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About Us

Christina and Luna the alaskan klee kai giving each other a high five
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Get to know Christina

Owner and Lead Trainer

Christina de Juan, Ph.D., PCT-ACPDT-KA, LSHC-SCTDI, at CreScent Service Dogs Inc., is ardent in her pursuit of knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects, with her roots in science, grounded by logic and reason. With over 10 years experience training dogs, she is still the eternal student: attending webinars and workshops to keep up with the latest training techniques, reading studies about canine scent detection, behavior, and cognition, and most importantly learning from every dog and client she works with. Every dog has something to teach us if we are open to learning. Christina enjoys applying what she learns from her professional continuing education to practical, hands-on training with her own dogs as well as clients' dogs, customizing lesson plans and emphasizing as errorless-learning as possible for both the human and dog.

LSH Certification logo 2016
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Christina studied both Philosophy and Computer Science, earning a B.A. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Computer Science. She worked in the animated film industry for over ten years, which included studying the mechanics of structure and motion, and a deep understanding of anatomy for a variety of animals. Christina developed her observation skills and a keen eye for detail while working with a variety of animated human and animal characters. She uses those observation skills daily in her work with clients and their dogs. Becoming a skilled observer helps her clients understand how dogs communicate through body language.

​Christina launched her journey into the dog world in May 2008. She selected Luna, a miniature Alaskan Klee Kai, for herself and with the intention of training Luna to become a therapy dog. Luna was her first dog she raised and trained on her own. Christina quickly became hooked on rewards-based training, and subsequently volunteered as an assistant dog trainer in both puppy classes and all age obedience classes. Christina and Luna began scent training in January 2012 in the sport of NACSW K9 NoseWork®, where she found her passion in studying canine olfaction and body language. Luna went on to become the first Klee Kai to earn a NoseWork title with NACSW.


Personal experience with disability led Christina to change her career. She completed training Luna to detect gluten in 2016, completed an internship with Willow Service Dogs LLC in gluten and allergen detection (mid 2017), earned the Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT - KA) credential in 2017, completed the Low Stress Handling® Certified Silver program (2018), became a Licensed Pet Dog Ambassador Assessor and an AKC Canine Good Citizen / Trick Dog Evaluator (2018), earned the UKCSD Scent Instructor certificate in 2019, and became a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (2020). Christina is most proud of achieving the Professional Canine Trainer - Accredited (PCT - A) conferred by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board in 2020. The PCT-A is an independently verified professional credential that assesses both knowledge and demonstrated skills, and is currently the only professional certification completely in line with her evidence-based, force-free ethics. Christina takes a professional stance to continue her education, with a particular emphasis on ethical, evidence-based, force-free methods. She attends webinars and workshops to keep up with the latest in canine behavior, scent work, and service dog training. Additionally, Christina is a strong supporter of, and utilizes, the Progressive Reinforcement Training manifesto developed by Emily Larlham. 

Christina is dedicated to helping other persons with disabilities owner-train their own scent detection service dog. She believes having the owner involved in every step of the training is the best way to learn the nuances of properly handling scent, the risks of cross-contact, and maintaining the scent training for the working life of their service dog. She is always so proud and overjoyed when her clients report back that their dogs have indicated the presence of gluten or allergen(s) in a food, medication or other item that would have otherwise made them ill had they consumed or used it. There is no greater reward than knowing she has helped another person live a more independent and healthful life.

Christina shares her life with her three dogs (aka lifesavers), LunaZephyr, and Maera, each trained in gluten detection. She has titled her dogs in Conformation, CGC/PDA/Spot (manners), Rally, Scent Work, Barn Hunt, Parkour, Coursing Ability / Fast CAT, Fitness and Tricks. She continues to train and compete in a variety of dog sports.

