Meet Our Team

Erika Gonzalez, Certified Dog Trainer (CDT) and Behavior Specialist - Founder/President/Head Trainer

Erika's love for dogs started as a child and has grown into a truly passionate career. Her mission is to educate pet parents and devote herself to assisting them in building strong and lasting bonds with their dogs in a positive way.

Erika's a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist who graduated with distinction from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy, a government and state approved school. Erika is also an Official Mentor Trainer for CATCH, where she is able to pass along her skills and knowledge by mentoring new students training to get certified as a professional dog trainer. Erika is a Canine Training Professional of The Pet Professional Guild (Membership #29143567). She has obtained a certificate in pet nutrition from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine - Extension. Erika is also a Licensed Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor and Assessor through the Pet Professional Guild and is Cat & Dog First Aid and CPR Certified.


She has extensive experience with dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages and has successfully helped many pet parents reach their training goals with their dogs. Although Erika has vast experience in conducting private lessons, she also has experience working with puppy training programs, board and train programs, training foster dogs, and partnering with rescue organizations to train dogs with behavioral issues to assist in finding them a loving home. Earlier on in her career, Erika also worked and provided services at several dog-related businesses, including dog daycares and boarding facilities, and learned a lot along the way.


Erika's a West Virginia University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. After college, she had many successes working in the corporate world for several years before finally deciding to pursue her career as a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist.


Erika believes that continued education is not an option, but a necessity for those in the dog training profession. Although she studied for several years to get certified, Erika devotes herself to staying up on the lastest advancements in dog training and focuses her training on what science proves is the best way for dogs to learn. That is one of the reasons why her training style revolves around positive reinforcement methods, along with a dedication to force-free training techniques. Erika is fully dedicated to ensuring she meets the needs of each of her clients, and makes herself readily available to provide guidance, advice, and encouragement!

John Leone - Vice President/Associate Trainer

John is passionate about the philosophy and techniques of science-based positive reinforcement dog training. He assists Erika with educating our clients and the general public about the tenets of force-free methods of training through personal interactions during training sessions and the use of social media.

John has been professionally training dogs and learning under Erika for several years on a daily basis. He is currently enrolled in the Master Class Program at CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy and will be graduating as a Certified Dog Trainer (CDT) and Behavior Consultant! He is well-versed on science-based dog training methods and has experience working with everything from puppy basics to reactivity and aggression. John is a Canine Training Professional of the Pet Professional Guild (Membership #43777956) and has also successfully completed the Growl Class - A Workshop Demo for Reactive Dogs course by the world-renowned professional dog trainer, veterinarian, and animal behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar. He is dedicated to continuing education in the field and is also in the process of attaining his professional dog training certification.


John has been in the law enforcement profession in South Jersey for over two decades. He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and received his Master's in 2011. He currently serves as a police sergeant at a municipal department in Gloucester County. John has extensive leadership experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He brings this knowledge and experience to From Dusk Till Dog and is involved in all aspects of our business. 

Jade - (Erika and John's Dog)

Jade is a pit bull (American Staffordshire Terrier).


Erika credits Jade for her decision to pursue her career as a certified dog trainer. After working with her as a puppy, Erika found herself spending hours a day helping Jade learn. After seeing the training results she could reach using positive reinforcement and watching her bond grow with her dog, she realized this was her calling. 


Jade is our helper in many situations. She has assisted with many training cases with dogs who were dog-reactive on leash, fearful of new situations, in need of socialization skills, aggressive, and more. She is a great companion and a model for dogs (and pit bulls) everywhere! Jade loves running at the park, catching treats in her mouth, and meeting new fur friends. She also loves the challenge of getting shy dogs to play with her, loves the snow, and will do anything for a piece of cheese. 

Freddie - (Erika and John's Dog)

Freddie is a Chihuahua mix.

We adopted Freddie from a high-kill shelter in Georgia in January of 2017. He has fit right into our family and has become our second helper in the business, helping other dogs working on a variety of issues.


He absolutely loves snuggling up with us, going for walks, and anything involving food! He has been such a great addition to our family and helps prove that big and small dogs can live in harmony (with the right training!) 

Ghost - (Decoy Dog)

Ghost is decoy (fake) dog who we have on "staff" to assist with many aspects of our training programs. We use him at the beginning stages of a lot of our cases involving leash reactivity, aggression, greeting manners, and dogs in need of some beginning levels of understanding socialization with other dogs. He is a wonderful resource we are glad we can offer to our clients who need help with their dogs in these areas!

Ghost is a Siberian Husky. This allows us to offer situations to our clients with a large breed size dog.

Elle - (Decoy Dog)

Elle is decoy (fake) dog who we have on "staff" to assist with many aspects of our training programs. We use her and Ghost for all the same type of things.

Elle is a Jack Russell Terrier. This allows us to offer situations to our clients with a small breed size dog.

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P.O. Box 324

Mantua, NJ 08051

© 2020 From Dusk Till Dog, LLC

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Dog Training Professionals - Pet Professional Guild