Meet the Trainer



IMG_4535Stacy Shubunka       

Stacy is the owner of OC Paws Dog Training. She has been a professional animal trainer for over 12 years. She has an extensive background in the field of animal behavior. In addition to hands on experience, she has been educated in the field of animal care and training. Degrees and Certifications:

  • Associate of Science in Animal Training and Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology (behavior)
  • Certificates in: Animal Behavior Management and Wildlife Education
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

Stacy began her animal training career by attending the prestigious Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management program. Upon completion, she began a career working with marine mammals at SeaWorld San Diego and Sea Life Park Hawaii. Stacy trained dolphins, sea lions, seals, and penguins. She performed shows, interactions, education presentations and even trained medical behaviors. While working at these facilities she mastered the art of animal behavior and training. She also pursued a degree in Psychology from California Coast University to further her understanding of behavior.

After working with marine mammals for 6 years, she focused on her passion of working with dogs. She began working for Birds and Animals Unlimited, one of the largest animal production companies. Here she trained dogs, cats, birds, pigs, monkeys, rats, and raccoons for the Universal Studios Animal Actors show and for film and television.

After having so much success working with such a wide variety of animals, Stacy decided that she wanted to help other dog owners learn to train their pets.

“There is no doubt in my mind that I LOVE working with Dogs! They are so much fun to work with and the results are so rewarding. It is so great that I can help other people learn to love their dog even more. OC Paws will deliver the results the customer wants. A well-trained dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog equals a happy owner!”

Some photos of Stacy enjoying being an animal trainer:

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image002Susan Hartman

Susan Hartman is a certified dog trainer with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and an honors graduate of the ABC Animal Behavior College. Presently, Susan is working as a private in home dog trainer and also maintains a leadership role as a senior volunteer for LAAS at the WLA Shelter where she concentrates primarily on low-stress behavior modification of resident pit bulls and other power breeds.  In addition Susan assists with shelter volunteer training, dog handling and post-adoption support for the public. The scope of her work includes barrier aggression, barking, leash work and reactivity, obedience, muzzle work, dog-to dog introductions and playgroup management.

As a private trainer she has worked with puppies, adolescents and senior dogs of all breeds and sizes, many of which were previously homed in shelters, fosters or rescues.  Susan employs a positive-only philosophy and is inspired by the work of Patricia McConnell, Ian Dunbar and Jean Donaldson because of their gentle and science based approach to training. Susan is very excited to be joining the team of OC Paws Dog Training!

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IMG_0105Alexis Clarke                                                              

For as long as she could remember, Alexis (Lexie) knew she would work with animals. Early on, she took every class, and read every book she could on animal health and behavior.

Lexie attended California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Pre – Veterinary Studies, along with a minor in Biology. During her college career, she continued her volunteer efforts and became a trained rescue respondent for the Marine Mammal Center. Alongside this, she was an avid volunteer at the Charles Paddock Zoo, where the majority of her initial exotic animal experience fostered.

While Lexie enjoyed every moment working with all types of animals, her passion and desire to work with companion animals continued to grow. During the summer entering her junior year, she returned to Orange County, and completed an extensive internship in a large veterinary hospital. Completing hundreds of clinical hours, she was trained in surgery, anesthetic monitoring, X-ray technology, veterinary nutrition/medicine, and much more. The thrill in making a difference in an animals life every day, only solidified her plans to continue her work with companion animals.

Upon graduation, she began pursuing a full – time career as an animal trainer, both as a private dog trainer and as a performer and trainer for the “Pets Rule” Show at SeaWorld, San Diego. Working with over 130 animals: including dogs, cats, kangaroos, birds, porcupines, and pigs. This experience greatly expanded and grew her training techniques and knowledge.  Lexie was instantly hooked on helping animal owners create a new kind of bond with their pet, and strives to improve the health and happiness of her clients and their pets each and every day.

Snow and AJAmanda J. McKitterick

Animals have always been Amanda’s true love and passion in life. Not realizing this passion could become a career, Amanda finished highschool and joined the US Navy. The military taught her computer skills which helped her make a fine living, but it never made her truly happy.
In 2010, she rediscovered her love for dog training. Amanda decided to change careers and become a trainer full time. To start her formal dog training education, Amanda enrolled at the Animal Behavior College. She was taught several learning theories, basic behaviors, and more. She began volunteering at a local shelter to start putting her new knowledge to the test. Through the Animal Behavior College, Amanda met a seasoned local trainer and began to intern under her for the next few of years. It was during that internship where Amanda was introduced to the science of reward marker training techniques and theories. Intrigued by what she was learning, she continued to attend classes and seminars while working with local clients and shelter dogs. In early 2015, Amanda enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Training Professionals to become certified in the KPA techniques. She began with their Fundamentals program and continued to the Dog Training Professional program. Amanda graduated with distinction in December of 2015.

Amanda has had the pleasure of helping several troubled shelter dogs become adoptable. This was done through training those dogs along with teaching force-free techniques to the volunteers at the shelters. In addition to all that, Amanda has been educated to help families regarding dog safety and bite prevention. She also specializes in assisting new
parents to better prepare their pets for the arrival of their new babies. She loves working closely with her clients and their dogs to help them with their unique situations. Amanda’s goal is to teach both to live long, happily lives together.

“…successful animal training can be rooted in cooperative partnerships,
shared joy, and genuine love.”
– Kathy Sdao, Plenty in Life is Free