EXPERIENCE
  • Gluten Detection

  • Allergen Detection

  • Medical Alert & Response

  • Puppy Socialization

  • Basic Manners & Obedience

  • Conditioning/Fitness

  • Scent Work

  • Conformation

  • Rally

  • Tricks

  • Barn Hunt

  • Agility

Teaching
CONTINUING EDUCATION
  • Barbara Handelman Service Dog Training Tier 1 Program with Honors (BHSDT Tier 1)

  • CARAT 1.1 Virtual Seminar - Suzanne Clothier

  • UK College of Scent Detection (UKCSD) Scent Instructor Course

  • Ethology Institute Cambridge (CPDT Courses)

  • Completed internship with Willow Service Dogs LLC (gluten/allergen detection, scent-based medical alert) 

  • Fenzi Dog Training Academy and Pet Professionals Program (partial list)

    • Relationship Building Through Play

    • Dog as a Second Language

    • Empowerment

    • Canine Sports Medicine for the Performance Dog Handler

    • Scent Theory and Dynamics

    • Intro to Handler Discrimination

  • Service Dog Training Institute

    • Service Puppy 8-16 Weeks Old

    • Public Access Parts 1 - 3

  • Webinars (various organizations)

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Professional Canine Trainer - Accredited (PCT-A) with Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB)

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

  • Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) with Do More With Your Dog

  • The Pet Professional Guild Professional Member (PPG)

  • Proud Member of the Florida Force Free Network

  • Member, International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)

  • Member, National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW)

  • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Co-Founder and Co-Author Public Access Test, Gluten/Allergen Detection Standards, and Medical Scent Standards 2017-2019; Current Professional Member (ODOR)

  • Animal Training Academy Member (ATA)

"The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It's always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it's a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections."

- Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Get to know Emma

Associate Trainer
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Emma Schuett, CPDT-KA, Associate Trainer, has always had a passion to help people and animals. With a background working in human and veterinary medicine, and having been diagnosed with a disability, Emma appreciates first-hand the challenges of living with a health condition and values being able to help others experience peace of mind navigating life with the aid of a trained service dog. Her journey as a service dog trainer has been a natural progression as it encompasses her deep-rooted desire to help people experience better health and happiness.

Emma believes that good communication is the key to good dog training, as well as compassion for both the clients and dogs. Emma first found her love for positive-reinforcement training when she first met Christina and hasn’t looked back since learning from her. She enjoys collaborating with other trainers, attending conferences, reading books, studies, blogs, listening to podcasts and continuously expanding her knowledge with science-based training techniques.

 

She is fortunate to share her life with her service dog in training, Kwinn, a Lagotto Romagnolo, currently training in gluten detection.

EXPERIENCE
  • Temperament Assessments

  • Puppy Raising / Socialization

  • Scent Detection

  • Basic Manners and Obedience

  • Behavior Modification

EDUCATION

  • Barkleigh Pet First Aid & CPR Certification, 2021
  • Socialization MAP (Mindful and Planned) - Suzanne Clothier 2021
  • CARAT (Clothier Animal Response Assessment Tool) 1.1 Seminar - Suzanne Clothier 2020)
  • How to Train a Reliable Indication Webinar - Scandinavian Working Dog Institute 2020

  • Stress and Arousal Webinar - Scandinavian Working Dog Institute 2020

  • Sound Advice: Conquering Noise Sensitivity Course - Amy Cook 2020

  • Transforming Triggers into Cues Workshop - Kathy Sdao 2020

  • The Lemonade Conference - Fenzi Dog Sports Academy 2020

  • Enriched Puppy Protocol Webinar - Suzanne Clothier 2020

  • Canine Sense and Scent Ability: Recent Research Investigating Canine Olfactory Perception Webinar - Dr. Nathan Hall 2019​

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

  • Pet Professional Guild Professional Member (PPG)

  • O.D.O.R. Service Dogs Inc. Committee Volunteer and Professional Member (ODOR)​

  • Animal Training Academy Member (ATA)

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Get to know Shayna

Associate Trainer

Shayna Wexler CPDT-KA, has had a lifelong passion for working with animals. Starting at a young age where she dedicated most of her free time volunteering at local animal shelters.

