Dog Trainers

Claudia Romard Hofmann, CPDT-KA

Claudia Romard

Claudia is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with more than 30 years of experience in dog training and canine behavior modification. Claudia is originally from Germany where she started training dogs competitively at the young age of 14, competed in the sport of Schutzhund in Regional and National Level competitions, taught pet obedience classes since the early 90s and after she moved into the US in 2002 she immediately started to do the same here; personally her biggest success as a dog trainer and handler was her "Vice National Schutzhund Champion" title in 2006.

In 2007 we were fortunate to add Claudia to our team and she has been teaching classes ever since. Claudia teaches on Saturdays only as her "real job" as an Assistant Manager in a Bank requires her attention Monday through Friday. Along with standard training classes, Claudia specializes in problem behavior dogs and finding individualized solutions to address these problems.

Claudia is passionate about all dogs and her main objective is to help our clients learn to understand their individual dogs better, based upon the dogs own characteristics and tendencies that might differ from other dogs in the class. Her teaching style is based on canine behavior science and transparency in its approach. Her classes are not "cookie-cutter", everyone receives the same basic training, but the pace and detailed technique is dependent on the individual needs of the team. Claudia's strives to create a respectful and trusting relationship and bond between human and dog.

Many employee pets, including Dr. Mike's and Dr. Brian's dogs, have been through her classes with great success.

Claudia's favorite breed has been the German Shepherd Dog and her Kennel name "van Gogh" is world known. Claudia and her son share their home with a 13-year-old sable GSD and a 6-year-old rescued Pitbull-Mix who is a certified Therapy Dog.

Karen Rich CPDT-KA

Karen Rich

Karen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) who hosts obedience classes on weeknights and evenings here at the GACC. She is a CGC and PUPPY S.T.A.R evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC) and a SPOT evaluator for the United Kennel Club (UKC). Karen teaches Advanced Canine Good Citizen classes and Therapy Dog Training classes in our 3,000 sf indoor training facility. She also teaches Puppy Preschool, Puppy Obedience, and Basic Obedience classes in the same facility on weeknight evenings throughout the year. She is certified in all levels of dog obedience training and has been instrumental in helping many dogs at GACC achieve advanced levels in Canine Good Citizenship, as well as going on to become therapy dogs. She is dedicated to helping dogs fit well into our society through behavior training.

Since 1998, Karen has been active in the area of animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Her background in psychiatry and education equipped her to move into this field, and to become an educator, as well as a tester/observer for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Many of her students have gone on to actively visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, and senior centers, bringing joy and hope to others. Karen and her dog, Mya, are very active in the community, visiting several medical facilities each week. Mya, has made well over 650 therapeutic visits, and has reached the highest title of therapy dogs that the AKC awards- "Distinguished Therapy Dog." Mya can be seen acting as a "demo" dog and assistant in some of GACC's obedience classes as well.

Karen has a particular interest in the early socialization of dogs, and strengthening the human-animal bond. She is GACC's personal dog behavioral instructor for the GACC Daycare team. She is currently supervised by three cats, two Golden Retrievers and a German Shepherd Dog, who bring her much happiness, keep her on her toes, and teach her new things all the time!

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR OBEDIENCE TRAINING PROGRAMS WITH CLAUDIA (Taken from feedback forms of pet parents who attend her sessions at GACC):

(Claudia teaches all levels of obedience classes as well as Tricks and Fun, Introduction to Equipment and CGC [Canine Good Citizen] on Saturdays. Karen is her assistant. Karen teaches obedience classes on Tuesday evenings and is an AKC [American Kennel Club] evaluator as well as a therapy dog tester/observer for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.)


"My dog Ben is an American Cocker Spaniel. I got Ben when he was 4 months old from an extremely reputable breeder. Upon bringing Ben home from the breeder, I began to notice that he was extremely shy and lacked confidence when it came to being around other dogs and people other than family members. Wanting to ensure he received the best possible obedience training and help in developing socialization skills, I decided to enroll him in puppy school at the Gardner Animal Hospital. The classes were taught by Karen Rich and Claudia Romard.

"After a few weeks of training I started to become impatient with what I thought was the lack of progress in Ben's development. One week, after class, I spoke with Claudia about my concerns. She encouraged me to stay patient, continue attending class. She stressed the importance of completing homework assignments, consistent handling techniques by all family members and continually applying what was being taught in class.

"Well, we stuck with it. The results of Claudia's methods speak for themselves: Ben graduated from Puppy School, Obedience School, AKC Canine Good Citizen, and AKC Community Canine classes. He is currently enrolled in Therapy Dog Certification Training. None of this would have been possible without the training Ben received from Claudia and Karen.

"I would and have recommended the dog training services offered by Claudia and Karen to friends and even strangers that Ben and I come across on our daily walks."

~ Brenda Leblanc