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Our Team

Our crew of dedicated staff have what it takes! 


Colleen Hitchcock

Colleen is Canine Academy's owner, founder and chief bowl washer! A proud graduate of National K9 training. Colleen is a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and National K9 Dog Trainers Association. Colleen was a 4-H group leader. Colleen owns five dogs; A border collie, and various rescue Pitbull mixes.  Colleen competed in many different agility venues including USDAA and AKC. She also competed in Obedience. Her crew is now retired from competition, but they enjoy hiking and camping every chance they get! Her dogs have been featured in both Front and Finish as well as Borderlines magazines.   Colleen enjoys fostering dogs, training them, and helping them find their forever homes.                                          


Alex de Foucault 

Alex has been a trainer at Canine Academy since 2008. She began her career with us after attending basic obedience classes here with her own dog. She was hooked and has never left! Alex owns three German Shepherds, Felon, Freki, and Siren as well as a black Lab named Kyle. She trains and competes in IGP/Schutzhund, AKC obedience and rally, dock diving and UKC conformation, NACSW nosework and more. She was a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind for many years and raised seven successful guide dogs. Alex is a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and President of Amherst Working Dog Club. She continues to learn through various seminars and workshops and takes  classes from other trainers every chance she gets.                                 

Gretchen Buckles 

Gretchen has been with us since 2006. She brings lots of wisdom and enthusiasm to class. She is a TDI evaluator as well as active member of TDI with her dog Kunik. Gretchen owns a Border Terrier named Krouton, a French Bulldog named Quasi and two Siberian Huskies named Kunik and Sequoia. She enjoys training and competing in Rally, Obedience and  scent work. Gretchen thoroughly enjoys helping people communicate effectively with their canine counterparts. Her dedication and devotion to dogs and their owners is a valued component of our Canine Academy team. 


Michelle Hamilton

Michelle began at Canine Academy in 2004, working with her Miniature Poodle under Colleen’s instruction through the 4H program. Since then, Michelle has competed in obedience, rally obedience, agility, UKC conformation, and nosework. She currently owns and competes with her Standard Poodle, Cherry. In 2014 she began interning at Canine Academy through Canisius College. We recognized her skill and devotion to training animals and added her to our team in 2015 after her graduation from the Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation program. Michelle is a professional member of the IACP and  is also a CGC evaluator. 


Lisa Eagler 

Lisa teaches the beginner and advanced agility classes.  Her focus is on teamwork and having fun in agility. Lisa guides you and your dog whether you are there just for fun or if you are going to compete.  Lisa's crew is made up of Grace, Emmett, Wendell, Harley, and Maisy. She competes with them in agility and has various titles on all of them! 


Paige Fiorella

Paige the newest member of our Canine Academy crew!

She enjoys bowling, being outdoors, hiking with her friends and their dogs. Paige also participates in agility, dock diving, and bikejoring with her Golden Retriever Remi!

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