CPDT-KA, Ohio Dog Trainer & Certified NLP Life Coach

How did I get into dog training (Middlefield, Ohio)?


When I was about 8 years old, my dad brought home my first puppy. We lived in a rural area (Garrettsville, Ohio in Portage County). My neighbor had a “free pups” sign.

I was very excited to have a puppy, and my dad was unsure if I was ready to take care of an animal. I begged him and told him that I would do the work. Surprisingly at age 8, I raised my dog myself.

I began training my pup right away. She was a cute shetland sheepdog and I fell in love with her immediately. I named her Heather. I absolutely loved playing with her, taking her for leash walks, hiking with her off leash and training her.

I began training her tricks right away such as beg, spin and shake. My dentist Dr. Kearney in Hiram, Ohio loved animals. She owned a farm and every year held a party for her clients and their pets. At the parties, she held contests for owners to perform their pet’s tricks. I came for many years and won first prize.

I was so proud. When I was in 4th grade, my best friend, Melanie, was in 4-H and showed her horses. I imagined myself on stage training my dog. I wanted to be a famous performer with animals that I trained.

I saw the excitement of the audience clapping as they admired the tricks. I decided to join dog 4-H Club. I loved it and trained my dog often.

When we met each week to practice our training skills with the club, Heather did great and listened well to me. I loved training my dog. In fact my parents would complain that I was praising my dog too loudly in the backyard while I was training her!

My 4-H advisor used the traditional punishment based methods to train and that is what I learned. Over time, I stopped enjoying myself. Once I learned about reward-based dog training, I enjoyed training again.

I went to a show and go where I could train my dog in the ring. Heather had passed and I had another dog, a border collie, named Shadow. I had a choke collar on Shadow.

When I left the ring, the judge took me aside and said that I could train another way. He told me about reward-based training and directed me to the book Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor.

He knew a lot about training because he trained dolphins at Sea World in Aurora, Ohio. Of course I read the book. I was hooked. I began to attempt reward-based training with a clicker.

Honestly, in the beginning, I sucked with the clicker, but I kept at it. I began going to dog training seminars in Wooster, Ohio.

At this time I was getting inspired by positive dog training. I was absorbed in learning, and I realized that this was a career for me! My 4-H advisor didn’t approve of my new methods of training, but I kept at it. I had too much knowledge, to stop what I was doing.

What is my educational background?

I majored in Psychology with a strong focus on animal learning. I also minored in Zoology and Theater. My attendance was at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

My favorite advisor was Dale Swartzentruber and he taught me most of what I know about the science of how animals learn. I absolutely loved this guy!

I also studied about the human end of psychology.

I am constantly attending dog training seminars and increasing my dog training knowledge. I am a certified pet dog trainer and I stay up to take date with my certification by maintaining my continuing education units.

As of 2024, I am now a certified TAGteach level 1 teacher. TAGteach allows me to break your dog training homework into small bite sized chunks of success. This way you get positive reinforcement as well. I can easily break down steps as I teach you to change your behavior.

What careers did I have involving animal training?

During college, I took a seasonal position training exotic animals at the Cleveland Zoo. It was a blast to be on stage with animals that I had trained! I loved it!

I also worked at the Columbus Zoo in the reptile department. I eventually, was hired to be a seasonal, training exotic animals for the educational animal shows at the Columbus Zoo.

My desire to leave Ohio was huge, so, I moved to Utah. I lived there for about 14 years. I began with a seasonal position training exotic birds and raptors in the bird show at the Utah Hogle Zoo.

At this time, I realized, I was better with dogs. So I started my own dog training business in Utah. I moved back to Ohio in 2016 and began a dog business in Ohio as well. Four Legged Scholars is currently in Utah and Ohio. With the Zoom, I can help people privately train their dogs no matter where they live.

What is NLP Life Coaching and TAGteach. How do these help me with dog training in Middlefield Ohio?

NLP stands for Neurolinguistic Programing. With NLP, we connect and teach people to re-wire their subconscious mind so they can have more positive thoughts.

