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Our team

Paw by Paw's experienced team of dog trainers and behavior specialists are committed to providing personalized solutions tailored to your pet's unique needs. Whether you're seeking obedience training, behavior modification, or puppy socialization, our experts are here to help.

With a shared passion for understanding and nurturing the unique bond between dogs and their owners, our team brings together a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a deep-rooted love for all things canine. Meet the individuals behind our mission, each with their own specialized skills and unwavering dedication to helping you and your beloved pet thrive.

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David, an experienced K-9 police and military dog trainer moved to D.C. from Israel in 2015 to expand his skill set at Highland Canine School for Dog Trainers. During the 480-hour program, he studied a variety of training methods including positive and balanced method, as well as nutrition and first aid/CPR for dogs. David has worked with over 1,000 dogs of all breeds, ages, and temperaments and has conducted several specialized seminars for police and military dog handlers in the U.S.

David believes the first step towards any successful relationship is communication. At Paw by Paw Dog Training, David works to build a foundation of trust between each client and their dog through customized training plans. 




Our talented Director of Operations, Melissa grew up locally in the Potomac area. She obtained a BS in Psychology from the University of Maryland Global Campus and holds multiple nutrition certifications from UC Davis Veterinary School, specializing in canine and feline nutrition.


Prior to joining Paw by Paw, Melissa spent eight years as a store manager for Pet Valu. She is proud to have used her talent and knowledge of the pet industry to organize dozens of philanthropic events with various non-profit animal groups within the Potomac community and beyond.


At Paw by Paw, Melissa works behind the scenes to streamline our operations and keep things running smoothly with our team and clients. Between communications with our pet parents, Melissa supports Paw by Paw's growth by establishing and promoting relationships with rescues and other local small businesses.

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Leena is one of Paw by Paw's amazing reservation specialists and a pro at scheduling our free evaluations, lessons, and self washes. She currently manages our training boutique and works hard to answer all of your calls and emails. 

Leena is certified in dog and cat nutrition by U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She spent over three years working in the pet retail industry as a pet care expert. She previously worked as a receptionist for a daycare and boarding facility.


She currently has two dogs: Bones and Marley. Bones is a pit and Marley is a super mutt with her two most prevalent breeds being pit and beagle. Leena has been dog sitting for many years and treats each dog (and cat) as if they were her own!

Bring your pup by the office after training to get some of Leena's highly sought after head scratches!




Since 2017, Jesse has been immersed in the world of dog training. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Anthrozoology and earned his Obedience and Behavioral Modification certificate from Highland Canine School for Dog Trainers. His diverse experience includes roles at Petsmart, Petco, K9s for Warriors, and Beaches Animal Clinic, where he served as a kennel tech and vet tech trainee. 

Growing up in Rockville, MD, Jesse has always been surrounded by dogs. His current companion, Gizmo, is a lovable golden doodle, and he fondly remembers his childhood dogs, including an Akita and three poodles.

Jesse's goal in dog training is to ensure that every dog owner can fully enjoy life with their furry friends and communicate effectively with them. He is passionate about Paw by Paw because it goes beyond a typical dog training company, demonstrating genuine care for clients and a commitment to making dog ownership a joyful experience.

Fun fact: In addition to his expertise in dog training, Jesse has also trained fish, birds, reptiles, and small mammals.




Joanna, an experienced obedience and behavior modification trainer grew up locally in Potomac, MD. After completing Animal Behavior College's Dog Obedience Instructor Training program and internship, she enrolled her dog, Toro in Paw by Paw's Obedience 101 course for hands-on experience with our Master Trainers.

Joanna's love of dogs and desire to work with them was immediately apparent and she was soon hired as an intern at Paw at Paw. After an eight-month internship, she moved to North Carolina to complete a 480-hour Canine Training and Behavior Modification course at Highland Canine School for Dog Trainers. There she studied the practical application of behavior modification and obedience training.

At Paw by Paw Dog Training, Joanna puts theory into practice to foster the bond between humans and their canine companions.




Alissa, one of our Doggie Day School Experts first found her calling working at a local dog daycare facility, where she supervised over 100 dogs daily for five transformative years. 

Her dedication and enthusiasm led her to embark on a unique training journey. From training a service dog, she transitioned to nurturing her own mixed breed dog, showcasing her commitment to understanding and communicating with our four-legged friends.

Fueled by an unyielding passion for animal behavior, Alissa's mission is to forge enduring bonds between dogs and their owners through the art of obedience training. 




Madison grew up in Rockville, MD, where she developed a deep love for dogs through pet sitting for friends and family. Her own furry companions include A'ella, a pit bull mix who adores car rides, and Moxy, a playful pit bull who loves splashing around in creeks. Since getting her first dog at 12, Madison has maintained a passion for canine companionship.

Madison is dedicated to helping owners of rescue dogs who exhibit behavioral challenges due to their past experiences, aiming to bridge the gap of understanding. She was drawn to Paw by Paw for its warm and welcoming environment, where everyone, including owners, dogs, and trainers, are encouraged to learn and grow.




Rowan, a lifetime animal lover, and certified trainer helps dogs of all ages reach their full potential at Paw by Paw’s Doggie Day School.


Rowan is passionate about animal care and education and has earned certificates in pet first aid, CPR, and boarding. He loves rescue dogs, especially his American Staffordshire Terrier, Candy.


At Paw by Paw Dog Training, Rowan strives to create a stronger bond between our pet parents and their pups through agility classes, private lessons, and Doggie Day School.

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