K-9 Healers was founded by professional dog trainer Gail Furst to enrich the relationship between people and their canine companions.
With more than 20 years of experience bringing together dogs and their humans, Gail has seen and successfully trained a wide range of dog breeds, skill levels and behavioral issues. She has also developed various animal assisted interventions for local hospitals, schools and long-term care facilities, bringing the joy and comfort of dogs to individuals with emotional, physical and developmental disabilities, the elderly and children.
Gail is certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and through the Animal Behavior Institute as an animal assisted therapy professional. She is also a certified Family Dog Mediator, and is a mentor for Animal Behavior College and CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. She is trained in canine first aid and CPR, vet clinic puppy manners and socialization, canine anatomy and physiology, and herbal remedies and aromatherapy.
She is a member of The Pet Professional Guild and The Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals.
Experience & Personal Life
In addition to K-9 Healers, Gail evaluates for the AKC Canine Good Citizen, S.T.A.R. Puppy, Community Canine and Urban Canine Good Citizen, and is an official mentor trainer for CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. She is an instructor and evaluator for APDT Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.), and a trainer with Pets for Vets, a national program that matches and supports veterans with shelter dogs. Gail also provides puppy aptitude tests on 49-day-old puppies for suitable placement in pet and working homes.
Gail is retired from Ontario ARC, where she was the director of training for the Pet Connections program. She was formerly certified as an evaluator for Therapy Dog International and developed the evaluation used by the Pet Connections program, and founded the Therapy Dog International Chapter #216, serving the Finger Lakes and Monroe County. Since retiring, Gail has been able to dedicate much of her time continuing to train dogs through her K-9 Healers business.
Over the years, Gail has trained and shared her life with her own therapy dogs. Her first was a boxer named Rosie, and together they discovered the rewards of animal assisted interventions. Since Rosie, Gail has shared her life with five other boxers, all registered therapy dogs who worked side-by-side with Gail. Currently, Gail has a boxer named Willow.