 

After many years of dealing with her own disabilities, Shayna began volunteering with a service dog organization, while waiting for her own service dog. Through volunteering, Shayna gained a variety of experience in training service dogs. Seeing how life changing a service dog could be not only for herself but for others, she knew that she wanted to continue helping others through training their own service dog. She was lucky to find Christina, who has helped further her knowledge and skills along with her passion of dog training using positive reinforcement techniques.

 

Shayna has earned her CPDT-KA and is currently enrolled in the DogNostics Dog Trainer Certificate Program, while also working towards her B.A. in Psychology. Shayna has interned under different trainers assisting, as well as leading board and trains, private lessons, and group classes. She is continually learning as much as she can to better help others train their own service dog and have a healthier and more independent life.

 

Shayna shares her life with her two dogs Finn, an Australian Shepherd and Kara, a Siberian Husky who have both taught her so much and have played a big role in making her a better dog trainer.

EXPERIENCE
  • Gluten Detection (in progress)

  • Allergen Detection (in progress)

  • Mobility Tasks 

  • Medical response 

  • Basic Manners and Obedience 

  • Tricks

  • Puppy Socialization 

EDUCATION
  • Medical Mutts - How to pick a dog to train as your service dog 2020

  • Suzanne Clothier - Introduction to RAT / Relationship Assessment tool 2021

  • K9 Nose Work - Get Your Dog Fit to Sniff! It’s Easy and It’s Fun 2021 

  • Self Control Exercises For Service Dogs - Barabra Handleman 2021

  • DogNostics Dog Training Certificate Course Apprentice Level

TEACHING
  • CreScent Service Dogs

  • Every Dog Has It's Day

  • Private Consultations

Professional Memberships
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

  • Pet Professional Guild Member (PPG)

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Get to know Mo

ASSISTANT Trainer
Mo and Rudder, a black and white Portuguese Water Dog, sit in a park, looking at each other.

Photo credit Michelle Vidlak

Mo Lewis LSHC-S, has a BA in Technical Theatre Design from the University of Nebraska – Omaha. She earned a CDA while she was an early childhood educator. Mo volunteers at Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy as a Barn Leader, and she is part of their Work Conditioning team training and exercising horses. Mo believes that her wide array of experience has helped her develop a strong attention to

detail, learning how to teach others and understand all the pieces that go into the end result. These skills fit well into her career as a dog trainer.

 

Rudder, Mo’s Portuguese Water Dog, has taught her more than she ever imagined in a very short time. Together their love of learning has created a strong bond that she believes shows in their successes as a team. Rudder is the first male PWD and first PWD in the US to earn a Grand Champion Trick Dog title. Mo understands the importance of building strong foundations in a skill to be able to have more complex skills down the road. She enjoys experimenting with different positive reinforcement dog training techniques and continues to take classes whenever she can. She is a perpetual student.

 

As someone with a disability, Mo understands how life changing it can be. She was lucky to find Christina who has been and continues to be a fabulous mentor, always encouraging her to learn new training methods and helping to propel Mo on the dog training path. Mo is determined to help others navigate through life with a disability while being able to have a great quality of life.

EXPERIENCE
  • Gluten Detection (in progress)

  • Allergen Detection (in progress)

  • Basic Manners and Obedience

  • Conditioning/Fitness

  • Rally

  • Tricks

  • Agility

EDUCATION
  • Low Stress and Handling Certification – Dr. Sophia Yin

  • Fenzi Sports Dog Academy (partial list)

    • Sound Advice: Conquering Noice Sensitivity

    • K9 Conditioning 1 & 2

    • Get Out in Front: A Focus on Forelimb Health and Strengthening

TEACHING
  • CreScent Service Dogs

  • GoDogs Omaha

  • Bonafide Dog Training Academy, LLC

  • Private Consultations

Professional Memberships
  • AKC CGC Evaluator