About

Our Team

Our Team

The Sophisticated Dog’s Team is here to help you achieve your goals.  Each of us is a certified professional with years of experience in using human-and-pet-friendly methods to teach people and their pets.

Irith Bloom

Team Leader

Irith is a person who finds joy in helping others learn to teach animals with kindness. She is a biologist by training and a lifelong learner who is fascinated by behavior science. Irith is also a sought-after presenter whose writing has been published in countless online outlets, as well as in print media including the recent book “Your Puppy and You: A step-by-step guide to raising a freak’n awesome dog.

Irith is co-founder of the Freak’n Awesome Dog Project, which helps people live the life of their dreams with their dogs. She is an education junkie with a long list of letters after her name, most notably certified professional dog trainer and certified dog behavior consultant. As team leader at The Sophisticated Dog, Irith oversees the entire team. She also takes on a very small number of in-person clients in parts of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica, as well as online clients worldwide.

Learn more about Irith and her background here.

Paul Bujold

Team Member

Paul Bujold, who worked 30+ years in local government as a senior manager, is enjoying a second career working with dogs and their people. A lifelong dog lover, Paul repeatedly begged his parents for a dog when he was a child, until they finally gave in. They were pleasantly surprised when Paul made good on his promise to feed, walk, train, and clean up after the dog (until Paul left to attend USC, that is).

Paul’s dogs have competed and titled in obedience and K9 Nose Work®. While dog sports are fun and challenging, Paul’s greatest joy is sharing his life with well-behaved and well-adjusted companions. His proudest achievement, dog-wise, is rescuing a fearful, anxious dog and helping that dog become calm and confident enough to become CGC certified and work as a retirement home therapy dog.
Paul, who is a CPDT-KA, is based in Ventura, CA. He offers in-person training in Ventura, as well as in Montecito and Santa Barbara with the addition of a travel fee. He also offers online training worldwide.

Vic Gasser

Team Member

Vic Gasser has always loved animals. As a child she caught the training bug with her first family dog, and has been fascinated with how animals think and learn ever since. In the pursuit of becoming an amazing dog trainer, Vic earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior, Training, and Enrichment from Delaware Valley College. Believing the more she understood about canine behavior, the better equipped she’d be to help her dog training clients, she then went on to earn her graduate degree from Newcastle University in the UK as a Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare.

Vic has worked in animal shelters across the US while also helping private clients, which has allowed her to gain experience with a wide variety of breeds, behavior concerns, and people. She prides herself in being compassionate and thoughtful with her clients, both human and animal. Her goal is to share her knowledge with other pet owners so they can have a happier, healthier relationship with their pets.

Vic, who is a CPDT-KSA as well as an Msc, is based in the San Fernando Valley. She offers in-person training Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Lake Balboa, and parts of the West Side, as well as surrounding areas with a travel fee. She also offers online training worldwide.

Our Approach

Here at The Sophisticated Dog we are truly a team.  We regularly discuss cases, and lean on each other for inspiration when something’s not quite going as well as we’d like.  We share ideas and information.   In other words, our clients not only benefit from our wealth of shared knowledge and experience, they also effectively get multiple experts looking at what’s going on.

Our Mission

We believe that every household can become happier and healthier with the right guidance. Our mission is to help you and your pets live in greater joy and harmony. The best way to achieve this is by creating choice-rich environments.

We help our clients create environments where their pets have lots of good options and almost always makes the right choices. Pets who are empowered to make their own choices are happier and more relaxed. Pets who make the right choices are a pleasure to live with. We are experts in making that happen.

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