The relationship you have with your dog is just as important as the behavior they learn. Here at Elite Pup Training, we believe that using that bond in conjunction with empathetic, personalized training can help you and your dog live fuller, happier lives. Passionate about guiding your dog to a balanced state of mind, professional dog trainer Ricardo Rojas has spent countless hours training and researching the best behavior modification techniques. No two dogs are alike, and we’ll work together to create a personalized plan that addresses your concerns. Whether your rescue dog is a bit aggressive or your puppy is a bit too vocal, we’ll help you establish a healthy dynamic with your pup and achieve profound, lasting results.
Elite Pup Training grew organically. Growing up with dogs and feeling a very unique bond with them, Ricky knew his calling. He started young. First with walking dogs in the neighborhood and then training his family dogs all before the age of 10! Fast forwarding to his early 20’s, Ricky trained with a handful of the best trainers in the country and spent countless hours researching the most effective behavior modification techniques. With 15+ years now under his belt, Ricky shares his knowledge with the EPT Team and the many clients that come to us for help. When he’s not training dogs, you can find Ricky with his beautiful family spending time doing fun things in Santa Barbara.
Vanessa started her career as an office manager more than a decade ago. She has years of experience in every aspect of running a business and took that expertise to EPT over 6 years ago. It was with Vanessa’s knowledge and work ethic that made moving to the current facility at the ranch possible. An avid hiker, Vanessa finds time to get out on the trails in the mountains or on the coastline enjoying her beautiful family and the place she gets to call home.
Lorrie has been with EPT for 3 years. She brought with her 25+ years of marketing, sales, customer relations and business development experience. Lorrie has worked with small start-ups to large corporations with an affinity for small businesses helping them accelerate their business growth. Lorrie has had dogs all of her life and currently has 2 rescue dogs that go most places with her. When she’s not working, Lorrie is spending time with her family and dogs enjoying Santa Barbara and the California coast.
Erin began her journey at EPT in August of 2021. Erin grew up with dogs and has been in the pet industry for over 6 years. She has always had a passion for working with animals and now is able to express that through training. Erin is currently enrolled in school studying animal sciences and behavior and is excited to apply her knowledge to her work. In her free time, Erin loves to hike, see live music, cook and, of course, be around dogs.
Gabbi started her journey in January of 2022. She's not shy about working with even the most difficult dogs and is always eager to learn. Gabbi understands the benefit of training and looks forward to making a difference in not only the dog's life but their family's lives as well. Gabbi is a recent UCSB graduate with a degree in Psychology. On her off days, she enjoys most outdoor activities, like hiking, swimming and paddling, If you don't see her in SB, she's camping somewhere amazing on the West Coast.
Jaymee started working at EPT in August of 2021 and has been working with dogs professionally for over 6 years. She grew up with dogs and has always loved animals since she can remember. Jaymee is entering her senior year at UCSB as a Sociology major. When she’s not studying or at the ranch, Jaymee is designing new clothing creations, at the gym or reading somewhere with a view.
Kayleigh started working at EPT in July of 2022. She’s enjoyed learning more about canine behavior and the work that goes into caring for dogs. Kayleigh grew up riding horses and looking after many types of animals. She’s had at least one dog in the family since she was young. Going to work every day is easy. It’s the unconditional love and playfulness that gets her to smile all day every day. When she’s not at work, Kayleigh is raising her pre-teen son and enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones. She also enjoys reading, painting and is an avid video game lover.
Alannah started her journey at EPT in August of 2021. She grew up with dogs her entire life and even started her own dog walking business at the age of 7 years old. Her love for animals just grew from there. She is currently a student at SBCC studying Marine Biology and getting ready to head overseas to Indonesia for a semester abroad to further her studies through diving. In her down time, Alannah is enjoying the outdoors backpacking, hiking and surfing. She’s also a painter and photographer and is frequently visiting the Channel Islands.
Aisla came to EPT in June of 2022. She has been around dogs her entire life and one day would love to have a husky (name TBD). Aisla has enjoyed learning the benefits of training and how it changes not only the dogs lives but their families lives as well. Aisla is going into her junior year of high school and hopes to continue working with animals of all types, particularly exotic animals. When Aisla is not at the ranch or in school, she’s spending time with her family, surfing and reading.
Janet came to EPT in May of 2023. She has years of experience with dogs and currently has a pack of her own. Janet believes that working with dogs heals her heart and soul. Working at EPT, Janet see’s how so many lives are changed with good training and love. On her off time, Janet volunteers at Cold Noses, Warm Hearts as the Treasurer. She is a liaison between dogs in need and their furever homes. She is most happy at home with her pack.
Clarissa started her journey at EPT in July of 2023. With several years of experience dog sitting and fostering puppies for the local shelter, Clarissa is eager to learn more about dog handling/training and the canine/human bond. She is in her final year at Arizona State University studying Family and Human Development. Clarissa is an avid reader. In her free time, you can find her at the beach reading, surfing or hiking in the mountains.
Sandy started with EPT in July of 2021. She has loved dogs since her first year when the family dog was a cocker spaniel named Freckles. Currently, she and her husband Bill have two goofy Goldens named Jack and Jill. As the manager of a pet-sitting company for 15 years, she was exposed to many sizes and breeds of dogs and she thinks they're all wonderful. Sandy enjoys working behind the scenes at EPT, assisting with calls and scheduling, and other duties as needed. In her off time, she enjoys baking pies and other tasty treats and galloping after her Goldens.
For almost a year, Briana has been the EPT Transportation Specialist with over 20 years of dog handling experience. She is involved with Spark Rescue supporting their fostering program and also works with the fostering program at the local shelters. In Briana’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, walking dogs on the beach, traveling, singing karaoke and writing poetry. Briana has a strong bond with dogs and truly enjoys supporting animal rescue groups saving homeless, abused and unwanted dogs and giving them a second chance in life.
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"Ricky and Vanessa are the most dedicated, amazing dog training team I've ever encountered. I've trained my brother's pitbull when he was just a puppy, but training an aggressive rescued dog was a whole other story. I knew I couldn't choose any trainer. I wanted someone who specialized in aggressive behavior and who understood dog psychology, basically someone on Cesar Millan's level. I was deciding between Elite Pup or K9 training. I chose Elite Pup training because it was personalized, Ricky came to do a 30 minute consultation and he was extremely patient with my dog. Ever since I worked with Ricky, my dog has turned a full 180°. I couldn't have this calm, balanced dog without his help. Fred loves you guys and appreciates all of your help too!"
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"Ricky was absolutely wonderful with helping us train our rescue Staffy. She was scared of other dogs which would make her aggressive when one got too close to her and she would always pull on her lead as hard as she could anytime she saw another dog. She is a completely different dog now so we're able to take her more places and let her explore more. Not to mention Ricky actually explaining what he does and why so we can continue to train her and our other pup was a huge help. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for someone to train their dog with obedience and aggression issues."
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"Elite Pup Training is the best! After just a few sessions my dogs went from barking at every guest to lying calmly on their beds during dinner parties. Our friends could not believe the transformation.
They were also both so difficult to walk that I rarely took them out together. Now, they both dogs walk right at my side with no pulling.
One of our dogs had previously spent a month at another training facility, but the training didn't come close to what we received in just 6 sessions with Ricky. Ricky is super knowledgeable and professional; and the perfect mix of gentle and firm. Highly recommend."