Nebraska Dog Trainers
Lesley – Co-owner and Founder
Nebraska Dog Trainers is co-owned by founder Lesley Thompson. Lesley is excited to bring her wealth of knowledge and experience to the area. She is very experienced in training dogs for basic and advanced obedience, therapy dog certification, as well as dealing with behavioral modification. Lesley loves dogs and has always had them in her life. She has been fostering, grooming and training dogs on a volunteer basis since 2002. In 2015, Lesley decided to make the big leap to professional dog training by opening the doors to “Nebraska Dog Trainers”. She has finally figured out how not to work another day in her life because of her passion for what she does. When you love what you do as much as she does, it can not be work. She currently has a Standard Poodle named Margaux. Lesley’s philosophy is a dog should enhance your life not inhibit it!
Akin – Co-owner and Training Director
James “Akin” Akin-Otiko is a Co-Owner at Nebraska Dog trainers with over three decades of experience in a variety of dog training methods. He is the resident “Aggressive and Reactive dog” behavior specialist and trainer for our training instructors and trainers. Akin is a graduate of Oral Roberts University’s school of Business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The passion for dog training started for him in 1989 when he got a pure-bred German Shepherd puppy in the Netherlands while playing professional basketball in Eindhoven-Holland. Over the past three decades, he has trained hundreds of dogs from different breeds for people all over the country, for sport, personal protection, basic and high-level obedience. His knowledge spans the whole gamet of dog training. He is an advocate for dog training wherever he goes. He believes that a well-trained dog makes for a better family member than a dog that is not trained at all or one that is poorly trained. If you are around him long enough, you will hear one of his favorite phrases about dogs, and it is that, ”Dogs don’t lie”. Dogs only do in public what they are allowed to do in private. We are super-excited at Nebraska Dog Trainers to have him on board to share his wealth of knowledge with our trainers and clients alike. His personal dog is a male Belgian Malinois dog, named “Draco” BH, IGP1 that he is training in the sport of IGP. Akin is also a judge in the sport of IGP – International Gebrauchshund Pruefung – A challenging three part dog sport that includes Tracking, Obedience and Protection.
Michele – Owner and Lead Trainer NDT Lincoln
Michele is the owner & lead trainer of our Lincoln location and has been training for Nebraska Dog Trainers since December 2015 and has worked with different species of animals for many years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science with a Companion Animal Focus from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has interned at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Capital Humane Society. Michele has worked in vet clinics and doggy daycare. Michele and her husband have a Vizsla (Royal), a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois (KC), and two cats (Mr. Kitty and Binx). Michele’s favorite part about being a dog trainer is she loves being able to help owners have well-behaved dogs that become a special part of their families.
Marie - Holistic Health Consultant
OUR Amazing DOG Trainers
Shyra - NDT Trainer Omaha
Shyra has lived in Nebraska since September 2014 and grew up in New Hampshire. She attended Unity College in Maine and graduated with a captive wildlife care and education degree. Shyra has worked at different dog daycare/boarding/grooming places and has interned at two different zoos. Shyra and her husband have two dogs, a black German Shepherd (Raeyna) and a Chocolate Lab (Beretta). Her favorite thing about being a dog trainer is knowing the difference she made in not only the dog’s life but the owners as well. When you have a well mannered dog that you can take with you everywhere you go, both of your lives are greatly improved.
Roberta - NDT Trainer Omaha
Originally from South Dakota, Roberta has been madly in love with dogs her entire life. Always having dogs as family pets, Roberta has decades of experience with dogs. She has an art education degree and has spent over fifteen years in the education field helping students embrace and express their creativity. Taking from her education training, Roberta now applies these skills to helping pet owners and their dog’s bond over obedience. Roberta and her family have three rescue dogs of their own; Bebe, a Doberman Pinscher, Luca, a Retriever and Poodle mix, and Ruby, a Pit Bull and Labrador mix.
Bryce - Facility Manager and NDT Trainer Omaha
Bryce grew up in Southwest Iowa for most of his life and now resides in Bellevue, NE. Growing up Bryce always had a dog by his side, which included his own dogs and the many that he and his family fostered during his childhood. Part of his responsibility with the foster care was to teach the dogs basic obedience and set a good foundation for the family that adopted the dogs that were fostered. Bryce currently has a Golden Retriever named “Chief” that he adopted back in 2015. He is eager to share his knowledge and experiences with you in order to enhance not only your dog’s life, but yours as well.
Liz - Manager and Trainer NDT Lincoln
Liz is definitely a dog person! She is a Lincoln native, and after a year in Seattle, she has returned home to the good life. At age three, her dad brought home a yellow Labrador, and Liz has been obsessed with working dogs ever since. By the start of high school, she was responsible for three dogs, two birds, and a horse (and all of them ended up well behaved, except maybe the birds!) She graduated from UNL with a bachelors in Psychology and Sociology, giving her insight into animal and human behavior that help her educate dogs and owners alike. After graduation, Liz was eager to expand her knowledge of the dog world, and trained in a variety of dog sports including agility, flyball, treibball, barn hunt, nose work, tricks, rally obedience, and weight pull. Her current best friend is The Bear Dog, who has dabbled in a variety of sports, and earned his CGC, Community Canine Award, and various trick titles. She also is training her rescue lab, Tucker, towards therapy dog work.
Jim - Trainer NDT Lincoln
After working at a vet clinic and volunteering for rescues, Jim knew dogs would always be a part of his life. He has rehabilitated several dogs rescued from neglect and abuse, and knows with patience, structure, and enthusiasm, nearly all dogs can learn to be wonderful companions. You will often find him working with his “long chihuahua”, Soma, on a myriad of behaviors and tricks. He specializes in building a strong bond with dogs, and enjoys bringing out the playful puppy at the heart of a nervous dog.