Our Team

Our Team of Dog trainers for Group classes in Chesapeake, VA

We’re here to help!

Our team cares. We have the experience and education to tackle your behavior issues with kindness and empathy, and have you and your dog’s well-being in mind.

Certified Dog trainer Virginia Beach

Andrea Marx


Trainer Bio

 I started Freak on a Leash in 2015 because I am passionate about positive reinforcement training and teaching people the kindest ways of interacting with their dogs. I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). I am also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Family Dog Mediator (https://www.familydogmediation.com/), and Fear Free Certified Professional.

My specialty is treating challenging behaviors like aggression, anxiety, and fear and I am thoroughly educated in treating challenging behaviors safely and kindly. One of my highest priorities is ongoing education. I stay current on the latest science-based methods of training, allowing me to help you get the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Lasting behavior change takes patience and teamwork. Dogs are motivated by many things and we can find reinforcement that works; sometimes we just have to get creative! If crocodiles, dolphins, and wolves can be trained with reinforcement, why use painful devices on your best friend? I want you and your dog to live happily together, and I am confident I can help you reach your training goals.

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with IAABC
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) with CCPDT
Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with CCPDT
Professional Member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)
Certified Stunt Dog Judge
Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP)
Pet FirstAid / CPR Certified
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Instructor
AKC TemperamentTest Evaluator (ATT)

Sampling of attended workshops and seminars:

  • ClickerExpo
  • Dogs with Big Feelings conference
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Michael Shikashio’s Aggression Cases from A-Z
  • Aggression in Dogs conferences
    Dr. Tim Lewis – The Biology of Dog Aggression 
  • Behavior Bible – School of Canine Science
  • L.E.G.S. In Motion conference
  • Living and Learning with Animals course
dog trainer Cheryl Shomo from Chesapeake hugging red and white Pitbull mix

Cheryl Shomo


Trainer Bio

I have been in the dog world for almost three decades. After spending my childhood consumed with horses, I got my first dog in college which began my journey in the world of training and more specifically dog sports, which became a primary focus for over 10 years.

In 2009 I was exposed to the field of behavior analysis. This started an interest in the science of learning and behavior and a deeper dive into positive reinforcement and rewards-based training, eventually paving the way for my interest in professional training. I find the study of behavior so fascinating and regularly continue my education in all things behavior modification.

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through CCPDT and Fear Free Certified. I enjoy helping dogs of all ages with everything from foundational training and socialization, to addressing challenging behavior issues. I also love volunteering my time with service dogs in training and shelter animals, and am a team facilitator and teaching assistant for Atlas Assistance Dogs.

I currently have just one dog, a young pit bull/beagle mix named Topsy who is a high energy, super fun “foster fail.” She loves being  busy and training for various sports.

Dog Trainer Cate Law from Virginia Beach with Golden Retriever Addy licking her face

Cate Law


Trainer Bio

 My love for dogs started at a young age. I grew up with two or three dogs at a time, mostly Great Pyrenees. In 2017, I began volunteering for Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and found my passion for dog training. Since then, I have raised and trained numerous future assistance dogs through various non-profit organizations. After graduating from college, I worked for a service dog organization transforming their kennel to be a positive environment, working through “undesirable” behaviors and providing enrichment to the dogs. I continue to volunteer for assistance dog organizations by raising service dogs in training and teaching training classes. 

In 2021, I moved to Virginia Beach with my excitable golden retriever, Addy, who loves hiking, swimming, and trick training. 

I am a certified training partner through the Karen Pryor Academy. My goal is to help humans and their dogs build a good relationship with each other through positive reinforcement methods. Training your pet and working through behaviors can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be – I love making the training process fun for both you and your dog!

I thoroughly enjoy working with puppies and adolescent dogs. I can help you provide a solid foundation and basic manners for your dog or troubleshoot behavior issues through in-home training and group classes.

Dog Trainer Keri from Smithfield with tow Pitbulls and Australian Shepherd

Keri Bagley


Trainer Bio

My training career started with a reactive dog I adopted in 2017. I had to learn tons about behavior modification and reactivity to help him succeed in the world, which started my love of interpreting and identifying behavior. I spent time shadowing a professional trainer and earned my professional dog training certification in 2019 from the respected Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Teaching people how to navigate reactivity with kind and humane techniques is what I find most rewarding. It is life-altering not being able to enjoy your dog to the fullest due to reactivity. I also enjoy helping dogs struggling with aggression, fears and phobias, separation anxiety, or other behavior issues.

I live in Smithfield, VA and share my life with a gaggle of misfit bully breed mixes and an Australian Shepherd. Rescue dogs are a big part of my life, and I often share my home with foster dogs from a local bully rescue. I love seeing dogs from hard circumstances relax and learn, and preparing them for their forever homes.

I train and compete with my own dogs in sports like Fast CAT and Barn Hunt. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing a dog follow their natural instincts!

