Our Team


Ana Melara, CPDT-KA

Ana MelaraAna Melara has been working with dogs and their families for over 2 decades, originally inN.Y.C. and for more than 17 years here in Colorado.

She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and member of the (APDT) Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a member of (IAABC) International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is TAGteach Certified. This means that she’s also very good at teaching people.

She keeps herself current by attending and hosting various workshops, seminars and conferences. Her training techniques are founded on praise-based, dog-friendly and people-friendly methods, and a fundamental belief that, as dog guardians, we are responsible for their well-being and training. Whether she is teaching basic manners, agility, puppy socialization, potty training or addressing a dog’s aggression issues, Ana stresses to all of her human clients the profound importance that their gentle leadership plays in their dog’s training.

Ana also donates her time and services to various rescue organizations in the Denver Metro Area. Ana lives in Lakewood with her husband, her daughter and her 4 amazing dogs. Chaka, her crazy-pants trick dog, Tatonka, her sweet 10-ish year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has gone from nervous, bitey and growly to happily and waggly, Meg is her 15 year-old black lab everything superstar and her latest addition; Baldr, a sweet, baby Malinois/GSD X.

Check out Ana’s podcasts here:

Ana can be reached by emailing [email protected], or calling  303-238-DOGS(3647).


Our deeply loved Gracie has been gone for 4.5 years now. Gracie was a whippet/pit-bull mix that I found tied to a fence in NYC in 1999. She was in bad shape, weighing 25 lb. with broken teeth, a broken spirit and missing over 50% of the hair on her body. She came home with me to teach me many lessons. With love, hope, passion, understanding and guidance she quickly became a more beautiful, confident, strong RockStar! In 2008 Gracie competed in Cynosports World Games, USDAA Agility. She has multiple agility titles under her belt and has helped puppies, dogs with aggression issues and countless others. We said our last goodbyes to Gracie on July 3, 2014. She is deeply loved even in her absence. We will always remember her loving her belly-rubs and liver cookies and her taking naps under the blankets. She continues to touch the lives of so many.


Meg is a black lab who joined our family in 2003 at about 12 weeks old. She is the easiest dog we’ve ever had. She’s smart, patient and a great listener. Meg helps our team with our puppy classes as well as in our agility classes. She also competed in the Cynosports World Games, USDAA Agility in 2008 with Gracie. Meg has been a great guide to our young puppies and a steady gentle dog that helps us work with anxious or fearful dogs in social settings. At 15 years old now, she is fully retired and loving the cookies for no reason.


Argos was a German Shepherd mix who joined our family in early 2002. He was found as a stray in a neighboring state and was brought to Colorado for some medical attention. He was a huge asset to the Grace Dog Training & Behavior team. Argos helped us with young puppies who had severe aggression issues. On multiple occasions he played nursemaid to infant kittens. Argos loved his K-9 Nose-Work and was absolutely lovely with young children. He taught me patience, forgiveness and dedication. Argos left us just shy of 17 years old. In his last year with us, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen reminding us to feed him from our plates. Travis always wondered why I would make myself a 6 egg omelet, ah, sharing.


Tatonka came to us in March of 2010 with multiple lacerations, punctures and scars from having been bound by his wrists. His physical injuries have all healed and left scars. We regularly show him that there are more people in this world who are gentle and safe. He is very well loved. He now helps us with dogs who have the very same issues that he used to have, aggression, fear and anxiety. He is a gift. He loves Rebeca and snuggles up in her bed when she’s off at school. He’s a super gentle teacher to the infant puppies who join us for foster care or trianing. Who would have thought…


ChakaChaka is a character! Ana met Chaka at the Friends Of Charlie’s Place Shelter in Dumont, CO. She was a stray found at 8 months old. She holds steady at about 9 lbs. She wiggled and danced around for Ana to notice her and she did! Chaka is silly, athletic, has a ridiculous appetite and is always willing to learn, play and go on an adventure. She’s probably about 3 and 1/2 years old now and is a wonderful, tremendously important part of the Grace Dog Training & Behavior Family. What’s to come?


BaldrBaldr is a lovely Malinois/GSD mix. At the age of 9 weeks he joined our household. He fits perfectly with our family. He’s learning the ropes, annoying his brother and sisters. He is loving and lively and always ready for an outing. We will keep sharing his growth in our podcasts and facebook live events. He’s here to teach us lots!

Travis Otto

Travis is Ana’s husband. They met in N.Y.C. at the dog-run in Hell’s Kitchen. He has a background in para-medicine, firefighting and spent 6 years serving our country in the Army. In 2008 Travis started the Jog the Dog service for Grace Dog Training & Behavior. Travis takes high-energy, special needs dogs out for runs, jogs and vigorous power walks in order to help families with busy schedules and to drain some of your dog’s energy in a focused mindful way. Jog the Dog is an excellent alternative for dogs who are not fit for a daycare environment and for dogs learning how to mind their manners out in public. A tired dog with all of his emotional needs met is a good dog. Travis can be reached by emailing him at [email protected], or calling 303-238-DOGS(3647)..


Rebeca Otto

Rebeca OttoRebeca is our daughter and she is perfection! She helps us socialize puppies and dogs to kids. She helps therapy dogs practice for reading programs. Rebeca has been working with dogs since she was an infant. She has been riding horses from the tender age of 8 months and is currently exploring her artistic side by illustrating and painting. She loves skiing and exploring cooking classes. Rebeca is attending Montessori schooling and loves reading. She is planning on getting her own horse when she gets older!





Allie Maes

Allie MaesAllie joined us for our Rocky Mountain Regional Dog Trainer Academy and very soon realized she had to become a part of the Grace Dog Training & Behavior Team. Allie fits right in. She is a huge asset to our Doggie Daycare and Add-On Training program.







Meliza Harrison


Meliza joined our team to take on our client care and admin needs. You’ll hear more about her shortly.

Taylor Weinhart

Taylor first got into dog training in relation to her hearing service dog. She started out as an apprentice dog trainer for Service Dogs Inc. in Austin 5 years ago and became a trainer and dog behavior evaluator for shelter dogs for their program in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area.
“I have always had a passion in strengthening the relationships between dogs and humans in ways that benefit them in the long run.”
In her free time, She enjoys educating shelter staff in how to better effectively evaluate dogs for better lives, hiking with her dog and being outdoors any chance she gets.