Welcome to Dog Trainer’s Umbrella

We’re so glad you’re here.

There’s a myth out there in the dog training world: you have to choose between doing what you love, and making a good living.

We’re here to help combat that myth by helping dog trainers positively thrive. 

We want to help you make a good living while doing what you love: training dogs. We provide content to help you make that a reality.


Is it really possible to make a good living training dogs?

In short: Yes.

Two of our founders, Michael and Jamie Badial, are proof that it’s possible — but possible doesn’t mean easy.

Michael and Jamie had a long road to success. They started their business in 2012 and they looked to those around them for ideas on how to run things.

They copied what they saw other dog trainers doing… charging by the hour, scheduling lessons whenever clients wanted them, and taking whatever jobs they could get.

By 2013, Jamie was pregnant and they were facing foreclosure on their home — the only safe place they had for their dogs and soon-to-be child.

It was time to make a change.

Over the next few years they took the business from just barely getting by to breaking 6-figures in 2016. Today, they still run Best Paw Forward, their thriving dog training business, but now they want to do more…

They want to help other positive trainers achieve that dream for themselves.

Michael & Jamie at the first annual Trainer’s Business Growth Weekend!

Introducing the rest of the team!

Running a 6-figure dog training business is a full time job, so Michael and Jamie knew to help as many trainers as possible, they wouldn’t want to go it alone. All together there are 5 founding members of the Dog Trainer’s Umbrella: Jamie & Michael, Melissa Breau, Christina Schenk-Hargrove, and Liz MacHaffie.

Melissa Breau

Melissa has over 10 years experience with marketing specifically for the pet industry, and the last 5 years working with dog businesses specifically.

She is also the resident marketing geek at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy where she teaches classes on marketing and website building, hosts their weekly podcast, and runs the webinar and workshop programs. In addition to her classes for FDSA, she offers several workshops for their sister school, the Pet Professionals Program.

Her primary job these days is designing logos and building websites for pet professionals — you can learn more about Melissa on her website: www.clickandrepeat.com.


Christina is an attorney outside of Boston, Mass., with considerable expertise in business litigation, small business formation, contracts, expert witness preparation, and estate planning and probate administration.

In addition, she is a nationally published author on legal issues facing pet-related businesses. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and dog sports competitor with an intense interest in learning theory as it applies to both dogs and people. Christina lives with her family, three dogs, and various other pets.

Her goal is to use her legal experience and her research and writing skills to support animal professionals who use positive, science-based training and behavior modification methods. You can learn more about Christina on her website: www.cshlawllc.com.

Liz MacHaffie

Liz is the owner of Animal Insight in Durham, NC where she works full time as a professional dog trainer. She has a Masters degree in Clinical Animal Behavior from University of Lincoln, in England, and a Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior from University of Massachusetts.

Combine that with over 12 years professional experience in dog and cat training and behavior modification, and you get someone who understands the science of dog training and can get geeky with the best of us.