When I became certified in NLP I learned how my thoughts create my reality and how my wording and body language affect how another person receives what I am saying.

Once I became an NLP certified life coach, I was able to train the “owners” better. I knew how to train dogs but I had to reach the “owners” more. Once I learned about NLP, my clients were more successful with training their dogs Training the owners is large part of my career and I love helping people be successful with their dogs!

TAGteach is teaching through auditory guidance. When humans are learning new behaviors, they can easily get confused or frustrated. Imagine learning specific behaviors that you need to do to train your dog. If you don’t understand what I am saying to do differently, I can demonstrate exactly what I want you to do and focus on one change in your behavior at a time.

I use a tag or auditory marker that sounds when I demonstrate correctly. So you can see what you need to do. Then I have you practice this behavior and I tag you. If you don’t do it correctly, you don’t hear the tag. There is no criticism or negative feedback. This allows you to learn to any easy manner without negative feedback. It involves clear communication on my end and positive reinforcement that I give to you. 

Where do I serve dog training in Northeast Ohio?

I am now serving Northeastern Ohio dog training in the following locations:

Geauga County

Parkman, Bainbridge, Chagrin Falls, Middlefield, Burton, Newbury, Auburn, Chardon, Chesterland, and More!

Portage County

Aurora, Hiram Nelson, Mantua, Garrettsville, Streetsboro, Kent, Ravenna, and More!

Trumbull County

West Farmington, North Bloomfield, Oakfield, Bristoville, Southington, Champion Heights, Leavittsburg, Braceville, Warren, Niles, and More!

Ashtabula County

Windsor, Orwell, Wick, Williamsfield, New Lyme, and More!

I also can help you no matter where you live.

When Covid hit, I became an expert with live online dog training through Zoom. I learned from other professional dog trainers that give great value online. I took courses to fine tune my online dog training skills. As a result, I offer live personalized online dog training via Zoom by personally coaching you to train your dog. I have enjoyed training with clients online in Ohio, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, and Utah.

There are many benefits that I can give online that I cannot give in person.  When I train online we, can jump into training more quickly because I am not that an added distraction to your dog. You are in your quiet home environment without my physical presence so that your dog immediately gets to learn to listen to you. I can also see your dog’s true behavior since I am not that added distraction.

Do you want to more about online dog training and how I help you?

We also offer lives on Facebook and have an entire youtube channel with over 1K subscribers. You can also train your dog on your own by watching these videos!

Do you like TikTok? You can follow us on there!

So yea no matter where you live, we got your back!

Tell us about your dog.


Johanna Teresi, NE Ohio Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Ohio

Check out this other awesome positive dog trainer in Columbus, Ohio, Megan Esala.

Contact Us By Completing This Form Below. Peace is Coming.

We understand how frustrating it can be when our dogs don't listen to us. You are in the right place, and we can help you. We will guide you step by step so you are empowered at getting your dog to listen to you. Fill out the form below and we will chat!

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We personalize our training to fit both you and your dog needs! We specialize in the human end of dog training so peace is just around the corner.

Phone: (440)-548-7312
Four Legged Scholars LLC
7979 State St, Garrettsville, Ohio 44231

Serving the following counties: Geauga, Portage, Trumbull and Ashtabula.

Dog Training in these NE Ohio areas: Garrettsville, Hiram, Kent, Ravenna, Freedom, Streetsboro, Rootstown, Parkman, Nelson, Hudson, Bainbridge, Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Ravenna, Twinsburg, Solon, Aurora, Chagrin Falls, Akron, Warren, Parkman, Newton Falls and surrounding areas.

Summit County, Portage County, Trumbull County

(44231, 44430, 44482, 44483, 44240, 44242, 44224, 44236)

And Surrounding Areas

Furget me not Animal Rescue - Positive Dog Training - Northeast Ohio
Furget me not Animal Rescue - Positive Dog Training - Northeast Ohio