The results of our service dog training program
It generally takes a year and a half to two years to fully train a service dog. These teams have spent these years training together every day, building a relationship of trust, and learning how to communicate and care for each other’s needs. Graduating from a service dog training program like ELLAS Animals INC represents hundreds of hours of work taking lessons and quizzes, training a dog, and sending in videos to documents the progress. These teams have also passed stringent tests at each level, earning the dog certificates of accomplishment and their trainers professional dog trainer certifications.
Sofia Porter Bacon and Ronan
Sofia is an environmental scientist who aspires to work in education, as a park ranger, or whatever else the future holds for them. They enjoy reading, crochet, and dog training. They train with Ronan everyday so that he can be the best he can be whether it be obedience, agility, public access, fitness, tasks, or word buttons. They aspire to continue working with and training working dogs and earn more and diverse training certifications.
Ronan is a black Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepard and Poodle mix) . He has been training to be a service dog since he was 8 weeks old. He has completed the ELLAS Animals INC program in a year and within 6 months passed all 3 CGC tests (CGC, CGCA, CGCU). He loves to play and loves to work. He knows as soon as he puts on his gear that he is working and you can see a shift in behavior from playful puppy to serious working dog. Ronan and Sofia are always working for more titles and certifications, so after this program they have high aspirations.
Dan Raynor and Phin
Dan grew up in San Jose, California where he performed and directed live theatre and television. He earned a B.A. in Theatre and relocated to the midwest where he married and raised a family. He is the owner of Stevens Puppets, a marionette touring company, and can be found traveling around the country and the world delighting audiences with his unique humor and silliness. Dan earned his professional dog trainer certifications through ELLAS Animals INC where he helps not just with training but with sound editing and social media content.
Caphe Phin was likely born in late 2019. He was found as a stray and brought to the Citrus County Animal Shelter where he was rescued by Dan when he was about a year old. Wisdom Panel’s DNA profile discovered that Phin’s grandparents were an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Boxer, an American Eskimo, and a Chow Chow, so he’s a charming mix of several different breeds. His ears flop around like helicopters as he follows Dan everywhere, earning the nickname Shadow. Next to Dan, Phin’s greatest love is swimming, and he enjoys wearing his mushing harness so he can pull Dan’s kayak in the bay with manatees and dolphins or Dan’s bike through the swamp.
Vanilla Bean Latte
Vanilla Bean Latte (Bean) was born in December of 2020. He’s a Chihuahua from an “oops” litter rehomed through Craigslist. He’s been with the Raynors since he was 7 weeks old and not quite 2 lbs. He now weighs a whopping 6.5 lbs and throws his mighty weight around in his pack. He enjoys walks, whether he’s on his feet or in his “Bean Bag”. Sometimes he even invites his cat, Bam!, to ride along together in the Bam!pack. Primary trainer: Zan Raynor.
Max is a rescued lab mix from Indiana, Pennsylvania. He is a Valentine’s Day baby and is 7 years old. He enjoys playing in the snow and going to the lake in the summer. Primary trainer: Nicole Christiano.
Mochi is a Shih Tzu who was born in January, 2022. He was rehomed through Craigslist and loves to snuggle, play, and eat biscuits. Mochi did ELLAS Animals INC’s Puppy Basics and Foundational Obedience courses in the United States and then moved overseas to attend university with his handler, where he did our Public Access and Tasks & Work courses. Primary trainer: Anneli and Vanessa Brugge.
Sage was born in the spring of 2022. She loves playing with her brother Remi (a retired service dog) and with her toys and other family dogs when they go to visit with them. She is a mellow puppy who was adopted from a breeder in Defiance, OH at four months old. Primary trainer: Elizabeth George.
Leo is a golden doodle born in the spring of 2021. He lives in Washington state, close to the breeder where his journey began. He loves retrieving and swimming. He’d stay in the water all day if his trainer let him!
Mandie Sanderman and Skye
Mandie works in education as her “real job” but finds her life complete with a second side job as a dog trainer and whelper for breeders through her LLC Precious Paws. Mandie’s whelping and puppy program specializes in providing the foundation that is needed for service dogs. Her program includes Early Neurological Stimulation as well as a wide variety of socialization to build confident puppies. Mandie also trains and competes in a variety of dog sports including disc dog, AKC obedience, AKC rally, and dock diving. As a CGC evaluator, Mandie offers testing services as well as small group dog classes and private sessions with dog owners. Mandie can’t imagine life without a dog in it!
Turn Key Ridge Skye’s the Limit is a black lab that was born at Mandie’s home as part of a Turn Key Ridge purposefully bred litter that was intended for service work. Skye completed the puppy program through Precious Paws LLC and has been officially training for service work since she was 8 weeks old. Skye was selected for her designated recipient based on her temperament test results as well as her personality and eagerness to train and please. Skye has completed all three levels of CGC tests (CGC, CGCA, and CGCU) and hopes to enter the rally and obedience ring to compete before transitioning to her designated recipient. Skye completed her ELLAS Animals INC program within a year, however, will be remaining with Mandie until she is closer to 2 years of age to allow her to mature and finish growing before her placement, which will be physically demanding as her handler is a mailcarrier with a walking route, taking them nearly 11 miles a day!
Our Founding Team
Zan Raynor and Pumpkin
Zan is a certified dog trainer (ISCDT), the founder of ELLAS Animals INC, and the current CEO and President of the Board. Zan designed ELLAS Animals INC’s service dog training program and wrote the curriculum. She is also a learning designer who consults with companies around the world for international business communication. Zan is the resident artist for Stevens Puppets, where she creates marionette shows by writing the scripts, carving/jointing/painting/costuming/stringing the wooden puppets, and painting the scenery.
Pumpkin Spice Latte was born on October 31, 2019. She was the last in an “oops” litter where the Great Pyrenees sire, a pet, accidentally had access to an Australian Cattle Dog dam, a breeding dog in a working line. She has trained with Zan since she was 10 weeks old. She enjoys paddleboarding with Zan several times a week as well as hiking and running next to her bike. Pumpkin is Zan’s research partner, demo dog, video star, and service dog. Pumpkin can often be found riding attractions at Disney World and Universal Theme Parks, hanging around backstage at puppet shows at schools, libraries, and festivals, and riding in the car to the next destination.