Peach on a Leash is a full-service dog training company based in Alpharetta, Georgia and serving Metro Atlanta and its northern suburbs, from Sandy Springs to Cumming.
Utilizing the most modern, science-based training techniques, head trainer and pet behavior expert Alex Sessa, (formerly Andes) CPDT-KA and her team of highly experienced trainers will deliver the results you’re looking for.
We provide your dog with a fun, positive 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, 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 a certified Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT), another prestigious certification.
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 six exceptional, highly qualified training and behavior experts. She leads the training for our VIP Puppy Development program, which has provided professional training for celebrities, athletes, CEOs, and other high-profile clientele. She has been featured on HLN, WSB-TV, 11Alive, and various print publications.
Alex also serves as a mentor for students in the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy, as well as consulting for other training companies and non-profit organizations needing guidance with their dog training programs.
Alex is proud to be active in the animal rescue community. She works with Furkids Animal Rescue, Atlanta Boxer Rescue, Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, Orphan Annie Pet Rescue, Canine Cellmates, and others.
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, and their beloved dogs.
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.
As a Certified Volunteer at Canine Assistants in Milton, Amelia takes great pride in helping dogs to become amazing service animals who go on to improve the lives of their recipients in immeasurable ways. Amelia is very active in this organization, currently fostering and teaching three incredible future service dogs.
She shares her home with her wonderful husband and their two awesome dogs, Rhett, a Mixed Breed and Ronan, a Golden Retriever.
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.
She currently shares her home with two pet dogs, a German shepherd and an Australian Shepherd, and her boyfriend’s service dog, a Labrador Retriever. There is never a dull moment in her home!
Certified Trainer: Julia Skrotzki
Julia is a passionate dog lover who got her start in the dog training world by assisting Alex in her group classes. Alex quickly realized that Julia had incredible natural ability in working with both people and dogs, and helped her fine-tune those skills into a career as a trainer for Peach on a Leash.
Julia went on to graduate with distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior, and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, an optional certification that requires hundreds of logged training hours and passing a comprehensive exam.
In addition to her training work with our pet dog clients, Julia is also our lead trainer for animal acting. She has gained extensive practical experience working on set for high-level brands. She works with dogs one-on-one to prepare for specific roles in television, movies, and photo shoots, as well as leading our tricks and animal acting group classes!
10 years ago, Julia moved to the US from a small town in Germany. She now calls Milton home and lives with her 3 dogs, husband and two children. Julia is also a active volunteer and foster mom at the Atlanta Humane Society.
Dog Trainer: Hallie Wells
Hallie Wells joined our team with an extensive background in assistance dog training and pet dog behavior. For over four years, Hallie was the puppy program manager for a guide dog and service dog school that placed over 100 dogs a year with clients that were visually impaired, blind, or veterans needing an assistance dogs. Many of the dogs went on to careers to autism support dogs, accelerant detection dogs, and service dogs for civilians.
In addition to training our clients’ pet dogs, she is also the lead trainer for our service dog training program.
Hallie 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 high-value reinforcement was the most effective way to provide clear communication and guidelines to any dog, especially those with undesirable behaviors.
After graduation, Hallie focused on a career in the assistance dog industry. She started puppy raising a Labrador cross rescue in 2011, which had a tremendous effect on her life and career path. That impact influenced her to use her training and behavior background as a positive impact for the assistance dog industry. She effectively started a result-oriented, positive reinforcement-based training protocol for the 400+ puppies trained yearly at the organization. Hallie has honed her skills on early neonatal socialization, public socialization, service dog training, and client-dog relationships and is excited to share her understanding and knowledge with Peach on a Leash Clients.
Hallie has qualified to certify through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and will be completed the comprehensive exam at the next testing window in August 2019. This is an optional certification that we ask of all of our trainers to support standardization of ethics and practices in our unregulated industry.
Hallie shares her home with Lola Mae, a black and white mix dog and Arthur Ziv, a long haired orange tabby cat. Lola and Arthur are quite the pair; providing appropriate cat exposure and teaching puppies correct interaction with other animals to all the animals that are welcomed into Hallie’s home!
Certified Dog 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.
Dog Trainer: Ryan Flanagan
While enrolled in college at Valdosta State University, Ryan rescued his best hiking buddy, Waylon, a hound/spaniel mix, and the two shared an inseparable bond of trust and friendship. This ultimately led to a career path in dog training, as Ryan wanted all dog owners to be able to experience the same human/canine companionship, regardless of age, breed, or temperament. Ryan believes training should be fun for both the dog and the owner, and finds that it’s best achieved through positive reinforcement training techniques.
Ryan has completed certifications in Foundations and Basic Obedience, K-9 First Aid, and K9 CPR through the Trikos Team Dog Training Program. This program is taught by Mike Ritland, a well-known and respected former US Navy SEAL K9 Trainer, who continues to train law enforcement K9s and military working dogs today. He then went on to complete intensive hands-on training and continuing education with our Peach on a Leash training team.
Ryan is also an active volunteer with the American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue, helping with transportation throughout the Southeast and connecting these hounds with their new forever homes.
Ryan is scheduled to continue his education by completing the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior’s comprehensive Dog Trainer Course this summer, and has also qualified to certify through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. He will be completing the CCPDT’s comprehensive exam at the next testing window in August 2019. This is an optional certification that we ask of all of our trainers to support standardization of ethics and practices in our unregulated industry.
Ryan lives with his girlfriend and 4 rescued dogs; a Black and Tan Coonhound, Pitbull/Mastiff, Boxer/Plott Hound, and a Shepherd/Retriever mix.
Alex and her team are passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest modern behavioral science. Their 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.
We do not utilize prong, choke, or remote collars in training. We guide dogs into making appropriate choices 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.