Stepping Stone Animal Training offers a staff that has over 40 years of accumulative training, veterinary and grooming experience.

Our Trainers are all Karen Pryor Academy certified or are currently enrolled in the program.

Julie Shaw


KPA-CTP, RVT, VTS (Behavior)

Julie became a registered veterinary technician in 1983. She worked in private practice veterinary medicine for 16 years  and owned a dog training business until 1999. In 1999, she became one of the first animal behavior technicians in the country at the Purdue University Animal Behavior Clinic. At the university, she assisted with producing and teaching the week-long DOGS! Course, taught classes to veterinary and veterinary technician students, and saw referral behavior cases with Dr. Andrew Luescher, DVM, PhD, DACVB.

In 2010, Julie became one of the first board-certified Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior(VTS -Behavior), comparable to an animal psychiatric nurse. Julie is also a Fear Free certified professional, Fear Free approved speaker, and is on the Fear Free advisory panel. 

Her work in animal behavior is well known, and she frequently travels both nationally and globally to give lectures and seminars.

Julie founded Stepping Stone in 2015 to provide better help and support to pet parents and veterinarians in the local area. Her role on the Stepping Stone team includes assessing a pet’s current behavioral issue and presenting recommendations moving forward. She then assists in coordinating communication between the team members, family members, and veterinarian to best implement the treatment plan.

She believes 2 of her greatest accomplishments (so far) are co-writing/editing the first text book for Veterinary Nurses on Canine and Feline Behavior and training 2 service dogs to assist her son who has cerebral palsy.

Hailey Sweet


Hailey began her journey as a freshman ready to study pre-veterinary medicine at Purdue University. After shadowing multiple veterinarians, Hailey realized it simply wasn’t the field for her.

In 2014, Hailey began fostering dogs for a local animal rescue. The first foster dog she took in was in desperate need of training. Hailey was determined to help her.


​Hailey graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy in 2015.​ Her passion is Mondio training and she shares her home with her dogs: Spyder, Phantom, Chevy, Hemi and Epic.

Sarah Heininger


Sarah started working at a veterinary hospital in 2006 and that confirmed her passion for working with dogs. She graduated from Purdue in 2012 with a Bachelors in Animal Science (concentration Behavior/Well-Being). 


Sarah and her husband share their home with two rescue dogs, Luna and Radar who are both certified therapy dogs, two cats, and whatever foster(s) they have at the time. 


Sarah is excited to have been accepted into the January 2020 Karen Pryor Academy.  

Taryn Schultz


Taryn is a high school graduate who has always had a love for animals. Taryn fell in love with dog training and everything that we do here at Stepping Stone after starting as an intern. She believes that dog training has truly changed her life for the better.


Taryn shares her life with her Yorkie, Hope and Border Collie, Winter. Taryn will attend the Karen Pryor Academy to become a Certified Training Partner this spring.

Nicole Guarino


Jenna Gillon


Jenna graduated from Purdue in 2018 with a Forestry and Natural Resources degree. She has a passion for all animals, both domesticated and wild.


Jenna grew up with three dogs: two deaf, mini Australian Shepherds- Piper and Leo, a loving Flat-Coat Retriever Springer Spaniel mix- Dixie, and three cats. She currently owns two cats that she adopted: Rupi and Bear and a Children’s Python named Salazar.

Nicole graduated from Indiana's only accredited grooming school, Grooming School of Indiana in 2017. 


She began her career as a groomer and realized she wanted to groom differently for pets who are fearful or anxious of grooming procedures. That is when she began her journey in Fear Free Grooming and was certified in 2018.

Nicole is an animal lover whos shares her home with many pets of all types.

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2655 Teal Road

Lafayette, IN 47905


Between Praxair

and Allen Monuments

CALL US: (765) 637-7676


MON - FRI: 7am to 6pm

SAT: by appointment

© 2019 by Stepping Stone Animal Training