Meet Our Trainers

Ethel Mercer

Ethel Mercer

Ethel has been teaching Puppy Class for Lomita Obedience Training club for more than 20 years. She also teaches Beginning and Intermediate Companion Dog Manners, Intermediate Competition Obedience and Dog Tricks.  The sport of Canine Freestyle has also been a passion of hers for a number of years. Ethel is a certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator and a force free trainer.

Ethel has bred and shown Miniature Pinschers and achieved three breed championships with them. In addition she has shown the “Min Pins”, her border collie and her Papillon in Obedience, Agility, Canine Freestyle and Dog Tricks achieving advanced titles in each sport. As if that weren’t enough, her dogs are also Delta Certified Therapy Dogs making hospital visits to cheer up the patients.

Continual learning is important to Ethel. It keeps her and her dogs sharp. She regularly attends seminars to keep up to date on ideas and techniques and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Inc. She also shares her expertise by serving as a mentor for the Animal Behavior Collage Student Externship Program. She wants to make learning fun for her students and believes: “Make the training process rewarding for both the dog and owner by using force free positive training techniques, and try to never lose your sense of humor!”. As a result of this philosophy, she has seen a number of students repeat her courses every time they get a new dog.

Michele Mottola & Jack Thourot

Michele Mottola & Jack Thourot

Jack and Michele have been training dogs in obedience for 20 plus years. They began with casual training classes and very soon became interested in competition obedience. Through Lomita Obedience Training Club they have trained their Australian Cattle Dogs to the Utility Level of Obedience and Excellent level in Rally. They have supported other LOTC force free trainer in Puppy Manners’ Classes, Beginning Obedience, and Clicker Training Classes. In addition, partnering with Ruth Nunn, they have provided instruction in the weekly Advanced Obedience Workshop on Saturday mornings at Hathaway Park.

jackandmicheleAlong with their hands on training experience, they have attended a number of workshops and seminars including: Clicker Expo, and seminars by Kathy Sadao, Pia Silvani, Dawn Jecs and Kay Lawrence. Their goal is to provide practical support and information to help you build a joyful relationship with your dog.

Vita Allison

Vita Allison

Vita Allison grew up locally participating in many dog sports and has titled over 30 dogs of different breeds in AKC and other venues, often achieving the highest awards and national rankings.  She is teaching both AKC Rally and Tracking for LOTC.

Vita has enjoyed tracking with a number of dogs of various breeds, especially in urban situations.  She has written numerous articles to help people get started tracking, many of which were published in Dog Sport Magazine.  Vita is fascinated by the science of scent and would really enjoy introducing you & your dog to tracking!!

Vita is also one of AKC’s first Southern California Rally judges.  She continues to exhibit and do all she can to popularize the sport.  She has been successful in many sports, including Rally, with Borzoi, Whippets, Boxer, Doberman, Schipperke, Parson, and most recently her Australian Shepherd.  Vita is always learning new training techniques and would enjoy helping you master the sport of Rally.

Dog Training Classes

New training classes starting soon! All levels – puppy through adult, AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Competitive Obedience.