top of page

Meet The Team

Head Trainer

I approach dog training as a journey of growth and learning. I have learned from some of the best dog trainers across the world, and their teachings and techniques are reflected in my training methods. As a Professional Dog Trainer, I believe that it is crucial to continue education in various fields to provide a wide range of tools and solutions for dogs and their owners.

Just a few of the trainers that have had a major influence on me and my training:  Ivan Balabanovl Chad Mackin, Jay Jack, Susan Garrett, Pat Stuart, Glen Cooke, Nelson Hodges, Wendy Volhard, Kayce Cover, and many more.  Learning everything from Behavior Modification, K9 sports, Positive Training Methods, Scent Detection, Relationship Based Behavior Modification and A TON more.  I am a Professional with IACP and a AKC CGC  Evaluator.

When picking a trainer my advise is to pick one that understands behavior, understands that every single dog is different and unique which means there is NO one method that fits every person and dogs needs.


Vita Allison

Vita Allison grew up locally participating in many dog sports and has titled over 40 dogs in various sports, in AKC and other venues, often achieving the highest awards and national rankings.
Vita enjoys a variety of sports with her dogs including Rally, Tracking, competition Obedience and Parkour.  
She will be teaching a variety of classes, workshops, webinars and more with The Hounds Grounds.

Vita has also written numerous articles to help people get started tracking, many of which were published in Dog Sport Magazine.
Vita is fascinated by the science of scent and would really enjoy introducing you & your dog to tracking!!

She is also one of AKC’s first Southern California Rally judges.  She continues to exhibit and do all she can to popularize the sport.  She has been successful in many sports, including Rally, with Borzoi, Whippets, Boxer, Doberman, Schipperke, Parson, and most recently her Australian Shepherd.  Vita is always learning new training techniques and would enjoy helping you discover the joy of teamwork with your companion. 

She delights in combining enthusiasm with precision in all events and often uses games to facilitate training. 

Come join one of Vita's classes

Vita photo_1.heic
Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 2.42.57 PM.png

Steve DeTATa

Steve DeTata has been involved in Nose Work since  2010.  He started as a student and competitor before becoming a Certified Instructor in 2013 and has been teaching Nose Work ever since.  He teaches beginning level to Summit League competitors in NACSW and Novice to Detective Classes in AKC.  He has instructed over 250 Nose Work teams and has had over 75 different breeds of companion dogs in his classes. He currently instructs approximately 50 teams of all levels weekly in group and private lessons.  His students routinely finish in the top three in trials, individual searches and receive pronounced designations. His students have achieved perfect 100 scores at NACSW Elite Division Trials, Elite Champion Titles, Summit League Titles and Detective Class Titles in AKC Scent Work.

As a competition trial official, Steve has set over 200 trial searches at all levels and has judged over 4000 individual searches.

As a handler and competitor, Steve and his dog, Juliet (American Pit Bull Terrier) became the 9th team in the nation to earn the NACSW Nose Work 3 Elite Title in 2013, and achieved their Elite 1 Title in 2015. Steve and Juliet were invited to the 2014 NACSW National Invitational, where the top 31 Nose Work teams in the country competed.  They finished in First Place on day one and were one of twelve teams to advance to the Finals.  They were invited to the 2015 NACSW National Invitational, where they again advanced to the Finals, being only one of four teams to advance to the finals both years.

Steve and his second dog, Bella (American Pit Bull Terrier) have two NACSW Nose Work 3 Titles.  Steve and his dogs received pronounced designations at NW1, NW2 and NW3 trial levels and achieved a first place overall finish at NW2, and two second place overall finishes and one third place overall finish at NW3.  



Melissa started at The Hounds Grounds as a client with her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lulu.  She exhibited wonderful skills in training Lulu and then her 2nd dog George came along.  She maintained our training protocols and trained George beautifully and with such dedication and follow through.
She had a strong interest in Dog Training and we felt she would excel in our trainer program.  We are happy to say - she did excel and passed our Foundations Course with high marks and became a Certified Trainer - WCCAC-CPT
After completing our foundations trainer course she  shadowed our group classes and private training for a year and has now been working with us for several years through our day training programs and group classes.
Melissas dedication and follow through in becoming a dog trainer was no surprise at all.

Come Train With Melissa in Basics OB Classes, AKC CGC Classes and In-home private training sessions.

Dog Trainer

WCCAC-CDT_logo2021certifiedL1CT copy.jpg


Dog Trainer

Brianna also started at The Hounds Grounds as a client with her Malinois Mix, River.  She had already completed many training classes with River and started her in Tracking with Vita.
As we watched her work with River we felt she would be a great dog training.   She completed our Foundations Course, shadowed group classes with Melissa and now conducts her own group classes and in-home private training with The Hounds Grounds.  

Come Train With Brianna in our Basics OB Classes or in-home private training sessions


Canine Massage

Jenny is every dogs zen!

Jenny jumped on board The Hounds Grounds train as our Certified Canine Massage Therapist.

While spending so much time with Brandi and  dogs she couldn't help but learn the basic needs of our 4 paw'd friends along with understanding exactly how to help them relax.  Jenny also heads our Dog Spa.  She  has the magic touch and offers in-home dog massages after a nice walk when time allows.



Interested in career opportunities with The Hounds Grounds?

email your resume or CV to

bottom of page