Bobbie Bhambree is the Founder & Director of DogCentric Training & Behavior and the Director of Pet Behavior at the North Shore Animal League America, in Port Washington NY. Bobbie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) as a trainer and behavior consultant, and a Certified Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT). Bobbie has trained dogs professionally for over thirteen years. Her background in psychology enables her to empathize with the needs of the human component of the human-animal bond.
Bobbie’s five dogs are her teammates and teachers in the world of dog training and behavior, as well as agility: Charlotte (13 year old Australian Kelpie), Tricky (8 year old terrier/Chihuahua cross), Marvel (4 year old Yorkshire Terrier/Jack Russel Terrier cross), Eleanor Rigby (2-year old Staffordshire Terrier cross), and Heady Topper (1-year old Border Terrier cross). Charlotte, now retired, was Bobbie’s introduction to agility and has earned various USDAA Master titles. Tricky placed and qualified at a very young age, due to a solid foundation in her early training. At two years old, Tricky made it to the Finals in 2011 Northeast Regional Steeplechase and placed fourth in the International Jumpers Challenge. After some time away from agility, Tricky had returned to the game in 2014 stronger than ever, but unfortunately had to retire prematurely due to a degenerative disorder. Marvel is noted for his speed, brilliance, and enthusiasm for the game as he and Bobbie continue to come together as a team. Marvel’s reactivity and anxiety delayed the start to their competition career. After a year of creative behavior problem-solving and rehabilitation, Marvel will be ready to start competing this upcoming spring. Ellie hangs on the sidelines and cheers for her brother, while supporting Bobbie in the behavioral work she does with shelter dogs and clients. Topper is shows promise as he is develops in his agility skills, both speedy, driven, and enthusiastic.
Working with different breeds—with very different personalities—in this sport has presented Bobbie with a variety of challenges that has helped her become a more well-rounded instructor and competitor. Bobbie has learned that although innovative, progressive techniques are designed for Agility training, much of it is applicable to everyday life with dogs in creating well-mannered companions. Bobbie is a contributor to Clean Run magazine. She has attended seminars with Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Kayl McCann, Karen Holik, Melanie Miller, Anthony Clarke, Susan Garrett, Greg Derrett, Laura Derrett, and Susan Salo. Bobbie is also a long-time student of Tracy Sklenar. Bobbie currently trains weekly with Soshana Dos and Jessica Ajoux and is well-versed in the OneMind Dogs methodology.
Bobbie writes for various publications covering topics on dog training and behavior. In addition to running her own dog training and consulting business, Bobbie was employed for close to two years as a pet behavior counselor with the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center under the direction of Dr. Pamela Reid, PhD CAAB, the start of her dog training career in 2003. There she implemented behavior modification programs for dogs surrendered by the public as well as those seized by Humane Law Enforcement, as seen on the Animal Planet television show Animal Precinct. She also evaluated, trained and rehabilitated these shelter dogs. Bobbie also consulted with prospective adopters, trained staff and volunteers, assisted with cases in the Behavior Clinic and collected data on the long-term effectiveness of behavior modification programs for shelter dogs.
Bobbie currently works full-time at the North Shore Animal League America, managing a team of canine and feline trainers, enhancing current programs while creating new ones to provide behavior modification and enrichment for the animals in the shelter. This position allows her to have a greater reach in educating the public on responsible pet ownership and transforming the field of animal welfare. Bobbie has worked with various shelters and rescue groups as a shelter consultant, including the Humane Society of Westchester for 9 years. At the Humane Society, she develops and implements behavior programs, evaluates dogs, trains staff and volunteers, and meets with potential adopters. Bobbie also consulted for the ASPCA locally and around the country, working closely with the Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team for over 2 years.
In 2000, Bobbie left corporate America for a more fulfilling career. Once a dot-com casualty, she tried a few different things before discovering the healing and rewarding experience of dog training and behavior counseling. Bobbie took all of her administrative and creative skills and invested them into managing Divine K-9, Inc., along with working hands-on with clients and their canine companions. She spent ten years as co-founder and co-owner of Divine K-9, building its training program, before starting her own company.
Bobbie fell into the field of dog training like many other trainers: she adopted a difficult dog. Claire, a Staffordshire bull terrier mix, proved to have a very strong personality with a reputation that preceded her because of her pit bull status. Everything Bobbie learned about training at that time was through self-education through books and seminars, trial and error, and lots of advice from different people. Bobbie bumbled her way through the early years with Claire, but over time the information all gelled together, helping to develop a close, respectful and meaningful relationship that lasted 11 years until Claire’s passing. Bobbie's passion for shelter and rescue work, education and awareness about pit bulls, and ending pit bull fighting rings roots from her experiences with Claire during her lifetime.
Bobbie's background in psychology and training in communication and leadership skills allows her to empathize with the clients' needs, as well as utilize various learning theories in training and behavior cases. Her training also helps her better understand the dynamics of the relationship between the owner and dog, and the relationships among the various family members of the household.
Bobbie continues her education in training and behavior modification by regularly attending seminars hosted by world-renowned Dog Trainers and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists. As part of staying current, Bobbie is in regular communication with trainer colleagues to share resources and support one another with cases, often collaborating on projects and community outreach.
Bobbie is an avid yoga practitioner, writes as a hobby, is completely addicted to agility, hikes regularly, and STILL is a huge fan of "Sex and the City." Bobbie's claim to fame: she held the record for race-walking at her high school in New Rochelle, NY for almost a decade. She came in second place in New York State and fifth place in the nation in 1995. Bobbie currently shares her life with her very supportive husband and five dogs in Oakland, NJ.