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About Us

Laura Yurchak, CPDT-KA, CNWI

My husband and I took our dogs training classes years ago. I wasn’t happy with some of the techniques used. I was determined to find a training technique that didn’t jerk my dogs around and cause unpleasantness in our relationship. I found what I was looking for in Chris Bach’s The Third Way©.


I worked at Snap-on Tools for 25 years. During that time I took on part time work at Wolf Animal Hospital for three years. In 1996 I left Wolf Animal Hospital, graduated from grooming school, and started Loving Paws Dog Grooming. I also completed the Pet Care Technician Program offered by the ABKA, obtained my CPR for dogs award and began my dog training career. I left my corporate job and closed Loving Paws Dog Grooming in 2004 & started Loving Paws LLC dog training and behavior consulting.

Dogs, cats, and other animals where always part of our family. I had almost 16 years with my Border Collie,Tasha and Cattle Dog  mix, Terra (pictured to the right). Both of my girls taught me so much about dog behavior. They are both gone now  including Joey my cat and I cherish everyday I had with them. My Harley boy was my doggie soul mate. He taught me many things and was my partner in Agility and K9 Nose Work. I miss his dearly. Today, my husband George and I are blessed to live with Lucy my other Border Collie, and Zeke our Beagle Lab mix. Harley and Lucy competed in NADAC agility trials and K9 Nose Work trials. We enjoy Treibball, hikes, frisbee, play time and just spending time together. I am a Master Third Way trainer, Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the APDT, a Certified Nose Work instructor and Certifying Official through the NACSW. My goal is to teach people about dogs and how to use dog friendly training techniques to help build a magical relationship between the family and their dog.

Tarja Ahlgren, CNWI

Tarja began her interest in K9 Nose Work in September of 2016 when bringing two of her dogs to a Loving Paws Intro to Nose work class.  She enjoyed the classes so much that she started helping with classes and became a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI). She is also an approved NACSW ORT judge. Tarja has been instructing nose work classes at Loving Paws since 2018. She is an essential member of the Loving Paws trial team and deeply involved with our ORTs, Sniff N Go's, Workshops, and other events. Tarja competes in the Elite level of competition with her Border Collie, Harry, (pictured) and is looking forward to the first NW1 competition with her Border Collie puppy, Elton.  Tarja had also been involved with agility for many years.

Jennifer Schretter.jpg
Jennifer Schretter



Jennifer has started her own dog training business so please go to her website for upcoming class information.


Jennifer Schretter first became involved with Loving Paws in 2014 with her dogs Finley and Bear. Once she had gone through all the classes herself, Jennifer found a true love for working with dogs, their people, and began auditing classes to become a trainer herself. She has attended many seminars and workshops on canine behavior, training, and nutrition and continues to pursue all available avenues for learning.

Jennifer also continues to work with her dogs.  She is training Finley in agility and hopes to compete in the near future. Bear has passed all three Nosework Oder Recognition Tests, has Titled in Nosework level 1 and continues to compete. With both CGC and CGCA titles Finley, Bear, and Jennifer are always looking for new things to learn, compete, and most importantly have fun with.

Jennifer Lives in Racine with her husband and their two dogs, four-year-old Boxer Finley-Lou and two-year-old Black Lab Bear. Five feisty cats rule the house, Spaghetti, Meatball, Honey-Bunny, Tinkerbell, and Lokelani-Tiombe. She also has a Hedgehog named Sonic and regularly rides as well as trains two family horses, Mindy and Belle.

Melissa Peterson-Ney




Melissa has started her own dog training business so please go to her website for upcoming class information,


Melissa Peterson-Ney became involved with Loving Paws LLC back in 2013 when she started taking nose work classes with her dachshund, Mocha, They achieved their NW1 in 2016. She continues training to achieve higher titles in the future. She has also gone through the puppy training classes with her flat-coated retriever puppy, Pete, and has loved watching him and other puppies learn.

Melissa’s love for dog training began when she was 13 with the Kenosha 4-H Dog Project and she has continued with the program as a trainer. She has 20 years of experience in training youth to train their dogs in obedience, agility and rally. She has earned CGCs on 5 of her dogs and has a CD title on one of her dogs. Herding breads, sporting breeds and hounds have been part of her fuzzy family.

She believes that you can never know too much about your fuzzy friends. She has taken multiple classes on dog nutri- tion, obedience, rally obedience and agility. She has joined the Loving Paws team, working with the puppy classes and can’t wait to meet your pups.

Melissa lives with her spouse and their 4 dogs. Dachshunds: Mocha and Abby; German Shorthair, TinkerBell and Flat-Coat Retriever, Pete.

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