Peach on a Leash® is a full-service dog training company based in Alpharetta, Georgia and serving Metro Atlanta and its northern suburbs, from Midtown to Cumming.
Utilizing the most modern, science-based training techniques, head trainer and pet behavior expert Alex Sessa, CPDT-KA, CDBC and her team of certified, highly experienced trainers will deliver the results you’re looking for.
We provide your dog with a positive and effective learning experience that provides quick results and dramatically improves behavior while strengthening your bond with your dog.
Regardless of your dog’s breed or behavior issues, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your dog responds to our training.
Meet Our Team
Owner & Head Trainer: Alex Sessa
Peach on a Leash owner and head trainer, Alex Sessa, (formerly Andes) CPDT-KA, CDBC, VSPDT is a pet behavior expert who has been training dogs and studying dog behavior for nearly a decade.
Alex is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam. She is also one of only five trainers in the state of Georgia to receive full certification as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. This high-level certification requires a rigorous application process that’s assessed by a panel of experts in dog training and behavior, and you must demonstrate the knowledge and ability to handle complex behavior cases in order to be certified.
Additionally, she has attained the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT) certification, and has successfully completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs Master Course.
She attended the University of Georgia, where she began honing her training skills while helping improve the behavior of local shelter dogs to reduce euthanasia rates. She graduated with honors in 2012 and worked as both a pet adoption counselor and an assistant dog trainer before being offered a job with celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog.”
Alex traveled the world with Victoria and had the opportunity to learn from her in all facets of training and behavior for five years before deciding to pursue her dream of founding Peach on a Leash. Their work together allowed Alex the opportunity to work hands-on with both pet dogs and working dogs, including police dogs and accelerant detection dogs.
As the founder and owner of Peach on a Leash, Alex manages our training program as well as our team of ten exceptional, highly qualified training and behavior experts. She leads the training for our VIP Puppy Development program, and has provided professional training for celebrities, athletes, CEOs, corporate therapy dog programs, and other high-profile clientele. She has been featured on HLN, WSB-TV, 11Alive, and various print publications.
Alex also serves as both a faculty member and a mentor for students in the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy, as well as consulting for other training companies, public safety departments, and non-profit organizations needing guidance with their dog training programs.
These experiences have helped her to become one of the most studied, well-rounded trainers in the area, and her results-oriented training utilizes effective and humane techniques that are backed by the latest modern behavioral science.
She shares her home with her husband Will, who is a police K-9 officer, their two children, and their beloved dogs.
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Certified Trainer: Abby Freeman
In addition to being one of our certified dog trainers, Abby is our exceptional Training Manager, and may be the first person you speak with before beginning training with us.
For the last six years, Abby has worked in various industries in the pet world, from running pet supply stores to running a doggie daycare. Working in these facets has made her passionate about helping pet owners find the right solutions for their pets.
Abby is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
Abby graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Georgia in 2016 where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts in Business majoring in Marketing.
In 2019, she graduated with distinction from the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, which launched her career as a professional dog trainer, and has successfully completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs Master Course.
At home, Abby is a mom to a spunky human toddler, a high-energy German Shorthaired Pointer, and various other farm animals.
Certified Trainer: Amelia Cosmas
Certified Trainer Amelia Cosmas, CPDT-KA is a passionate dog trainer and puppy expert. Amelia is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam. After Graduating With Distinction from the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training, Amelia was hired by her Academy mentor as a trainer. While working in the nursery school at her mentor’s facility, Amelia trained countless 8-16 week old puppies, taught group classes and trained privately in client’s homes.
She is committed to results-oriented, science-based, and fun training. Amelia continually furthers her education and experiences in the dog training world by attending conferences and seminars as well as belonging to several professional organizations.
She shares her home with her wonderful husband and their two awesome dogs, Rhett, a Mixed Breed and Ronan, a Golden Retriever.
Certified Trainer: Ashley Haley
Ashley is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
Ashley has been a dog lover since birth, spending her childhood with a Golden Retriever and a Rough Collie. At a young age, the many breed variations of dogs fascinated her, encouraging her to watch dog shows and buy breed books. But it was her first dog as an adult that piqued her interest in training and canine behavior.
