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Our Trainers

Jump to: Suzanne Kalafian | Erin Omba | Debbie Hanley | Balynda Brown | Melissa Breau

Suzanne Kalafian, Owner, ABCDT, CATT

Suzanne has been a professional dog trainer since 1997 and holds several certifications, including Certified Mentor Trainer through Animal Behavior College, Certified American Treibball Trainer, level III, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Assistant Trick Dog Instructor. Originally from Pennsylvania, Suzanne and Superior Dog Training relocated to North Carolina in 2004.

Superior Dog Training can often feel more like an extended family than a simple business, and it’s no accident! Suzanne takes a personal interest in each of her clients and their canine companions and works tirelessly to identify the best way to motivate and teach each dog. Whether she is working with someone who has their very first dog or a long-time dog owner, Suzanne knows there’s always more to learn and tailors her instruction to the skills and interests of each client-dog team.

Suzanne believes that enhancing the bond between dog and human is one of the most important aspects of training. Whether teaching basic manners, addressing behavior concerns, or teaching a sport, she maintains an awareness of the team dynamic in order to keep frustration low and learning high. She promotes accurate communication and fun interactions as the cornerstones of successful training.

Suzanne firmly believes that continuing education is a must for furthering professional growth and providing top-notch services to clients. She attends a wide array of workshops and seminars, utilizes colleague-based forums, and reads extensively in order to stay current with her field.

Suzanne’s family includes a devoted husband, two wonderful teenage girls, a cat named Annie, and a frisbee-fetching, treibball pushing, high flying Jack Russell Terrier named Spike.

You can contact Suzanne directly at

Erin Omba, CPDT-KA

Erin, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, has been training people and their canine companions professionally since 2006, but has been working with dogs since 2002. Erin has taught a variety of group classes and has worked with more than 200 families in private behavior consultations. Erin’s areas of expertise include manners training, behavior evaluations, selecting a family pet, reactive dogs, and dogs with kids. As a mom of two young children and two dogs, Erin has a first-hand understanding of the daily challenges faced by families with kids and dogs.

Erin believes that any successful dog-human partnership requires clear and consistent communication and a relationship based on mutual respect and benevolent leadership. Her goal is to provide each client with the tools to be able to confidently create that dynamic.

Erin’s own canine companions include two senior mixed-breed dogs, Maggie and Jengo.

You can contact Erin directly at

Debbie Hanley, CATT, CTDI

Debbie is both a Certified American Treibball Trainer and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and comes to us with many years experience training dogs.  Debbie believes in positive reinforcement/clicker training and has used these methods to train and title dogs in Obedience, Dock Diving, Agility and Canine Good Citizenship.

Debbie is a positive reinforcement/clicker trainer and has been training dogs since a youngster, including German Shepherds, Miniature Schnauzers, Giant Schnauzers, Siberian Husky, Cocker Spaniel, Newfoundland, Saint Bernards and Border Collies. She emphasizes having fun with your dog while teaching the dog to think and problem solve. Training with Debbie will be fun, rewarding and will give you life long training skills to train and bond with your dog from family pet to competition.

Debbie is also one of the first Certified Dognition  Evaluators in North Carolina.  She would be happy to assist you and your dog with your Dognition (Dog Cognition) Assessment.  To learn more about the Dognition program, click here.  To register for a Dognition Assessment with Debbie, click here.

Her dogs enjoy hiking, learning and performing tricks! BleuMoon is a Trick Dog Champion and active in Treibball.

You can contact Debbie directly at

BalyndaBalynda Brown

Balynda comes to Superior Dog Training, Inc. because of her unique training skills. She uses positive training methods to create fun and active training classes that strengthen the bond between you and your dog, as well as teaching them the manners you desire. Balynda owns 2 Poodles and a Kaboodle of Fun, where she offers dog walking, pet sitting and grooming, in addition to dog training.

To use her other services see her web site:

Through Balynda’s unique training style, she creates a fun environment to help you create a lasting partnership with your own puppy or dog. Through positive reinforcement techniques and play, you will learn to be the best companion for your pet while teaching good manners.

Balynda has been involved in showing dogs for almost 35 years. In the past 10 years, she has taken her two silver Toy Poodles, Jazz and Electra, to the top of the charts in obedience training in the nation. Both Jazz and Electra have had #1 rankings in the Toy Poodle breed. This partnership has earned them over 15 AKC and UKC obedience titles. Also, to add to these accomplishments, she has titles in weight pull and excellent titles in Lure coursing with her rat terriers, and is entering the world of Dock Diving with her toy poodle Surf.

2014-07-07 18.24.20Melissa Breau

Melissa comes to Superior Dog Training, Inc. after years of taking classes with the Superior team. She has been surrounded by dogs her whole life—her mom worked at a vet clinic and both grandmothers bred and showed their dogs during her childhood.

Melissa has been working with dogs and for dog-related businesses since she was 12—starting with working at her grandmother’s boarding kennel. Melissa and her German shepherd, Riley, are regularly competitors in Treibball, have begun earning trick dog titles, and are beginning their work in competitive obedience. She has also taught her cat how to come when called.

At Superior she teaches both puppy and life skills classes, with a focus on making class fun and building a clear understanding between the dog and owner.

Melissa believes in the importance of training classes for a well-balanced dog and aims to have everyone who finishes her classes feel as though they are one step closer to turning the dog they have into their dream dog!

She is also our web admin and maintains and updates our website.