Darci is a Danada Veterinary Hospital staff member and trainer certified through the National Certification Council for Professional Dog trainers; this council is the first organization to offer a standardized certification program for dog trainers. She is a Fear Free Certified trainer and also completed Purdue University's DOGS! program. After earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Iowa and successfully working in that field for several years, she followed her passion for animals to the veterinary medicine industry. Darci initially worked for Danada Veterinary Hospital for several years as a veterinary assistant. She then gained valuable experience while employed at the American Veterinary Medical Association where most of her responsibilities dealt with human-animal bond and animal welfare issues. During this time, she was lucky enough to work with some of the country's leading behavior professionals and she was heavily involved in agility both as a competitor and an instructor. Darci came back to Danada Veterinary Hospital in Wheaton to offer dog training services as part of our hospital in 2007.
Darci's passion is to help make your pet's visit to the veterinary hospital as easy as possible whether that means teaching you how to train your dog to enjoy participating in cooperative care or just lending some moral support (and cookies!) in the exam room. She has a soft spot for puppies and enjoys teaching our puppy class to help you to teach your new puppy how to assimilate into our (often confusing!) world so your dog will become a treasured member of your family.
Our training philosophy is based upon scientifically proven methods based on reinforcing the behaviors you like and guiding the dog to make better choices to replace the behavior you don’t. This helps to build a relationship based on trust and understanding, not fear and avoidance. Darci strongly values current education, training and certification in this evolving field, and continues to add to her own body of knowledge and experience through continuing education.
Darci is also a former assistant trainer with Creative Paws, Inc., and a former agility instructor with Apex agility. A canine sports enthusiast, Darci and her rescue dog Blitzen, an AKC Good Citizen and certified therapy dog, earned over 40 flyball and agility titles, with placements at the national level. Blitzen came with many behavioral issues when he was adopted and was an integral part of Darci's involvement with dog training.