Miriam has come full circle from a student of Positive Dog Training School many years ago to the present as the Instructor for our new Nose Work classes. This exciting and inclusive dog sport was devised to bring the world of scent detection to the dog owning public for the delight the activity brings to dogs and their people. Miriam is the first and only Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) with the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW) in the state of Washington and teaches in adherence to their methods.
Miriam’s life has revolved around dogs since she was nine years old, when she trained her first dog, a German Shepherd, in obedience. She owned and trained a series of German Shepherds in her growing up years and later chose Giant Schnauzers; first as her companions and later as her working partners. Over many years Miriam has schooled her own dogs for conformation, obedience, agility, and tracking and pursued her own education in clicker work, protection dog sports, and service dog training. More than 20 years ago Miriam trained her first Giant with Joan Fetty, and she has been a proponent of Positive Dog Training School ever since then. It was Joan who introduced Miriam to tracking at that time, and that introduction led her to an unusual passion and path in life.
Since 2000 Miriam has owned and operated Verity Services, which provides drug and explosive detection dog services to schools, businesses, and private homes. She and her dogs have worked in schools from Maryland to New Mexico successfully searching for drugs and other contraband to help keep children safe. In addition, over the past 5 years, she has partnered with various international corporations to work their dogs to screen ships’ stores for explosives for the cruise ships sailing from Seattle during the Alaska cruise season. She and her K9 partners search up to ten thousand pallets a season to keep passengers and crew from harm. During the Christmas shopping season she has also worked explosive detection dogs for NW regional shopping malls.
When not teaching Nose Work classes or working her detection dogs, Miriam works with private clients’ dogs to solve their behavior problems, volunteers to assist rescued Giant Schnauzers in the region, tests dogs for law enforcement careers on a pro-bono basis, furthers her education in detection dogs, pet dog training, and selective breeding at seminars in the US and Europe, and assists the WA Dept. of Veterans Affairs to establish a program to train assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and holds the CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer – Knowledge Applied) certification.