Cassia Turcotte has been involved with the dog training world for nearly two decades and has been training professionally since 1999. With a background in private behavior modification, she has also worked as a kennel manager, volunteer shelter staff, veterinary technician, SAR training officer, and taught classes for both reactive and fearful/wallflower dogs. She completed her first professional certification in 2003.
Midway through her career, Cassia decided to combine her passion for R+ training, love of the outdoors, and a background in waterfowl and upland game hunting. She channeled her training efforts to develop a program for versatile real world hunting companions (both upland, small game, and waterfowl) and building hunt test teams using R+ techniques. Her students have titled dogs for both retrieving and pointing breeds. During the hunting season, you will most likely find Cassia and her dogs in a duck blind or kayak doing what they love most.
Cassia has titled her own dogs in numerous dog sports including hunt tests (AKC, HRC, NAHRA), obedience and rally (AKC, CDSP, and APDT), agility (AKC, USDAA), conformation (AKC)), and Nosework (NACSW). Additionally, she has been involved with both wilderness and urban SAR teams including the evaluation of operational readiness for wilderness air scent and tracking/trailing teams.
Cassia believes in finding joy in the process of training instead of an outcome oriented mindset and she believes strongly that dog training should be a form of structured play. She is an advocate for R+ training methods for field dogs. Cassia is owned by 5 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, a herd of Kinder goats, flocks of chickens and a variety game birds.
Cassia’s personal website is www.barrelselectchesapeakes.com.
Cassia's Current & Upcoming Courses
Current and Upcoming classes
Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Cassia? Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class? We welcome you to contact instructors by email to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.
Cassia's training approach to gun dog foundations is well thought out and functional. The class progresses through a series of skills that can be taught separately and then put together later on when the dog has progressed. For example, we worked on conditioned retrieve while also working on lining drills with food. That way, the dog can start to learn marking and lining before the retrieve progression is completed. Also, Cassia did such a great job of working with each student to come up with creative solutions for reinforcement that were appropriate for the field environment where the dogs were easily distracted. I loved the mix of theory and skills we learned in this class, and I will certainly revisit the lecture materials again and again as I continue to build upon the foundation Cassia has helped me to establish with my young dog. Becky T.
Love Cassia's patience, positive attitude and sense of humour. So many retriever trainers take failure way too seriously whereas Cassia sees it as a learning opportunity. Great course for beginners and, as a more experienced handler, I picked up some fantastic tips. Will be recommending to my puppy buyers and Gundog club members. Sally (Thornfield English Springer Spaniels)
Maura W. I have been very happy with the Gun Dog Foundations class. I hope Cassia returns as an instructor and continues past foundations. I appreciated her videos showing similar skills with dogs of different ages and experience. It helped me focus on where my dog is at and what my progression should look like. This is my second class with Fenzi Academy and it is another home run.
I started class with zero knowledge of gun dog sports. This course takes you by the hand and leads you step by step through what seems like every element of training for these sports. I know more will be introduced in the next level class(es) but this course covers SO MUCH in easy to understand and easy to train steps that you'll have a fantastic and very solid foundation! It has given me so much to think about and I am SO excited to get started when I get my puppy! Chris P.
Gun Dog Foundations is a fabulous class! There is a ton of great information presented in manageable pieces, and the homework is applicable to any level dog. We had a weeks-old puppy in class, as well as older dogs already started in the field game, and everyone is learning and improving. Cassia is a fabulous instructor, and her video feedback is excellent. Can't recommend this class highly enough! - Samantha D.