Teacher Spotlight: Nicole McDermid

Our growing class list would be quite difficult to pull off without the awesome instructors - and businesses - we've been so honored to meet.  We'd like to give you the same opportunity to get to know our Chattery teachers a bit better. 

Meet Nicole McDermid of Recess. She'll be teaching a dog training class on Tuesday. Proceeds benefit McKamey Animal Center.

Nicole McDermid is a dog trainer and behavior specialist. She received her education and certification from the Misha May Foundation, located in Lakewood, Colorado and completed the requirements for K9 First-Aid and CPR through Colorado CPR & AED. Nicole focuses on force-free training methods and specializes in working with dogs in need of rehabilitation and behavior modification; the most prevalent being fear and anxiety. Nicole has volunteered with several rescue organizations along the front range in Colorado, and served on the board of directors for Do Over Dogs, a rescue in Broomfield, Colorado. Additionally, Nicole has fostered and adopted herself when space at home has allowed. She started her dog training and adventure company, Recess, in Chattanooga, TN in 2016. She and her husband, Travis, live in Chattanooga with their three canine kids.

How did you get started in your profession?

I was pursuing a PhD in a completely unrelated profession and was desperately unhappy in my professional/academic life. I had always been fascinated with animals and how we (attempt to) communicate with each other. I first met a professional dog trainer back in 2004 at my local Humane Society and was blown away at what I learned. Ever since that experience I wanted to learn more about dogs. Finally, at that low point in my career, I decided to offset the unhappiness by registering for the Misha May Dog Trainers & Behavior Specialist Program. At the time I never would have guessed that I'd ditch the old career path for one focused on dogs, but I did and I haven't looked back since!

Why do you love Chattanooga?

I simply love being outdoors, but there are a lot of cool places located near outdoor activities. Chattanooga is also, in my opinion, that perfect combination of small town feel and big city amenities, and exactly what I was looking for as a small business owner.

What's one topic you'd like to learn through The Chattery?


What's something someone would be surprised to learn about you?

Okay, this one is morbid but I really wanted to give you something good! I once found a dead body. I was probably about thirteen-years-old and out for a boat ride with my (younger) brother and father. We were just putzing along when I spotted something floating near the bank and under a low-hanging tree. I asked my dad to get a little closer and my heart dropped; I could see the outline of a face barely poking up through the surface of the water. We later found out that an elderly lake resident must have gone down to her dock, slipped on a patch of ice, and fell into the water. She resurfaced on the other side of the lake, near my family's home. My folks still live in that house and to this day I still think of that poor woman (and poor thirteen-year-old me!) every time we take a boat ride past that spot.