Leslie started her career with animals as a veterinary technician in 1991 and pursued this career until 2002 when she started "Dogs Think!" dog training and behavior consults full time.  She has been training dogs since 1992 when she apprenticed under retired K9 police officer who owned the boarding kennel that she managed.  Leslie's love and admiration for dogs was intensified by her fist dog Hoss, a Labrador retriever and her soulmate of dogs.  Her curiosity about dogs and the human-animal bond has taken her to Alaska as a volunteer on the Iditarod trail in 2000 and 2001 and "Ground Zero" to help with veterinary care for the search and rescue teams.

She has done extensive continuing education and certification since she started training in 1992, but credits her dog Clyde, a difficult "project dog", with contributing the greatest amount to her knowledge of dog behavior and training.  She is passionate about shelter dog welfare and quality of life issues for shelter dogs and is very active in the shelter world currently.  She founded Hoss' Homeless Hotel, a non-profit shelter dog transport and community outreach organization in 2004.

Leslie currently shares her life and love with Willy, the lovable barbarian boxer who is her constant "work in progress", Beanie, the cavalier and easiest dog ever who technically belongs to daughter Shea; husband Dave, who has taught her the true meaning of unconditional love and daughter Shea, aka "slimer extraordinaire", the true light in her life whose smile and laughter could move mountains!

Leslie believes that life is too short to waste even one moment and is a huge proponent of sharing your life with a fury companion of some kind.  Having fun is mandatory and her dog training philosophies and style reflect this mandate for fun in life, love and most definately in dog training!  "Each day with our dogs is a gift!  they are here for a relatively short time.  It is our responsibility as dog enthusiasts and owners to make each day the very best it can be for ourselves and our 4-legged companions!"

Contact Leslie

leslie@dogsthink.com or 
phone: 814-571-1874 


Association of
Pet Dog Trainers


Honors Graduate of San Francisco Dog Training Academy counseling
certificate program

CPDT - Certified Pet Dog Trainer. The only nationally accredited certification for dog trainers

Certified Assess-A-Pet™ Evaluator and Train To Adopt™ Instructor

Professional Reward Based Training

News & Updates

5 Day Intensive Hands On Internship

~ we are in search of venues out west currently, please stay tuned for details of upcoming dates and locations!

Teaching Dogs to Think and Owners to Think "Dog"!

Leslie Burgard DeFusco, CPDT-KA