Our BloomingPaws team has over 30 members.
Meet some of our leaders.
Associate Trainer: Brian Fullerton
Biography: Brian Fullerton joined the Board of Directors of BloomingPaws in October 2013 and also serves as an Associate Trainer. Brian was the General Manager and Training Supervisor of Canine Companions from 2000-2008. Brian holds a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Animal Behavior from Indiana University. His knowledge of the pet industry brings invaluable insight into the ongoing creation of our state-of- the-art, all-inclusive facility. His experience in the pet care industry and his passion for animals continues to be a substantial part of his life, including:
- Training dogs in basic obedience (on leash commands) and intermediate obedience (off leash commands) in both group and one-on-one settings.
- Experience in protection training, scent detection, tracking, agility, and Police K-9 training.
- Advisor for behavior modification, including pharmaceutical therapy.
- A guest lecturer to the School of Education and Psychology at Indiana University on learning principles and methods.
- A practice assistant to veterinary medical facilities.
- A certified AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator.
- Active handler in AKC Conformation shows, with multiple English Bulldogs attaining the title of Champions (CH) and Grand Champion (GCH).
- Competed in the 2011 AKC Eukanuba National Dog Show.
Brian currently works with Solution Tree, a K-12 education publishing company based in Bloomington, IN, that provides resources, professional development, and events worldwide. Brian and his wife, Lindsey, are proud parents to their son, Burke. They have had the pleasure of being parents to two German Shepherds in the past; currently they share their home with three English Bulldogs—Spencer, Ellen, Benson—and two cats—David and Grace.
Philosophy & Goals: My primary passion is working with pet owners to better understand their pet’s behavior. I enjoy teaching others how to reinforce positive characteristics in their pets while curbing undesirable behavior. I take a particular interest in the history and origin of all dog breeds. It is fascinating to know that no other species is as varied as the domesticated canine, as all dogs have been bred for a designated purpose. I constantly strive to further my knowledge and skills to assist pet owners in all facets of ownership and care.
Lead Trainer: Alex Snowberger
Biography: Alex Snowberger took over as trainer here at BloomingPaws in October of 2015. Alex is a retired Marine who has taken his passion for dogs and made it into a career. While he was still in the Marine Corps, Alex took a distance education course through Penn Foster Career School. He then began learning to train dogs under a local dog trainer, and assisting with the obedience training of a local non profit organization that was training service members to train their own service dogs. After Alex got out of the military he attended the Tom Rose School for professional dog trainers. Where he learned to train dogs to AKC obedience levels as well as Schutzund/IPO obedience. He has experience training dogs in scent discrimination, narcotics, tracking, and search and rescue, and is a certified AKC CGC instructor.
Alex has two dogs, Sharkbait a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, and Palomine an Australian Shepherd. When not working Alex enjoys spending time outside hiking with his dogs, as well as spending time with his son.
Philosophy & Goals: My goals are to get everyone involved and excited to train their dogs. I believe dogs should be enjoyed, but to get to that point they need proper training and manners. I take a basic approach to training, you begin with a positive foundation a get the dog wanting to work with you. This along with our balanced approach helps to make sure the dog knows what you expect and can work well under any distraction. Once the dogs are at this point you not only have a well behaved dog, but one that can enjoy all kinds of activities with you.
Assistant Trainer: Ashley Hippensteel
Biography: Ashley Hippensteel started working as a Group Play Guardian at BloomingPaws in May of 2015. She began working with animals at a young age, beginning with horses at a riding barn, then dogs and cats at the local animal shelters in Chicago. While volunteering at shelters, she began working at animal boarding kennels in the Chicago land area. Loving the day care environment, she continued working with dogs when she came to Bloomington for Indiana University at the Bloomington Animal Shelter and BloomingPaws Group Play Department.
Ashley has one dog, a young Golden Retriever named Theo. Theo is her first dog, so she greatly sympathizes with the potty training woes and all the other crazy puppy experiences owners go through. To help with all his puppy energy, Ashley brings him to the lakes and kayaks around Bloomington. When not playing/training with Theo or at BloomingPaws, Ashley goes horseback riding at a local barn and spends time with friends and family.
Philosophy & Goals: Ashley’s interest in dog training emerged with an internship at the BloomingPaws Training Department in October 2015. During her internship, Ashley learned a great deal about reading dogs’ body language, addressing basic problem behaviors (jumping, nipping, etc), and teaching basic dog obedience. Working with owners and seeing their excitement over the dog’s new skills is her favorite part of the training experience. It is her philosophy that training is about creating a better bond between the dog and owner! It should be exciting and fun for both parties!