Our Tucson Dog Training Team

Daniel Young

Daniel’s love for animals started as a small child watching Crocodile Hunter. His love for dogs started when he got his first dog: a yellow labrador named Winston. Since then, Daniel has always found the most enjoyment in finding a deeper understanding of animals, and how they behave. While attending University of Arizona, Daniel studied animal behavior and community ecology, and completed his degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During this time, he worked as a dog trainer for 5 years, where he utilized his research to assist owner’s with their dogs. Following graduation, Daniel spent 3 years teaching high school Chemistry and Ecology.

Daniel (and his red heeler Jojo) is more than excited to be back in the dog training world! He shares a love for animals and learning that is infectious. Dogs remind us everyday that there is something new to learn from our furry friends!


Valery Thompson

Valery has been active in the sport of dog agility since 1998 when she took her first class with her Norwegian Elkhound, Duke. She began teaching classes for Saguaro Scramblers Agility Club in the early 2000’s and has been teaching classes either for SSAC, Journey Agility, or privately ever since. Valery has earned numerous agility titles with her dogs including multiple championship titles in USDAA and NADAC. 

In addition to agility, Valery is active in the sports of Nosework, Barn Hunt, Rally Obedience, and Earthdog. Currently, she is training and showing her Norwegian Elkhound, Tryg, and has recently adopted Muppet, a Border Collie x Jack Russell Terrier.


Rebecca Jernigan

Rebecca is an avid member of the agility community and strong believer in the benefits of fitness and training for our pets’ health and wellness. Her methods focus on choice-based reinforcement and growing foundational skills in the sport. As a competitor in the sport, Rebecca has served on the junior world team (USA) at the European Open for Juniors (2015) and has been named to the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) Hall of Fame (2022) for her work in establishing the Intercollegiate Dog Agility Association. 

Rebecca holds a PhD in biochemistry and is currently attending the University of Arizona college of Veterinary Medicine.