Meet the Trainers

Michelle Rizzi, CPDT-KA, CAP-2,  is the owner of Handle with Care Dog Training and has been a professional dog trainer since 2001. Michelle is a nationally Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) and an active member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).  Throughout her 15 year’s experience, Michelle has attended seminars and workshops across the country, keeping abreast of the latest techniques and discoveries in the field of positive reinforcement training.  In 2011, Michelle also earned her second CAP-2, a Competency Assessment Program designed to provide a certification system validating the skill of clicker trainers.  Michelle passed both levels “with distinction.”

In 2001, Michelle received a special H.E.A.L. (Helping to Enrich Animals’ Lives) Award from the prestigious Los Angeles SPCA for her work with neglected and abused animals there. After moving to Salt Lake City she volunteered much of her time at the Utah Humane Society teaching volunteers how to work with the shelter animals to enrich their lives and enhance their adoptability.  She was featured on local TV stations and in the daily newspapers numerous times discussing her training program.

She continues her dedication to sheltered animals today, as the Behavior & Training Manager of Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo.

She began Handle with Care Dog Training in 2002 as the first positive reinforcement dog training service in Salt Lake City.  Here in San Luis Obispo, she is still passionately dedicated to “force free” training for all dogs, privately in home, or in a class environment.

National Certification and Awards



* SPCA-LA H.E.A.L.™ Volunteer of the year in 2001 (Helping Enrich Animal’s Lives)



chelseaChelsea Mills grew up on the Central coast of California, where she spent many years nurturing cats, dogs, parrots, chickens, rabbits…to name a few.  A large part of her 25 years of experience has been spent rescuing and rehabilitating wild and abused animals from hummingbirds to hounds.  Word spread quickly that she was the new “Dr. Doolittle” in town.

Chelsea’s previous employment includes veterinarian assistant, surgical assistant and a first rate dog and cat groomer.  A great benefactor of this wide range of experience, is Woods Humane Society, where Chelsea has spent hours of her time volunteering to enhance the lives of all the animals at Woods in many ways.  She has been dedicated to this commitment for the past five years.

Her passion being behavior and training, Chelsea studied for many years and has seen the effects of both traditional (force-based) and positive (motivational) training.  She is committed to be a 100% positive reinforcement trainer.  She currently assists in all levels of basic training classes, tricks classes, and dog/dog aggression.

Chelsea is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) where she keeps informed on the latest positive training techniques and equips herself with as much knowledge and experience as possible.  It is such an honor to welcome her to Handle with Care Dog Training.  She is the epitome of patience and gentle handling for all species, and a testament to how well positive training really works.