Owner, Canine Swim Coach and Dremel Coach
Erica Etchason has been involved in Canine Water Sports since 2006. Erica’s water training philosophy is to build joy around water, joy that will build confident, safe swimmers. A structured water program allows dogs of all breeds, shapes, sizes, and experience to enjoy swimming. Erica trains and competes in many venues, but her passion is in water work. Currently Erica has achieved over 40 Canine Water Sports merits with her three Newfoundland’s and a Water Dog and Water Rescue Dog Title from the Newfoundland Club of America with Molly. Erica and her Newfoundland’s have earned Canine Water Sports merits in the Team Swim, Retrieve, Underwater, and Towing categories. Erica and her dog Fozzie is the only team to earn a Certificate in AquaAgility from Canine Water Sports. Erica has worked with many breeds both water loving and water challenged. Erica spent almost a decade teaching in-door pool classes at What A Good Dog in PA. She now owns and runs her business 4 Paws Adrift at Marty's Place Senior Dog Sanctuary where she teaches swim classes, and runs underwater treadmill therapy sessions. Erica is also co-owner of an off-leash dog camp called Camp Unleashed. Erica’s newest program is Dremel Like a Boss. It is an online membership to coach owners to Dremel their dog’s nails. Jibe, Erica’s current Newfoundland, works hard in her training videos and loves doing all the things. Jibe sometimes has the pleasure of hanging out in the office waiting for a pet or for Erica to take her out for some training.
General Manager, Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer & Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach
Jessica has spent over 10 years working with dogs through her dog walking and boarding business. She also spent many years voltunerring in animal rescue; volunteering as a canine companion/walker and adoption advocate as well as a foster mom at a local kill shelter in Staten Island. She first started with 4Paws as a client, with her dog, Dahbe, in search of some new fun ways to bond and train with her dog. When Dahbe was diagnosed with an CCL (ACL for humans) injury, Jessica dove head first into all things canine fitness and rehabIlitation in order to provide her dog with the best care. From her personal experience rehabbing her own dog, she grew passionate about alternative means to recovery for dogs with similar injuries as well as alternative means of relieving ailments and injuries such as obesity, arthritis and mobility. Jessica has since joined the 4Paws team and hopes to bring this same passion to other dogs and their owners.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys hiking and exploring nature with her dog, Dahbe. Together they have participated in both agility and water sports/training, as well as some fitness training. She has a profound interest in canine fitness and nutrition and strives to keep learning more and bring more awareness to today's pet owners.
Jessica obtained her Certified Professional Canine Fitness Certification through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy under the instruction of Canine Rehabilitation Specialist Dr. Debbie Gross Torraca. With this certification, she works to mazimize the benefits that the dogs in our hydrotherapy programs can acheieve and is passionate about educating owners on how to keep their dogs fit, healthy and happy.
Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Dog Trainer
Her first dog, Nici turned her love of animals into a passion. She found a local training club and immersed herself into all things dog training. She quickly began assisting with group classes and learned unique skills and techniques from a variety of instructors. Wanting to further expand her skills and knowledge, she enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy of Dog Training and Behavior where she earned her KPA CTP. She has since achieved the requirements to be an AKC Fit Dog Instructor, as well as an AKC Canine Good Citizen, S.T.A.R. Puppy, and Trick Dog Evaluator.
Chrissy’s training philosophy begins with the mentality that your dog is a member of the family. She is passionate about helping people create relationships with their dogs, as well as committed to fear free training and always advocating for the dog. All of her training methods are based in the science of positive reinforcement.
Chrissy started at 4 Paws Adrift as a client when her dog Jack was just 14 weeks old. Committed to fear free training, body awareness, and patience, he is now a joyful swimmer who absolutely loves the water! By following this approach, she hopes to share that same joy with her students.
In her spare time, she enjoys all things with her dog, Jack; whether playing dog sports together, finding new places to hike and kayak, or just spending time together for a good cuddle. Life is just better with a dog!
Jackie first began following her passion of working with dogs ten years ago by volunteering with local rescue groups. For the past 5 years she has been working as a groomer in Staten Island, NY.
Jackie’s canine handling skills come with a strong emphasis on a fear free experience. Jackie and her rescue dog Kazper started their water sports journey back in 2021 when they found Erica Etchason as their water training coach. Kazper took to the water so quickly so they began to further his skills by working on various Canine Water Sport tasks during their training sessions. This training ignited a fire in Jackie that opened up her interest in dog training and canine water training. With Kazper’s affinity for the water, she also found love of the field and their bond has grown through this new outlet. They have participated in the Canine Water Sports test for the past two years and completed various tasks. She hopes to obtain more titles this year!
In addition to water sports training with her own dog, Jackie has spent the last couple months with us working under our trainer Chrissy during puppy class as a trainer’s assistant. She has gotten the opportunity to work hands on alongside us to learn the ins and outs of 4 Paws Adrift.
Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Dog Trainer
Have you ever seen a 9 year old kid volunteering to make bows for a groomer? Or sit quietly in an animal hospital socializing the stray kittens? Well, that’s where it all started for Kristen. Since Kristen was young, she did anything she could to spend time with animals, and that didn’t change as she grew up. After receiving a BBA in Accounting from Pace University and landing a job in corporate America, Kristen began training at a major big box store. That ignited a passion and in 2013, Kristen had opened up a private training business and began fostering dogs and puppies through a local rescue group. She earned her CPDT-KA in 2017 and is a lifelong learner for all things animal-behavior, attending both APDT and IAABC conferences to continue learning the most effective ways to help owners and their pets. The dog training business went on pause as Kristen grew her family, and now she is jumping back into all things dog related by joining the team at 4 Paws Adrift.
Kristen’s training philosophy is centered around building a relationship between a human and their canine companion. It’s a partnership and nurturing that bond is so important for anything they face in the future.
In her spare time you can usually find Kristen one of two places: cuddling a dog or a child, or out on an adventure with them.
Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Dog Trainer
Julie grew up on the rural Northern Neck of Virginia with a family that included cats, fish, frogs, hamsters, and of course dogs. When not hanging out with her own animals she was exploring the woods or the banks of the Rivah trying to perfect the Snow White whistle to bring all the animals out to talk and play. After adopting her dog Winston and fostering many dogs her passion for dog training was ignited.
Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Dog Trainer
We have a few wonderful veterinarians who serve our community at our Allentown, NJ throughout each month. They are able to offer some additional services to help your dogs with pain management, and rehabilitation.
Lauren Blackson, DVM, CCRP pursued a bachelors degree in Animal Science at the University of Delaware, and then went on to complete her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida in 2018. While in veterinary school, Dr. Lauren also became a Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner (CCRP) through the University of Tennessee and a Certified Fear Free Practitioner. In 2019, she also completed her Walkin' Wheels Certification, enabling her to fit wheel chairs for disabled canines. In 2019, Dr. Lauren opened Peak Performance to combine her love for teaching dog agility with her passion of canine rehabilitation. While her main interest is in keeping the canine athlete fit and prepared for competition, she also enjoys working on improving pain management and quality of life in geriatric patients as well as the management and care of neurologic patients.
When not working in veterinary rehab, Lauren competes in and teaches dog agility. Lauren has competed in multiple venues including AKC, USDAA, UKI, and CPE but mostly focuses on USDAA and UKI currently. Lauren first began teaching agility as a volunteer assistant for the Academy of Dog Training and Agility (ADTA) in 2008. In the last 10 years, Lauren has taught all levels of agility from foundation classes up through the masters level as well as private lessons. Lauren's favorite part of teaching is being able to watch teams progress throughout their training and achieve their goals.
Dr. Blackson will be treating dogs on every other FIRST Tuesday of each month (starting February 2023 and so on). She will be offering services that include:
Dr. Tim Corker was born and raised in Logan Township NJ, which is now only 10 minutes from his home in Penns Grove, the site of the home office for Peak Performance. In 2012, Tim completed his BS in Exercise Science then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2015, both from the University ofScranton. For the last 8 years, Dr. Tim has worked in human Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, but he has always had a passion for
canines; having been raised with a dog always in the house and always the most happy while around dogs. He now lives with 3 border collies always by his side.
Over his career in human orthopedics, Dr. Corker has become an expert in hands on/manual therapy and identifying soft tissue disorders having treated
thousands of individuals. Using his extensive training as a human physical therapist as well as training received through the Certified Companion Animal
Therapist (CCAT) program, he is uniquely qualified to care for any muscle, tendon, ligament, and nerve injuries that may present in canines. Additionally, Dr. Corker has been certified for 7 years in Active
Release Technique (ART) which utilizes unique movements to mobilize tissue and achieve better results with less pain. Dr Corker’s specialty includes the treatment and care of the performance/working dog to improve speed, strength, and flexibility.
While not working, Dr Corker enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 border collies, woodworking, and exploring hiking trails (as long as a brewery follows).
Dr. Corker will be treating dogs on every other FIRST Tuesday of each month (starting October 2023 and so on). He will be offering services that include:
Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner/Owner of Next Level Canine Rehabilitation and Fitness
Lisa is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, with over 10 years working in the rehab field. She has worked with canine athletes, as well as special needs dogs, senior dogs and every day couch potatoes. Lisa specializes in bodywork, with a focus on manual therapy to help your dog to feel, and move comfortably throughout their life. Her background as both a veterinary nurse as well as an Occupational Therapist for humans, give her a unique perspective on wellness, injury prevention and treatment. A head to toe session will highlight how your dog feels by checking muscle and joint mobility, as well as checking for any areas that may be painful or indicate an injury for your dog.
Lisa's services will include:
Rehabilitaion & Pain Management Veterinarian, Owner of The Doggy Gym
Dr. Melina Zimmerman is a graduate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. After completing a rotating internship, she went on to complete a residency in Anesthesiology. In addition to being a Diplomate of the College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, Dr. Zimmerman has pursued advanced certifications and is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, Certified Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist, and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Dr. Zimmerman loves helping all of her furry (and not furry!) patients and their people too!
Dr. Zimmerman will be treating dogs on three Tuesdays out of the month. She will be offering services that include: