Meet our amazing trainer, Maria Fell! She is our newest trainer to join Team Valor K9 Academy in Spokane, WA. She’s hard working, talented and is a joy to be around! In this article, we interview Maria so you can get to know her better!

1- Maria, what’s the last great TV show or movie you watched?

I typically don’t watch a lot of TV. I get too distracted to ever finish a series and my husband usually has control of the remote. 😛 My girls like to watch Dr. Oakley (A LOT), and I do get caught up into it occasionally.

2- Best book you’ve ever read?

This is hard. My bucket list is to someday have my own library – a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves with real books, maybe even a ladder that rolls along the wall to reach to top. The Bible will always be my first pick. But I love to get into a good mystery/true crime (Lincoln Lawyer, The Firm), self-help (Margin, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership), and sometimes a little Nicholas Sparks’ romance.

3- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian.

maria fell dog trainer spokane

4- If you were left on a deserted island with either your worst enemy or no one, which would you choose? Why?

Does deserted island mean no plants or animals? Because if there’s any other living thing, I’m okay being “alone” and befriending the other creatures.

german shepherd puppy long coat

5- We see EWU-everything in your house in photos. Are you a fan, by chance? (hehe!)

Yes! Both my husband and I graduated from Eastern Washington University.

6- What made you decide to change careers from law enforcement to dog training?

Several factors brought me into dog training. I love the challenge of it – it’s grown me as a professional, a wife, and a mother. It’s always been a career goal of mine to help people (hence why I was in law enforcement), and I was pleasantly surprised at how much working with my own dog helped ME. I wanted to share that with others. And I absolutely love working with the dogs, of course 😉

7- What is something you look forward to when working with new clients?

I really enjoy the “lightbulb” that goes off every time we cover new topics. So much of dog training is common sense, but at the same time, it’s not. There’s almost always that “Ah-ha!” moment that’s fun to be part of.

valor k9 academy dog training client

8- Do you have a favorite breed of dog?

I really don’t. I have several favorites, each for their different reasons.

9- Tell us about your family!

I’m from a family of six children; all of us were homeschooled, and I fully believe my mom has a superpower for accomplishing such a feat. My husband, Nick, and I were married in 2012 (almost 10 years ago?!) and we have two daughters, Charlee Mae (6yrs old) and Hadley Jo (3yrs old). They’re both copy-cats of Nick and I. Which is terrifying. I am blessed with the greatest support system and an abundance of love & laughter!

maria fell family

10- Tell us about your pack!

Oakley is my 4.5yr old Heeler mix who I got from an accidental litter. This little cattle dog has taught me so much about dogs! She’s confident, and oh-so sensitive. She’s smart and eager, but requires strict structure. She’s everything I needed to become a better handler. We’re currently doing sheep herding lessons to see if she has potential to do the “real thing.” She naturally loves chasing the sheep! Now we just have to add some controls to it.

maria fell blog post

And then there’s Lawyer. My sweet Golden Retriever puppy from Council House Goldens. After several long months of searching and waiting, he finally came home the beginning of April. Now at just under 14 weeks old, he’s proving to be the exactly fit for what I wanted. Confident and loyal, mellow but eager. He will be my demo dog and hopefully a future therapy dog! I can’t wait to see what kind of a dog he turns out to be.

maria fell with puppy

Thank you so much, Maria! We’re so blessed and grateful to have you on our team! To reach Maria, please email her at She is now booking clients for December and January!