She started her career by completing an apprenticeship, and then went on to work for a training company in Denver. She trained many dogs and their humans through group classes and private lessons.
Ashley’s favorite part about training is helping humans and their dogs’ bond as the humans learn to understand and communicate with their dog. She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor through Do More With Your Dog and enjoys helping people bond with their dog through tricks.
Ashley continues to further her education and experiences in dog training and behavior through conferences, workshops, webinars, podcasts and books. She shares her home with her wonderful husband, infant son, and two crazy dogs, Blackjack and Link (Miniature Australian/American Shepherds). In her spare time she also enjoys training her own dogs in sports such as agility, nosework, rally and trick dog. She loves finding new ways to play, bond and grow as a team.
Practice Manager: Elycia Tenney
Elycia is our Practice Manager and a CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer, an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, a member of the Central Florida Force-Free Trainers Network, and an active volunteer at shelters and rescues across Central Florida. It’s Elycia’s passion and pursuit to strengthen the relationships between pets and their guardians by fostering better communication between them without the use of pain, fear, or intimidation.
After an early start training her family’s Labrador, Dakota, in elementary school, Elycia began training professionally at eighteen years old. And Elycia will forever be grateful for her Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Hannah, who started her journey of reward-based training and was the most gleaming, joyful example of the power of kindness and patience.
Elycia received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. At the same time, Elycia fostered—then adopted—Ginger, a fearful Rottweiler mix, who was transformed with force-free training under the guidance of Leah Roberts, Elycia’s mentor, and has now been Elycia’s demo dog for over a decade! Elycia’s newest addition, Cypress, is a 2-year-old Malinois/German Shepherd who is training for sports like disc, dock diving, and scent work.
After working as a Lead Trainer, Veterinary Assistant, and Office Manager for over 13 years, Elycia and Alex’s paths have crossed again at Peach on a Leash after first meeting at an event over 7 years ago. The rest is—and continues to be—fun, effective, reward-based training history!
Certified Trainer: Frankie Jackson
Frankie recently emigrated from the UK where she had been working as a behavior consultant for a veterinary practice. She attended the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where she received her bachelor’s degree in Zoology with a focus on evolutionary psychology. During her degree she spent some time at The Wildheart Trust helping to provide appropriate enrichment for big cats rescued from the illegal pet trade.
Frankie is a Certified Behavior Consultant through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, an advanced behavior certification requiring hundreds of documented behavior consulting hours and a comprehensive exam.
After graduating she began working in a veterinary practice and became a registered veterinary technician with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2013. During her 13+ years working in veterinary clinics she has continued to focus on animal behavior, attending conferences and lectures to stay up-to-date with current theories and practices.
She used this experience to help reduce the fear and anxiety felt by pets in the clinical environment and began offering behavior consultations alongside her medical appointments. She also worked in a speciality veterinary hospital for two years, allowing her the opportunity to learn more about the structure and physiology of the canine brain, and how injuries and illnesses can influence behavior.
In 2018 she studied under Dr. Sarah Heath and achieved her Nurse’s Certificate in Animal Behavior, which allowed her to dedicate more time to behavior and training. During the 2020 lockdown, she used the opportunity to study and complete online courses in obedience and puppy training, feline behaviour and behaviour-modifying medications.
Certified Trainer: Jackie Audette
Jackie graduated from Rutgers University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science with a minor in Companion Animal Science. While attending college, she spent her free time teaching group and private lessons at a local pet store.
After graduating, she worked as a trainer at North Shore Animal League, the largest no-kill animal shelter in the United States, where she specialized in working with hard-to-handle dogs and cats.
Jackie then participated in a three-year apprenticeship program to become a certified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor where she has trained and placed countless service dogs for those with visual impairments. Additionally, she has worked with veterans and first responders by training and providing mobility and PTSD dogs to those in need. Realizing that she had a strong skillset working with service dogs, Jackie progressed to become the Apprentice Program Manager, where she would mentor new trainers to become certified service dog instructors.
Jackie believes in maximizing positive reinforcement training techniques and loves to attend conferences to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and studies. She believes that training should be fun for not only the dog, but the whole family as well.
