About Us

We put high demands on our dogs in today’s modern society. We ask them to be our friends, guardians, playmates, exercise buddies and social extensions in the community as a whole.  We want them to be patient, obedient, and loving. Be comforting to us when we feel blue, leave us alone when we are busy, take new experiences in stride and always be ready to engage on our terms at the time and place we choose. It is quite a tall order. Many dogs do this just beautifully, but just like people, some struggle at times with stress, anxiety, fear and a hard time adjusting to new environments and overall demands put on them. Sometimes it is due to who they are as individuals, but it can also be due to past experiences or lack thereof. We are fortunate that our canine companions are generally very adaptable. Still, some dogs do need some extra help. The good news is all dogs can improve with professional guidance, and this is where Positive Dog Solutions comes in.

Positive Dog Solutions has a great advantage in that while we collectively have decades of experience in the field of dog behavior, we are also skilled communicators and human coaches. We build strong bridges in all levels of human and dog-human relationships. Curiosity, communication, support and empowerment are cornerstones for how we work with dogs and people alike. We will work with you to create a tailored plan to address the challenges you face.

Jackie Maffucci, Ph.D., CPDT-KSA

Owner, Coach, Behavior Consultant

Jackie Maffucci brings 15+ years of experience to our team. She holds a B.S. from Cornell University in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Austin. During her graduate career, Jackie took particular interest understanding the interaction of the brain, hormones and behavior, an understanding that she brings to every client she works with as a behavior consultant. She is a former college instructor and department head with experience managing staff and volunteers in various professional settings. 

 

Jackie began her behavior career as a shelter volunteer, training rescues in basic obedience and quickly moving to a deeper focus on special needs dogs, developing and implementing behavior modification protocols. In 2009, Jackie moved to Northern Virginia and began working with Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, where she continues to focus on dogs with behavioral needs through specialty classes and private sessions. Jackie is also a policy research consultant and for the last decade has supported clients in their research needs, as well as gaining efficiencies in their operations. She is committed to bringing evidence to inform public policy issues and business operations. .

Jackie is Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA), a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and a graduate of Susan Friedman's Living and Learning with Animals Course and Ken Ramirez’s Animal Training Seminar. Jackie's experience with shelter and rescue dogs provided her with a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in working with timid and reactive dogs.

 

Jackie resides in Alexandria. She lost her faithful companion, Dinah, to lymphoma in 2014. She currently serves as a foster home for dogs with more challenging behavior needs that require a behavior modification program.

Vivian Leven, M.S., CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA

Owner, Coach, Behavior Consultant

In 2003 Vivian earned a master's degree in conflict resolution from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Since then she has worked in the field of animal welfare policy and research at the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C. and during that time also volunteered in her spare time with rehabilitating dogs with problem behaviors in the canine rescue community.

In 2010 she took on a full-time position to develop and manage the training department at Fur-Get Me Not in Arlington, VA, it included creating all the behavior specialty classes, she held this position for 8 years. Vivian has extensive knowledge in the field of animal behavior and learning theory. She has been a dog behavior consultant for 18 years.

 

Vivian places a strong emphasis on furthering her education in the field of behavior science with emphasis on dogs. This interest extends to people. She is a volunteer mediator with Community Mediation DC and is also in the process of becoming a certified coach. This formal education provides her a unique skill set to relate to the human side in addition to the dog. Other credentials and memberships:

 

Vivian shares her home with a Lab/Shepherd rescue named Karma.

Heidi Meinzer, J.D., CPDT-KSA, CNWI

Behavior Consultant

In 2000, Heidi graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.  After graduation, Heidi served as a public defender in Alexandria for six years, and gained civil litigation experience with a Northern Virginia law firm for seven years. While at the firm, Heidi’s practice naturally gravitated to animal law.  In 2013, Heidi’s animal law practice expanded sufficiently to enable her to establish her own law firm in Alexandria.

As Heidi’s animal law practice has developed, she has focused her efforts to companion animal law issues and civic service.  Heidi has served in numerous leadership roles, including as Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section and on companion animal law related work groups organized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  Heidi currently serves on the boards of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, Inc.

Since 2011, Heidi has worked as a dog trainer with award-winning Fur-Get Me Not.  Since 2013, she has been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a Certified Nose Work Instructor.  Heidi teaches general manners and specialty classes focused on behavior and conducts private training sessions at Fur-Get Me Not.  Heidi also teaches introductory K9 Nose Work classes at Fur-Get Me Not and advanced K9 Nose Work classes with Canine Copilots, LLC. She shares the company of a beautiful German Shepherd mix, Sophie, who has made great strides with reactivity and confidence issues.  Heidi’s other canine companion is Boomer, an English lab who achieved his NW3 Elite title in 2017.

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Positive Dog Solutions, LLC

Tel: 202-630-0249

Email: info@positivedogsolutions.com

Washington D.C. and Surrounding Areas

© 2018 by Positive Dog Solutions