Meet Our Trainers

The District Dog Training Team Members

Sophia Turshen

Sophia brings a wealth of experience in training well-behaved, well-adjusted dogs and equipping pet owners with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to maintain that training at home. Sophia is certified in Dog Training and Animal Nutrition and has worked in the field of pet care and training for over five years. In addition to running her own professional pet care and training business, Sophia also has experience leading group classes for dogs of all ages. She has worked as a volunteer specializing in behavior and training for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria since 2019. Her greatest passion is to improve the lives of animals, and she believes that training is a vital tool in building better lives for dogs and their humans.

Areas of Focus

  • Leash Manners
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen test preparation
  • AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Training

Carissa Nielson

Carissa grew up training horses and dogs and 14 years ago, began training and competing in dog agility and other training competitions. After working and mentoring under several trainers of various methodologies, adopting a positive reinforcement training protocol, and rehabilitating many fear aggressive rescue dogs, she became a professional dog trainer. She focuses on understanding why a dog does what he does, and builds better behavior off of a layer of trust and relationship between the owner and dog. She has been a professional dog trainer for the last 7 years, running her own training business, teaching group classes and individual lessons, helping people understand their dogs better and helping the dogs understand how to live with their people better.

Areas of Focus

  • Leash Manners
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen test preparation
  • AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Training

Avi Israeli

Having grown up in a home where dogs outnumbered humans, Avi has always had a natural kinship with our four-legged companions. He received his certification from Animal Behavior College in 2012 and has been working to improve the relationships between dogs and their people for the past 8 years, with a specialty in leash reactivity training.  After accepting a position managing a dog walking company upon moving to Washington, D.C. in 2008, he quickly realized that working with dogs was his lifelong calling.  Since then, he worked at Spot On Dog Training in Washington, DC, and has made a commitment to furthering his understanding of canine behavior, helping rehabilitate recent rescues, and mentoring other prospective trainers who share his passion.  Avi is proud to be apart of the District Dogs Training Team!

Areas of Focus

  • Basic to advanced obedience training
  • Agility 
  • Tricks
  • Leash reactivity
  • Leash aggression 

Kore Crawshaw

Kore (pronounced like Core-ah) is a 23-year-old Scotland native who was raised in Virginia Beach and whose passion for dogs turned into a career. Owning dogs her entire life, she decided 7 years ago to start working with them professionally operating in shelters and private daycare and boarding facilities, but her dream job was always to become a dog trainer! Kore is a positive reinforcement only trainer with a background in agility, tricks, puppy and basic obedience, separation anxiety, therapy dog and service dog training, and behavior modification. Her work with shy, rehabilitation dogs and therapy dogs was some of the most fulfilling she’s ever done though she loves working with new puppies, too. She says, “With training, I think the most satisfying moments are when I get to see people connect with their dogs and get to be part of their relationship growing and becoming stronger.”
 
Kore has a 9 year-old cat named Nyx and a Great Pyrenees rescue named Howl at home. She loves large breed dogs and has a wealth of experience with them – Howl is her second Pyrenees! As a dog lover, she isn’t breed particular but does have a soft spot for the bigger babies. In her spare time she loves to crochet and calls it her “little old lady hobby”. Her favorite animal is the Red Panda and if given the opportunity (and household permission), she’d bring one home in a heartbeat!