Jackie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
Certified Trainer: Jenny Gough
Fearful and aggressive reactions to people and other dogs with her oldest dog, Porter the Lab/Hound mix, led Jenny to pursue training as a career. She continued to apply her growing training knowledge in puppy manners, household obedience, and behavior modification for the next four years as a professional dog trainer in North Carolina.
Jenny is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
Certified Trainer: Julia Skrotzki
Julia is a CPDT-KA, VSA-CDT trainer. Having worked closely with owner Alex Sessa for over 4 years, she shares a commitment for achieving excellent results using compassionate training methods supported by the most up-to-date behavioral science.
A Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Julia is also a graduate with distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior. These achievements come after logging hundreds of training hours and passing comprehensive exams. She is dedicated to continual studies and seminars designed to progressively enhance her training methods.
Julia is a Pet Food Nutrition Specialist certified by the DNM University. She strives to help clients achieve a more balanced diet for their dogs and can make safe, science-based recommendations for clients looking to find the right food for their dogs.
Julia uses years of experience to guide owners through behavior modification techniques. This is her passion – whether it is creating a fun approach for getting families started with a new puppy, or positive ways for owners to overcome difficult cases like dog aggression or leash reactivity.
Julia is also active in the rescue world and volunteered hundreds of hours as a foster mom at the Atlanta Humane Society.
In addition to her training work with in home pet dog clients, Julia is enjoying teaching group classes. One of her favorite classes to teach is our Therapy Prep Curriculum. She is passionate about preparing pet owners for their future therapy work and has successfully certified countless of clients through the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.
Originally from a small town in northern Germany, for more than 12 years she has called the USA home. She is settled in the north Atlanta suburb of Milton, where Julia lives with her 3 rescue dogs and husband.
Certified Trainer: Kailin Olufs
Kailin grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has been a lifelong animal lover. Before college, she enjoyed summer jobs such as kennel attendant at a veterinary hospital and daycare attendant at a dog daycare. Kailin then got her Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana.
After graduating, she traveled to eastern Montana, Peru, Texas and Idaho working as a wildlife technician. She has gathered data on hundreds of avian species, small mammals, large predators like wolves, bears, and cougars, ocelots in Peru, and livestock guardian dogs. It wasn’t until she moved back to Chicago, however, that she fostered, then adopted, her reactive dog, Boo, and discovered her fascination with canine behavior and training.
Her dedication to helping Boo translated into a desire to help all pet parents learn how to be their pet’s best advocate and teacher. She maintained this dedication as an associate trainer at her local force-free dog training facility in Chicago and as a trainer and behavior specialist with a dog training company in Austin, TX before getting the opportunity to join the Peach on a Leash team!
Kailin spent much of the pandemic working on obtaining a Diploma of Canine Behavior Science and Technology from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
In her free time, Kailin enjoys hiking, live music, photography, exploring new restaurants and breweries, and playing with Boo, of course!
Certified Trainer: Mandy Grace
Mandy has transformed her lifelong obsession with dogs, psychology, and the science of learning into a training career which began in her home state of North Carolina. After adopting a dog who had above average behavioral requirements and catching the training bug, she took the plunge to become a professional in 2013, and worked at the largest positive reinforcement training company in Raleigh, NC. Over the years, Mandy fulfilled roles as a Board & Train Trainer and a Lead Trainer in the Doggie Dayschool program, then a Class Instructor and the Office Manager for the company.
Mandy earned her CPDT-KA in 2017 after logging many hundred hours of hands-on instruction and passing a comprehensive exam. Over the years, and through her work with rescue, Mandy adopted two more dogs who also required behavior modification. Through these dogs and her clients, she developed not only an interest in helping families establish deep bonds with their pets through building basic training skills, but also helping to overcome behavior issues and find the joy in their dog’s individuality. She has a passion for trick training and has also used it as a therapeutic tool in helping dogs overcome fear and anxieties.
In addition to building on experience, Mandy believes strongly in lifelong learning as a vital part of providing excellent training service as a professional. She enjoys continually pursuing new learning opportunities, attending conferences, and keeping up with the latest research. Currently, she is pursuing two additional independent credentials. The first is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor credential, which supplements the classes she has taught in recent years. She is also working to become a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor, which will hone her skills in areas ranging from facilitating bonds between puppies and their families, to helping family dogs build focus, to guiding dogs with anxieties to find peace.
