APDT Association News

Member of the Year Award 

Member of Year Award Goes to Joann Rechtine Joann Crogan Rechtine, CPDT-KA, MS, MPH, RN, CPC, has been named the 2018 Member of the Year recipient by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers Board of Directors. She will be recognized during the opening keynote address at the 25th APDT Education Conference and Trade Show Oct. 17-20 in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the co-chair of APDT’s Education Committee.


The Member of the Year Award honors APDT members who have demonstrated outstanding commitment, passion and professionalism, and dedication for advancing the APDT as it advances the dog training profession and advocates for the pet industry profession.

 “It is an honor and privilege to receive the Member of the Year Award from APDT,” Joann said. “Through the organization, I have met and learned from the leaders in our field, they volunteer tirelessly to better APDT and the field of dog training. I look forward to continuing to work with all the volunteers who make APDT the great organization that it is.”

 According to Megan Stanley, APDT board chair, Joann’s dedication to the APDT and helping move the organization forward is what lead the board to choose her for the honor. “Joann has been an active volunteer and member for some time and continues to impress with her commitment and hard work. She enthusiastically takes on her committee projects and does some incredible work.”

 Joann, the owner of The Loose Leash Academy in Black Mountain, North Carolina, states she has two passions: Education and dogs. Her first profession was in the nursing field. She progressed from patient care to management to running continuing education programs for medical professionals during that 36-year career, also earning her nurse practitioner certification.

 But she also never gave up working with dogs. “It became more of a passion during the past 16 years, studying endlessly to learn about canine behavior and the human-canine bonds and interactions while teaching dog training classes and seminars,” Joann said. “It is my greatest joy when I see a handler and his/her dog have that lightbulb moment and everything clicks.”

 She earned her Certified Professional Dog Trainer – KA certificate. She is one of 12 US-based dog trainers who are graduates of the Turid Rugaas International Dog Training Education, which specializes in dog behavior and problem solving. She also organizes education events for dog trainers and is a Canine Good Citizen evaluator. She serves as a representative for the United States with the Pet Dog Trainers of Europe. Joann has assisted with therapy dog testing and was a handler with her own three dogs for Therapy Dogs International. She co-founded two Therapy Dogs International chapters in Rochester, New York and St. Petersburg, Florida. Joann has also mentored therapy teams and teaches therapy dog seminars. 

Besides her membership with APDT, Joann is a member of Pet Dog Trainers of Europe, Pet Professional Guild, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, American Kennel Club and the Alliance for Therapy Dogs. She holds a Master of Science degree in nursing and a Master of Public Health degree in occupational health and was a Certified Professional Coder for 19 years.

*Excerpt from The APDT Chronicle of the Dog | Summer 2018