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 and Training Manager: 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: Anna Williams
Anna graduated from the University of Georgia, where she received her Bachelor’s in Animal Science with a focus on Animal Biology. While attending college, she began volunteering as a puppy raiser for a guide dog organization. Shortly after, she stepped into a working role coaching volunteer raisers how to confidently socialize, teach obedience cues, and establish house manners.
Anna then participated in a three-year apprenticeship program to become a Certified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor where she has trained numerous service dogs for those with visual impairments to aid them in regaining their independence. After becoming a qualified instructor, she acted as a mentor for the next line of apprentices. Being an instructor has given Anna vast experience in helping clients confidently and independently work with their dogs.
Anna 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.
Anna believes that education is a continuous goal, and therefore, enjoys attending conferences and seminars on the latest modern behavioral sciences. She has plans to continue her education by completing various courses and certifications including Fear-Free and Living and Learning with Animals by Dr. Susan Friedman.
Anna is passionate when it comes to sharing knowledge on how to utilize positive reinforcement techniques for behavior modification. She believes in maximizing these techniques to establish clear communication between dog and owner with the hopes of enriching the lives of all training teams.
Certified Trainer: Dana VanSickle
Dana Rebaza (formerly VanSickle) has spent nearly 20 years working with a variety of domestic and exotic animals at some of the nation’s leading animal organizations. They are experienced evaluating and rehabilitating dogs of varying breeds, sizes, and dispositions, and are committed to bringing you evidence-based behavior solutions that fit your lifestyle and goals.
Dana is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, one of only a few worldwide. This specialized certification requires intensive study of the treatment of separation anxiety, as well as demonstration of extensive training and counseling experience. They are a Certified Shelter Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. This high-level certification requires a rigorous application process that is assessed by a panel of experts in dog training and behavior, requiring the knowledge and ability to handle complex behavior cases in order to be certified. Dana is also 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.
Dana graduated with distinction from both the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, and the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior. They also completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs Master Course. Dana graduated from Regent University with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management.
In addition to their work doing online dog training for Peach on a Leash, Dana mentors students for the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy. They previously worked and volunteered for The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, helping rehabilitate animals rescued from abuse and neglect. They have also pioneered lifesaving programs at various shelters and rescues. Dana previously managed regional training programs in Charlotte and Santa Fe.
Dana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and is fluent in Spanish. They reside in Kansas with their partner Jordan, who is a zookeeper, and two rescue dogs – Hope Rising and Tumbleweed.
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: Hallie Wells
Hallie Wells CPDT-KA, UW-AABA started her career in dog training and behavior as the puppy program manager for a nonprofit guide dog and service dog school and moved to Atlanta to work with Peach on a Leash in 2018.
Hallie 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 also completed the University of Washington Applied Animal Behavior Analysis certificate program. The UW-AABA program is a 9 month, graded program that furthered her education on learning theory for humans and animals, biology to better care for the animals we work with, and methods intergrate theory to real-world training and behavior with clients. She is a fear free certified training professional, a program that focuses on providing stress free husbandry and veterinary care for animals. She is continuing her education with the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional program starting September 2021.
She attended the University of Georgia, where she worked as a veterinary assistant and animal caretaker at a dog daycare and boarding facility. While in college, she fostered dogs with Helping Paws rescue, with a focus on the dogs that had behavioral issues, including aggression and resource guarding. Working with her foster dogs, Hallie began to understand that positive reinforcement was the most effective way to provide clear communication and guidelines to any dog, especially those with undesirable behaviors.
Hallie loves providing puppies a solid foundation with our VIP puppy development program, giving board and train dogs a solid foundation for their parents to implement in their home, and helping pet parents modify unwanted behaviors so their dog can be a happy part of the family! She believes that teaching the people on the other end of the leash and making training enjoyable and effective for everyone is the most important component to training dogs with Peach on a Leash.
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: Robyn Strong
Robyn is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a Fear Free Shelter Professional, and is TAGteach Level 1 Certified. With around six years of training experience under their belt, Robyn has utilized the power and effectiveness of positive, science-backed training for hundreds of clients. The importance of establishing and clarifying communication between pets and their people has long been at the heart of what motivates Robyn’s career and training style.
Robyn graduated from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology in 2015. At university, they helped found and lead the Animal Behavior Club where they expanded on and shared their love of behavior science, while pursuing classes in both wildlife studies and biology. While enrolled, they spent their free time walking and training dogs at the local shelter and in the community.
After graduating, they pursued their study of animal behavior to the Kenya and Ethiopia, where they spent nearly two years studying and observing the population/demographics and cognition of wild spotted hyenas, and South Africa, where they spent several months at a wildlife rehabilitation center working for a woman who had trained both lions and hyenas using positive reinforcement training. They then went on to work with and use positive reinforcement to help train captive elephants in Thailand before traveling to Spain and Ireland to rehabilitate rescue horses. Upon returning to the United States, they used the same science-based methods to gentle mustangs and train sport horses.
Most recently, Robyn worked at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, offering behavior consultations, Training Tip YouTube videos, and both online and in-person group classes to the community. They met the love of their life, a handsome mixed-breed dog named October (pictured above), while filming for a community presentation at the shelter. She has opened Robyn up to the owner’s-eye view of dog training and changed their life in the best ways, reaffirming their dedication to celebrating and strengthening the bond between dogs and humans.
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 the talented 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.
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.