About Us

Dedicated to your success, White Mountain College for Pets specializes in effective pet training with lasting results. We endeavor to help you and your pet have the best relationship possible.

MIKE ROBERTSON, OWNER

Mike Robertson
Owner and Founder, Lead Pupfessor

Mike, the founder of White Mountain College for Pets, holds training certifications from five international organizations. After years in guest service supervisory roles, Mike struck out on a more rewarding path – animal training.

White Mountain K9 Academy was started in 1996 and operated from a tiny cabin in Lincoln, NH. In 1998, Mike purchased Ebony Kennel in Plymouth, NH and combined the two businesses. A couple of years later, White Mountain K9 academy was rebranded a White Mountain College for Pets, to better reflect the training offered to a variety of pets. In 2014, a second training location was opened in a busy shopping plaza in Plymouth.

When not picking dog hair from his mouth and herding people and their pets, Mike enjoys exploring historical and abandoned locations around New England. “ There’s a need to preserve, at the very least, a memory of those who have gone before us,”

Mike is an airplane pilot, wildlife rehabilitator, and a self described “pathetic, but hopeful woodworker.”

Heather Sackett
Pupfessor, Playgroup, Obedience

Heather works as a Registered Vascular Ultrasound Technologist at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. There she holds the position of Technical Director, managing the day to day operations of the department as well as performing diagnostic tests. She enjoys her position because she truly loves helping people. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a minor in Finance from Granite State College.

Heather was born and raised in the White Mountains of NH where dogs were an important part of her childhood. They taught her things about herself such as empathy, responsibility and balance. Her goal is to have a positive difference in the lives of dogs and their owners. Dogs take pleasure in learning new things and being a part of teaching the owners to enjoy easier lives with their dog is rewarding; experiencing joy as they become successful together.

When not helping patients or others with their companions, Heather spends most of her time with her husband and four rescue pups… the training never ends.

Karen Ferguson
Pupfessor, Obedience, Therapy, Trick

Karen has had animals her entire life. She owned everything: cats, dogs, pet chickens, gerbils, hamsters, rats, rabbits. She even had a “pet” horn-pout she fished out of the river next to the farm where she grew up. His name was Rufus.

In Karen’s free time she can be found on a hiking trail somewhere with her pup, “Chase Newman”, or at the race track cheering on her favorite drivers, Chase Elliott and Ryan Newman.

Karen has an A.S. in Early Childhood Education and a B.S. in Behavioral Science, which have helped her understand both pets and their owners. She started working on a professional level with animals and their people in 2014 and didn’t realize how quickly she would fall in love with it. Since then, Karen has earned her CDTI, become a CGC Evaluator, an ATD T/O, and she is also a member of the IACP.

Karen says that helping people with their pets is important to her, especially the therapy work. She has seen the positive effect pets have on people. She has seen shy children open up in the presence of a dog and elderly people smile and leave their room at the nursing home just so they could visit with a dog. She witnessed friendships develop between people all because one of them had a dog with them and the other felt comfortable enough to engage them in conversation.

Suzanne Flagg
Pupfessor, Puppies

Suzanne teaches puppy preschool at White Mountain College for Pets. She left the stressful occupation as a cross-country truck driver to begin her dog career in 2002 caring for pets at Ebony Kennel. After taking a few years off to give birth and raise daughter Sierra, she returned in 2014 to teach at the newly opened White Mountain College for Pets training center.

When not at her “Zen job,” Suzanne is the Warren Town Clerk, where she and husband Bryan own and operate Moose Scoops Ice Cream. Suzanne and her daughter participate in the NH Fish and Game Reptile and Amphibian Research Program (RAARP). They also volunteer their time gathering amphibian data from high elevation ponds in the White Mountains. Both are accomplished hikers and have completed several year-round hiking lists in New England. One or both of their Chinook dogs, Penigewasset and Echo, accompany them and when snow permits are learning to pull a sled.

“I need to stay in motion and I have found hiking and trying to outsmart puppies does just that,” says Flagg. “Even at the end of a day of total naughtiness, when a pup snuggles beside me and their halo begins to glow again, I reflect on what I didn’t do to keep them from disappointing me. Each day I try to learn from my dogs, work hard, play hard, be able to go to bed and forget the day’s woes, sleep and dream, and awake each morning wagging, stretching, and smiling.”

Clarissa Uttley
Public Relations Liaison, Human/Animal Interactions

Clarissa is an associate professor at Plymouth State University where she teaches in the Educational Leadership, Learning, & Curriculum program. She earned her PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Psychology with a concentration in Research Methodology. Her focus on research also includes the field of Human-Animal Interaction, specifically how animals can assist humans develop socially, physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Recent HAI research includes pets working with incarcerated populations, restorative justice programs, and the influence of pets in adolescent development. Clarissa works with the Helping Paws teams at PSU, with the CADY program, and at Mount Prospect Academy. She currently lives with her dog Skipper, cats Veruca and William, and rats Lilly & Rosie.