About Fido Finishing School

Fido Finishing School began as a competition and pet training obedience program in 1995. In 2000, agility classes were also added to the program. Julie Hill, the founder and owner, is the primary instructor for all classes. Additional staff has been added as the school has grown. Many Fido Finishing School canine alumni have gone on to very successful careers, including Service Dogs, Search and Rescue, Conformation, Tracking, Herding, Field Trials, Earthdog Trials, Therapy Dogs, Agility, Obedience, and last but not least, as Man’s Best Friend.

About Julie Hill

Educational & Professional Background

Julie completed a BA in Political Science and a BS in Geology at LSU, and a MS in Geophysics at the University of Utah.

She first worked as an exploration geophysicist, then as a technical support consultant for a geophysical software company. After leaving the oil industry, she worked part-time as a dog trainer and part-time at the local humane society, where she held the positions of adoption counselor and veterinary assistant. Currently, she is working full-time instructing obedience and agility classes, and giving private lessons and seminars.

Dog Training Background

Julie and Chamber at Play

Julie trained and showed Hunters and Jumpers for 15 years before becoming involved in dog obedience in 1991. Her first competition obedience dogs, a Greyhound and a Bloodhound, (see About Lily and About Lark), two breeds not known for their desire to please their owners, required “outside-the-box” training in order to be competitive at the highest obedience levels. Her next dog, a Pointer (see About Chamber), proved to be equally challenging because of the dog’s low drive, high distractibility, and total disinterest in food rewards. From these dogs, Julie developed her training technique, which has proven to work just as effectively on traditionally easier breeds of dogs to train, as it does on the more difficult breeds.

Julie first got involved in agility with her Greyhound in 1997. Her background in jumping horses, obedience training, and motivating difficult breeds of dogs, proved to be valuable educational experiences for this sport, which requires excellent jumping skills and speed, as well as control.

In addition to her own dogs, Julie has put conformation, obedience, and/or agility titles on the following breeds: Bloodhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Golden Retriever, Vizsla, Standard Poodle, Labrador Retriever, and Doberman Pinscher.

Julie regularly attends and presents national obedience and agility seminars and workshops. She is a founding member of the Swamp Dog Agility Club Offsite Link and is also a member of the American Pointer Club Offsite Link.

Julie and Race - Clean Run at the Finals!

About Rebecca Breaud

Educational & Professional Background

Rebecca Breaud

Rebecca Breaud assists with the Family Pet Obedience Classes and with obedience private training. She has a BS and MS in Biology and is retired from the Jefferson Parish Public School System where she taught Biology and Earth Science to gifted students at the middle and high school levels.

Current Activities

Rebecca is on the Board of Directors for the Visiting Pet Program, an animal assisted therapy group that visits hospitals and nursing homes in the greater New Orleans area. She is their Evaluation Coordinator and conducts orientations and workshops for this group on a regular basis.

Rebecca has owned dogs all her life. She was introduced to obedience training in 1993, when she was given a rambunctious Lab named Chelsea. Chelsea was trained by Rebecca and received her Canine Good Citizen award, her Companion Dog title, and her Therapy Dog title. Rebecca presently owns and trains two Labrador Retrievers, Sundance’s Over the Rainbow, CGC, CD, AX, AXJ “Violet” and Sundance’s Cajun Fleur de Lis “Lily Beth”. Violet is presently retired from agility and therapy work, but is still working in obedience. Lily is presently training to compete in both agility and obedience.