Training dogs is not a second job or a hobby for me. It is my full-time profession, my life and my love. More than 90% of my customers are referred to me by professionals in the veterinary/pet care field, local rescue organizations or come to me by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers. With 15+ years of experience, when you hire Elite Canine, you can rest assured that you are working with a competent, experienced professional. More than just dog training, together with my clients, we are paving the way toward a better life for all dogs and their families.
Geralyn has been working with dogs since 2002. She began in a daycare/kennel environment where she gained valuable firsthand knowledge about canine behavior. In 2004, after two years at the daycare/kennel Geralyn began her training career and has never looked back! She began training at a large corporate pet store chain where she learned everything from Ethology, the scientific study of animal behavior, to Learning Theory, understanding how dogs learn. The core of Geralyn’s belief is that to be a great dog trainer, you must know everything about them from their origins, background, and recent changes in breeds and how their minds work. To expand her education she has attended seminars, workshops, conferences and have met some of the greats like Ian Dunbar, Sophia Yin, Victoria Stillwell and Suzanne Hetts. After three years in the corporate world, Geralyn left the pet store chain to pursue a career with a private kennel. Here, she developed the entire training program for this kennel from the ground up where she trained Obedience, Agility and Flyball! In 2008 Geralyn relocated to Winston-Salem and spent four more years working for a corporate pet store chain as Store Trainer and Area Trainer where she not only held many classes in store, she trained numerous other trainers who have gone on to have successful training careers. During this assignment she trained dogs in Obedience and Rally.
In December of 2012, Geralyn decided she would like to be able to reach more animals and work more closely with their human handlers and rescue groups and decided to open her own training center, Elite Canine!
Since opening her own training center, Geralyn has worked tirelessly to connect with rescue groups to offer her services to their foster’s and adoptees. Currently, Elite Canine partners with 9 rescue organizations . For each of these organizations, Geralyn offers free services to dogs that are in foster homes and a discount for a Puppy Stars or Beginner Class for all adopters! In the spring of 2013, Elite Canine sponsored the “Paws for Unity” event which raised money for the Stokes County Animal Shelter to help fund their new facility. In the fall of 2013, Elite Canine co-hosted Winston Salem’s 1st Responsible Dog Owner Day and Canine Challenge where dogs participated in sporting events to raise money for local charities. Geralyn also worked on Unchained Forsyth building team which builds fences for dogs who are permanently chained at their homes. In February 2014, Elite Canine co-funded a fence for Beba a pit bull who was chained to a tree in her back yard. Beba had just given birth to puppies but now runs free in her very own fence! Also in February of 2014, Elite Canine teamed up again to raise money to fund additional bullet proof vests for the Forsyth Sheriff’s Department, called Kevlar for K9s. This fundraiser was a direct result of the loss of Davie County’s K9, Gorky, who was killed in the line of duty. This fundraiser provided enough money to purchase three additional bullet proof, Kevlar vests for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department. In September of 2014 Elite Canine hosted Winston-Salem’s 2nd Annual Canine Challenge where over 700 people attended and fun was had by all. Geralyn joined Unchain Winston in 2014 and was the Top Dog Sponsor for Fuzzy’s fence on February 15, 2015. EC sponsored a 3rd fence for Sheba in May 2016. In 2017, Geralyn joined the fight against ALS for their May Fundraiser with the EC Team Dave's Dawgs in honor of Dave Andrew who was a student of hers who passed away in 2015. She has also joined in the fight against childhood cancers by becoming a shavee for her team CBug's Dawgs for the St. Baldrick's fundraiser in September. In September of 2016 EC raised $350 for the SECU Family House of W-S for their Milk Money Challenge. In just over 5 years, these fundraisers, plus many food and toy drives, have raised over $15,000, 100+ dog toys and 85+ bags of food, 3 Kevlar vests plus other K9 supplies and 5 new fences.
2017 was Operation Shoebox of Love. The way it worked was simple. Fill up an empty shoebox with supplies for a dog, cat or a bunny. Wrap it and label it so EC knows what animal it is for and then drop it off at one of our drop off locations. Then in July EC had a Christmas in July event, complete with a visit from Santa, to distribute the boxes to the local rescue organizations. In total, with help from the Girl Scouts and many students EC collected 72 boxes! In 2018 we have had 2 awesome fundraiser called DOGA! Yoga with puppies!! These fundraisers were to benefit Stepping Stones Canine Rescue and a great time was had by all. 2019 was full of events with Nanook with the therapy team and of course, let's not even talk about this year, 2020. UGH, right?! Here's hoping 2021 will allow us to do some more exciting events!
Not only are children allowed, even encouraged to attend classes with their four legged brothers and sisters, Geralyn has hosted the “Stop the 77” program. This program is a free and offered to children to help teach dog bite prevention, how to safely interact with dogs as well as how to read the body language of dogs to help prevent bites. Due to COVID this program is on hold.
Geralyn's greatest accomplishment to date is Elite Canine's Comfort Dogs. She wanted a group that would work together like a family and visit different places as a group. The EC Team visits many places including SECU Family House of Winston-Salem, Trinity Elms, Brighton Gardens, UNC School of the Arts, Ronald McDonald House of WS, plus many, many more.
In November of 2015 the EC Team received the Morykwas Humane Citizen Award. The team also has a Canine Cuddle Station which we have at many of the cause events in the area. ALS: Walk for the Cure, Pink Heals, Buddy Walk for PDSSN, Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, and Make a Wish Picnic in the Plaza.
In 2017 the team won the Governor's Volunteer Award thanks to the Down Syndrome Support Network's nomination.
Our team continues to grow while we wait for the green light to again visit all our community friends.