Our Trainers

Janelle Irvin, Owner & Lead Trainer


A commitment to professionalism

With a name like Scholars in Collars it only makes sense that our owner and lead trainer be a scholar of dog behaviour and training.

Janelle is a nationally accredited Dog Behavioural Trainer with a Delta Institute Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services and has completed the rigorous and esteemed Karen Pryor Academy Professional Dog Trainer program. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Walker through the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy and certified in pet first aid and CPR.

Janelle maintains professional memberships with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Delta Institute, and actively seeks continuing education and ongoing professional development.

A passion for helping dogs and their people

There’s a reason Janelle is committed to this high level of education: She takes great pleasure in helping clients and students reach their training goals and enjoy the best in their dogs through science-based positive training. Nothing makes her happier than seeing well-behaved dogs and their people out in the community having fun together.

That passion drives Janelle to work with the next generation of dog lovers as well, educating TAFESA students in dog husbandry, health, welfare, behaviour, and handling.

Janelle’s volunteer work also includes her personal breed of choice, greyhounds. She gifts her time and expertise to various greyhound rehoming organisations and previously worked as the Foster Care Coordinator for the Greyhound Adoption Program of SA. She and a retired racing greyhound named Raymond are mutually devoted to each other.

Karen Davis, Trainer

Karen brings a wide breadth of experience to her training. She holds a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy Professional Dog Trainer program and was a zookeeper for 20 years, serving as the Senior Animal Keeper at Cleland Wildlife Park. But of all the animals she’s worked with it’s dogs that have stolen her heart.

Karen has a particularly soft spot for puppies. Her puppy work includes previous time as a Puppy Development Officer at Guide Dogs SANT. Today Karen relishes teaching puppy training classes, helping puppies learn the ropes of polite society and watching students marvel at their pups’ transformation.

In addition to puppy training Karen pursues dog sports with a focus on Rally, Lure Coursing, and Trick Training. She also enjoys showing her own dogs.

Brenna Ryan, Trainer

Brenna is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She lives for seeing dogs and their people truly enjoy one another. She chases that rush in all the training work she does: In group classes, helping to teach specialised skills like loose lead walking and recall that reduce tension and build mutual trust. In tricks training and agility, watching dogs find their confidence and human and dog students play and celebrate together. And in puppy training, setting pups and their people up for a lifetime of joy.

Like so many professional trainers, Brenna is trained by her own dogs, three Australian Shepherds and Maltese x Shih Tzu mix who, she says, “have taught me many life lessons.”

How we train-and why we do it that way

Staying abreast of the latest science, we use only positive, reward-based training. We want to see you enjoy the best possible results. We also want those results to be guilt-free for you and stress-free for you and your dog both.

Fortunately, science allows us to achieve all of these goals. We’ve come to understand that fear and pain inhibit learning, slowing the training process. We’ve come to understand that fear and pain can increase aggressive behaviour and even cause it where it wasn’t before.

Positive training, on the other hand, avoids these unwanted and unintended behavioural side effects. Rather than your dog learning to do (or not to do) something in order to avoid punishment for making the wrong choice, positive-based training motivates your dog to prefer the right choice—putting you and your dog squarely on the same page.

In short, if we can achieve the behaviour we want without inducing stress for you or your dog, why would we train any other way?

Our guarantee to you

While it is considered professionally unethical to guarantee training results (how can you guarantee the behaviour of another living being?), we do guarantee that you will work with a highly credentialed instructor motivated to help you reach your training goals. We guarantee we’ll use only the most humane, modern, and scientifically proven reward-based training methods to reach those goals. And we guarantee training with us will be a fun and positive experience for both you and your dog.