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 and Swim 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 ACL 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. She is currently in pursuit of her Canine Fitness Certification from Fenzi Dog Sports Academy which she plans to obtain by Summer 2022. With this certification, she hopes to further benefit the dogs who participate in our programs and educate owners on how to keep their dogs fit, healthy and happy.
Swim Coach, 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!
We have two wonderful veterinarians who serve our community at our Allentown, NJ location every Tuesday. They are able to offer some additional services to help your dogs with pain management, and rehabilitation.
Rehabilitaion & Pain Management Veterinarian
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:
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 the FIRST Tuesday of each month. She will be offering services that include: