A & M University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a minor in business administration. During her scholastic career Melissa gleaned a litany of scholarships and awards, including the United Methodist Scholarship, Willow Fork Board of Governors Scholarship, Joe and Billie Mannion Endowed Scholarship, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship. In addition, she earned multiple placements on the Dean’s Honor Roll.
To further her dog training related education Melissa graduated from a Karen Pryor Clicker Training seminar. Furthermore, she is obtaining a practical and classroom education from CPT to expand her knowledge of training methodologies relevant to pet dog instruction in group class, private lesson, and board train settings. And because Melissa is highly ambitious, she is also preparing her Goldendoodle, Rookie, for upcoming obedience competitions and is considering also teaching Rookie how to dock dive. Melissa is extremely intelligent, personable, and motivated. CPT is very fortunate to have Melissa on staff since her relocation from Arizona. Melissa possesses the education, personality, and attitude we are seeking when hiring new trainers.
However, all work and no play makes for a dull Melissa Nelson. Therefore, when not working Melissa enjoys hiking mountain trails with her husband and Rookie, reading, photography, and golf, where she is a former competitor.