Dog Trainer Tristan Demise from Virginia Beach kneeling with black and white chihuahua

Tristan Demise


Trainer Bio

 I began positive reinforcement training in 2018 under a mentor through Petco. Their positive dog training program is based in scientifically-sound methods. Shortly after I began to work at my local SPCA. I was able to observe and learn from a multitude of animal behaviors throughout my tenure there, in addition to doing long-term desensitization work with cats.

I worked with high-energy dogs with poor walking/social skills, including shaping polite behavior from the moment I stepped in front of the kennel, polite harnessing, loose leash-walking, and gaining focus for redirection purposes. The shelter environment is hardly ideal for learning, but with guidance, the dogs managed to pick up manners regardless!

I’m an Accredited Dog Trainer with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and love coaching pet parents. Whether they helicopter too much, set no boundaries at all, or have all the knowledge and resources to get it right, they all love their animals and want what’s best for them! As much as we interact with the pets, in the end it’s their people we’re really training.

Dog trainer Karissa from Chesapeake with her Australian Shepherd

Karissa Triveri

Trainer Bio

My journey began at the Median School of Allied Health Careers, where I graduated with an Associate Degree in Specialized Technology: Veterinary Technician. This education laid the foundation for my career in animal health, training and behavior. I’ve worked in various roles, from a veterinary assistant skilled in triage and surgery support, to a valued veterinary technician performing essential diagnostic tests and patient care.

My unique blend of veterinary education and hands-on training experience sets me apart. I understand the medical factors that can influence your dog’s learning and behavior, enabling me to create customized training strategies that yield results. My approach is rooted in positivity and encouragement to enhance the lives of pets and their people through effective training and care.

I provide in-home training for obedience and manners training and love teaching all kinds of group classes. I believe in fostering a strong, trusting relationship between dogs and their owners. Nothing makes me happier than helping pet parents be successful. 

I am also committed to professional development to ensure that I bring the latest and most effective training methods to your dog’s education. I am currently working towards my certification with CCPDT.

When I’m not training dogs, you can find me training and competing in agility with my Australian Shepherd Hex or tending and riding my horse. Let me help you experience the transformative power of thoughtful, informed dog training.

Toni Turbide Scent work instructor in Chesapeake with tri colored Australian Shepherd

Toni Turbide


Trainer Bio

From a young age, I have held an abiding passion for animals. Our family had a Sealyham Terrier and cat until I was nine, when my first horse and dog joined the mix—a Border Collie/Greyhound mix. My involvement with 4H marked the start of my equestrian and canine sports training journey, which has continued to this day. 

While working at an Arabian horse training facility, I obtained my first Australian Shepherd who soon found success competing in various forms of obedience as well as conformation shows—paving the way for our current trio of Australian Shepherds. We also have a sweet Pomeranian along with two cats.

I have found dog sports to be a great way to connect with my dogs, as well as provide enrichment for them. Aside from sports such as Conformation, Rally, Agility, Herding, and Drafting, we also pursue Dock Diving and dive deep into the world of Scent Work (Nose Work). I enjoy teaching Scent Work since it is such a great sport for confidence and team building. Dogs are simply amazing!

Agility instructor Diana with her Sheltie Meg

Diana Deadrick-Casino

Ph.D. Organizational Management 

Trainer Bio

I have been training and competing in dog sports for 16+ years. This type of training has highlighted, for me, the importance of and need for true “teamwork” with your canine partner. We adopted a rough collie, Chesnee, when she was 9 months old, and we quickly learned she wasn’t really interested in people. As much as I wanted us to learn about agility, she just wanted to chase squirrels – and me! We spent the next 4 years doing sheep herding, which helped us develop a working relationship and a deep teamwork bond. After that, I was able to begin training agility with her. That experience taught me that relationship-building is the foundation for any dog sport. It’s also the relationship, not the accomplishments, that keeps the game fun for both you and your partner.

When I started dog agility training, I did not expect to compete; in my mind, it was just a hobby we did in our spare time. It didn’t take long for the agility bug to bite! Chesnee and I did agility for 6 years and earned a combined 16 NADAC Agility Trial Championships (NATCHs), 10 regular NATCHs and 6 Versatility NATCHs. We also earned multiple Hall of Fame awards and the distinction of being the #1 Collie team in NADAC agility for her last 3 years (2015 – 2017). I am now training and trialing with my sheltie, Liv. We are working our way through the Open (intermediate) classes and solidifying our teamwork. I have also trained and competed in herding with my collie and Scent Work with another sheltie.

I retired from my day job 4 years ago as a Management Professor in the business school at ODU, teaching and researching topics related to employee and group development. I “practice what I preach” and apply all the knowledge gleaned about employee motivation to dog training and team development. 😊

We can help bring out the best in your dog!

Freak On A Leash dog trainers are experts in using positive reinforcement techniques. Let us help bring calm into your chaos.