Georgette M. Lombardo, MS, has excelled as the owner and founder of Pawsitive Training ABQ since 2015. First embarking on her education at New Mexico State University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations in 1988 and went on to achieve a Master of Science in athletic administration from the University of New Mexico in 1993. From there, she began her career as a media relations assistant in the athletic department at the University of New Mexico. After moving into the corporate world, Ms. Lombardo found she wasn’t entirely happy in her work and sought a change. She found the answer after a colleague recommended that she enroll in the Karen Pryor Academy, a dog training school.
Having loved dogs for her entire life, Ms. Lombardo got her first dogs in 2006 at the age of 40 and, in less than a decade, went from complete novice to professional dog trainer. She became a certified training partner with Karen Pryor Academy in 2015 and established Pawsitive Training ABQ two months later while continuing to work in her office job. The following year, she left that job in order to dedicate all of her effort to Pawsitive Training. Continuing to learn throughout her career, Ms. Lombardo completed coursework in applied animal behavior at the University of Washington, became certified as a recommended trainer by Animal Humane New Mexico, and attends the yearly Karen Pryor Academy continuing education conferences.
Today, Ms. Lombardo holds considerable expertise in clicker training for dogs of all ages, from puppies to adolescents to mature adult dogs. She has made a name for herself for her focus on both the human doing the training and the dog being trained, as she notes that good training is about communication on both sides. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of patience when it comes to training, since changing behaviors is not something that will happen overnight. While she now primarily works with puppies, she got her start with training her own dogs, two huskies that had a slew of behavioral problems brought on by the neglect of their previous owner. Ms. Lombardo is particularly proud that she was able to take one of those dogs, the husky-cattle dog mix, to complete the training program at Karen Pryor Academy with her.
Attributing much of her success to never giving up, always striving to grow and do better, and her expert knowledge in dog behavior, Ms. Lombardo is gratified to have reached a point where she no longer has to seek out new clients, they come to her instead. She has been motivated throughout her career in dog training by the dogs themselves and their needs, though she notes that her primary client is the dog owner. Her skills with both parties have led to say that she is “good with both ends of the leash.” Looking toward the future, Ms. Lombardo is in the process of writing a book, “Both Ends of the Leash: Helping You Raise and Amazing Puppy,” to establish her expertise in working with puppies.
Additionally, Ms. Lombardo recently offered a scholarship to a young woman who has expressed interest in working in the field, which will allow her to attend the Karen Pryor Academy, since the minimum requirement to work at Pawsitive Training is a certificate from the academy. She also plans to have the young woman shadow her over the next year to help her learn the ropes and to evaluate her as a potential employee. Ms. Lombardo would advise young and aspiring professionals to find themselves good support teams and hopes that her own journey will encourage and inspire others to follow their dreams.
In order to keep breast of developments in her field, Ms. Lombardo maintains professional affiliation with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. For her excellence, she was named a Top Five Dog Trainer by Albuquerque the Magazine in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and a Top Dog Trainer in 2017, 2020 and 2021. Above everything, Ms. Lombardo considers her favorite part of her work to be the light-bulb moment that happens when the dog and their human just click and fall into understanding with each other.