Owner, Head Trainer
CPDT-KA, B.S Animal Behavior, AKC S.T.A.R Puppy/CGC Evaluator, UKC S.P.O.T Evaluator
Meredith (Merri) Button is a CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed) and an AKC CGC/Puppy S.T.A.R Evaluator with a B.S degree in animal behavior (psychobiology). Merri has been training animals in some form since 2008 when she graduated from the University of New England. She started her animal training career as an assistant beluga whale trainer at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Mystic, CT.
She began dog training in February of 2009 as an apprentice trainer at a large doggie daycare in Portland, ME. When her friend and mentor opened Finish Forward Dogs in Saco, ME she was invited to teach her own lessons and classes there. Merri and her husband Tom moved to Durham, North Carolina in 2011 where she was the head trainer at a large dog boarding and daycare facility. They moved back to Maine in 2012 and Merri continued teaching at Finish Forward. In March of 2017 Merri and Tom’s first daughter was born and Merri decided she wanted to teach closer to home so she started Whales to Wags dog training.
Merri and Tom share their home with UCD, URO1, UWP ARCHX Meka Mae RL1X, RL2X, RL3, TT, CGC (8yrs) a mixed breed dog adopted from Lucky Pup Rescue and Opi S.T.A.R Puppy, CGC, RL1, RL2 (3yrs) another mixed breed from Maine Lab Rescue. Merri, Meka and Opi enjoy learning anything new and currently compete in Rally Obedience, Weight Pull, Obedience, Companion Dog Sports Program and anything else they can get their hands/paws on.
Merri enjoys helping people better their relationships with their dogs by teaching them how to use clear communication and form lasting connections. She finds it very rewarding to watch the dogs learn what their handler’s are asking of them as well as watching the bond grow between dog and human. From her experience working with a variety of animals and her own dogs she has learned the importance of patience, consistency and to enjoy the little things in life. Merri teaches everything from basic obedience to sports to behavior modification.