Mandy’s family consists of her husband, Steven, and their three rescue mixed breed dogs, Brugge, Ozzie, and Holder.
Certified Trainer: Maggie Withum
Maggie is a certified dog behavior consultant through IAABC. She regularly works with a wide range of breeds and temperaments, and is skilled in complex behavior modification for fear, aggression, and anxiety issues, as well as life skills or adult dogs fand puppy development.
In 2014, Maggie graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. After graduating, Maggie lived in NYC for 6 years where she worked with the ASPCA and later led a team of trainers as the training director of a dog training company.
Maggie’s approach to dog training is based in science by applying learning theory while focusing on welfare and species-specific behaviors to help her clients dogs not only achieve their training goals but to also live happier and healthier lives with their people. Maggie regularly attends seminars and workshops to learn updated and ethical practices for working with dogs. She currently lives with her two pups, Jack and Maxine, in Decatur.
Certified Trainer: Taylor Reardon
Taylor is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam. She has also successfully completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs Master Course and is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.
Taylor graduated from Atlanta Dog Trainer’s Certified Training Academy. There, she learned to use effective methods of positive, science-based dog training for puppy manners, household obedience, reactivity, and aggression. She completed the most advanced course to train dogs with phobic and fear-based behaviors. She then worked as a professional dog trainer for a local training company before coming on board with Peach on a Leash.
She enjoys helping families with young puppies to build a strong training foundation so that their new furry addition can become a well-mannered member of the family. The positive, effective training techniques that she utilizes strengthen both the bond and communication between puppy and owner. She is passionate about utilizing positive, science-based training methods to drastically modify the behaviors of reactive and aggressive dogs, while also helping the dogs to develop essential coping skills and build their confidence.
Taylor volunteers weekly as a dog trainer for Patient Paws Service Dogs Inc., a local non-profit organization, that raises and trains service dogs.
Certified Trainer: Yasmin Baylor
Joining us virtually from the Midwest is Yasmin Baylor, KPA-CTP! Yasmin is a Certified Training Partner and graduate of the internationally-esteemed Karen Pryor Academy.
After earning her Bachelors in Computer Science and Graphic Design, and working for years in the business world, Yasmin knew it was time to switch gears and commit her time to doing what she really loves.
Yasmin provides in-person training courses in her hometown. She also serves as a board member at-large and a training consultant for Paws Humane Society and Animal Assisted Professionals, an organization that trains therapy dogs. Years of experience have helped her to develop a style that is calm, confident, and patient. Teaching a family to better understand their dog, and watching as they build fulfilling relationships together is such a rewarding experience. Being part of that journey is the highlight of her career.
Yasmin’s special interests and experiences range from puppy raising, adolescent and adult dog training to reactivity, fear, anxiety, aggression and everything in between!
When dog training is a passion, extracurriculars come naturally. Yasmin especially enjoys taking monthly continuing education courses with the brilliant trainers at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, and she relishes the opportunity to learn something new every day from science-based training books, articles and podcasts. She’s the type of trainer who loves to share her knowledge with anyone who’s interested! She can be found out on her back patio late into the evenings, chatting about dog behavior with a friend over a glass of wine.
Yasmin’s home is full of joy and adventure, thanks to her bright little daughter Claire, her playful Stabyhoun Fenna, Pangea and Zelda, her lovably grumpy cats, and Josh, her kind and supportive husband.
We are passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest modern behavioral science. Our methods are rooted in positive reinforcement, providing effective and long-lasting results without causing your dog any fear or pain. Just like those in the medical community take a pledge to “do no harm,” we make the same promise to our clients and their dogs. That means consistently providing you the fastest, most effective results possible, and without sacrificing ethics in the process.
We do not utilize prong, choke, or remote collars in training. We instead guide dogs into making appropriate choices, implement discipline strategies that are fair and effective without being painful or scary, and set clear and consistent boundaries, providing you with the results you’re looking for without frightening your dog in the process.
You don’t need harsh training equipment to achieve the results you’re looking for – you just need someone with the skills and experience it takes to train using the most modern methods!
Want more information on our training methods? Read this blog we wrote on the subject.