Geralyn has been working with dogs since 2002. She began in a daycare/kennel environment where she gained valuable firsthand knowledge about canine behavior. In 2004, after two years at the daycare/kennel Geralyn began her training career and has never looked back! She began training at a large corporate pet store chain where she learned everything from Ethology, the scientific study of animal behavior, to Learning Theory, understanding how dogs learn. The core of Geralyn’s belief is that to be a great dog trainer, you must know everything about them from their origins, background, and recent changes in breeds and how their minds work. After three years in the corporate world, Geralyn left the pet store chain to pursue a career with a private kennel. Here, she developed the entire training program for this kennel from the ground up where she trained Obedience, Agility and Flyball! In 2008 Geralyn relocated to Winston-Salem and spent four more years working for a corporate pet store chain as Store Trainer and Area Trainer where she not only held many classes in store, she trained numerous other trainers who have gone on to have successful training careers. During this assignment she trained dogs in Obedience and Rally.
In December of 2012, Geralyn decided she would like to be able to reach more animals and work more closely with their human handlers and rescue groups and decided to open her own training center, Elite Canine!
Geralyn has quite a list of certifications and memberships starting with Pet CPR and First Aid, which is very important when you operate your own training facility. She is a Certified Program Evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine, Advanced Canine Good Citizen, Uraban Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Programs. Geralyn is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Geralyn is also a certified Therapy Dog Evaluator, certified Stop the 77 presenter, and a certified Be a Tree presenter.
Since opening her own training center, Geralyn has worked tirelessly to connect with rescue groups to offer her services to their foster’s and adoptees. Currently, Elite Canine partners with 18 rescue organizations . For each of these organizations, Geralyn offers free services to dogs that are in foster homes and a discount for a Puppy or Beginner Class for all adopters! Geralyn also worked on Unchained Forsyth building team which builds fences for dogs who are permanently chained at their homes. In February 2014, Elite Canine co-funded a fence for Beba a pit bull who was chained to a tree in her back yard. Beba had just given birth to puppies but now runs free in her very own fence! In the spring of 2013, Elite Canine sponsored the “Paws for Unity” event which raised money for the Stokes County Animal Shelter to help fund their new facility. In the fall of 2013, Elite Canine co-hosted Winston Salem’s 1st Responsible Dog Owner Day and Canine Challenge where dogs participated in sporting events to raise money for local charities. In February of 2014, Elite Canine teamed up again to raise money to fund additional bullet proof vests for the Forsyth Sheriff’s Department, called Kevlar for K9s. This fundraiser was a direct result of the loss of Davie County’s K9, Gorky, who was killed in the line of duty. This fundraiser provided enough money to purchase three additional bullet proof, Kevlar vests for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department. In September of 2014 Elite Canine hosted Winston-Salem’s 2nd Annual Canine Challenge where over 700 people attended and fun was had by all. Geralyn joined Unchain Winston in 2014 and was the Top Dog Sponsor for Fuzzy’s fence on February 15, 2015. EC sponsored a 3rd fence for Sheba in May 2016. This year, 2017, Geralyn has already joined the fight against ALS for their May Fundraiser with the EC Team Dave's Dawgs in honor of Dave Andrew who was a student of hers who passed away in 2015. She has also joined in the fight against childhood cancers by becoming a shavee for her team CBug's Dawgs for the St. Baldrick's fundraiser in September. In September of 2016 EC raised $350 for the SECU Family House of W-S for their Milk Money Challenge. In just over 4 years, these fundraisers, plus many food and toy drives, have raised over $10,000, 100+ dog toys and 85+ bags of food, 3 Kevlar vests plus other K9 supplies and 3 new fences.
New for 2017 is Operation Shoebox of Love. EC is asking for help from the community. The way it works is simple. Fill up an empty shoebox with supplies for a dog, cat or a bunny. Wrap it and label it so EC knows what animal it is for and then drop it off at one of our drop off locations. You can find more info by clicking here. Then in July we will have a Christmas in July event, complete with a visit from Santa, to distribute the boxes to the local rescue organizations.
Work with Children:
Not only are children allowed, even encouraged to attend classes with their four legged brothers and sisters, Geralyn has now started hosting the “Stop the 77” program. This program is a free and offered to children to help teach dog bite prevention, how to safely interact with dogs as well as how to read the body language of dogs to help prevent bites!
Pet CPR & First Aid:
EC offer certification courses for Pet CPR & First Aid and we also offer basic classes to learn without the certification. Please contact us for more information on how to learn some life-saving techniques for your canine pal.
Geralyn's greatest accomplishment to date is the Fostering Friendship Therapy Dog Team. The team consists of 18 teams, a team being one handler and one dog. She wanted a group that would work together like a family and visit different places as a group. The FF Team has visited many places including SECU Family House of Winston-Salem, Yadkinville Nursing & Rehab, Trinity Elms, Brighton Gardens, UNC School of the Arts, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Salem College, plus many, many more. Individuals visits are encouraged as well and some of our teams visit the KBR Hospice House and the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem. We also have teams that visit the elementary schools for their Reading Buddies Program, the Stop the 77 Program and career days and attend Relay for Life in Mt. Airy.
In November of 2015 the FF Team received the Morykwas Humane Citizen Award.
Not only does Geralyn run a full time training center, she also works with and trains service alert dogs. In May of 2012 Geralyn trained “Mike the Greyhound” who just happens to be the first greyhound in North Carolina to be a registered service dog. In July of 2012, Geralyn trained “Abby the Shih Tzu” who at the time was a two years old, to be a service dog who is trained to alert her owner when his pacemaker battery is getting low. Abby is the only known service dog in the United States who is trained to alert for a pacemaker battery!
Due to her training of “Mike the Greyhound” Geralyn was has been included in many TV and print publications. Most notably, Geralyn was featured in “Cesar’s Way” a magazine from Cesar Milan as well as a national TV show named “The Real Winning Edge” where she appeared with Mike’s owner Becca Hart. This work also landed Geralyn in a TV report with Fox 8’s Bob Buckley, and articles in Forsyth Woman, Forsyth Family and Highlights Magazine! Her therapy group has had stories in Triad Happy Tails and Forsyth Family.
Training dogs is not a second job or a hobby for me. It is my full-time profession, my life and my love. More than 90% of my customers are referred to me by professionals in the veterinary/pet care field, local rescue organizations or come to me by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers. With 15 years of experience, when you hire Elite Canine, you can rest assured that you are working with a competent, experienced professional. More than just dog training, together with my clients, we are paving the way toward a better life for all dogs and their families.