Atherton Acres

"I was at my wits' end...and then Vera was recommended."   Read more

Atherton Acres
The Trainers

The Trainers
Photo Album


Vera Reeves
Vera has been working with dogs for over 35 years. For ten years, she worked under the leadership of German master trainers in Police and Working Dog schools, assisting other dog handlers and training her own dogs through Schutzhund progressive degrees. After emigrating to the U.S., Vera operated her own dog training school in the South Bay Area for over 12 years. She assumed co-ownership of Atherton Acres Kennels in Novato in 1989 and is in charge of the training program. She is the author of "Barking Up the Right Tree: Tales Out of Dog School" and "Bark and Bite: Applied Ethology in Dog Training."

With her own dogs, Vera has stayed active in the sport of Versatility and Schutzhund and in Search and Rescue Training. She has competed successfully in many prestigious national and international championships in the U.S. and in Europe with her Riesenschnauzer “Hexer.” In addition, Vera has been a consultant to attorneys in legal matters concerning dogs, and is certified as an expert witness about dog behavior in Federal Court.





Barking Up The Right Tree

Elizabeth Evans, Ph.D.
Betty has over 25 years experience in training and handling dogs through AKC and Schutzhund progressive degrees, as well as handling and showing dogs in AKC and international conformation rings. She continues to compete and train in Schutzhund sport with her German Shepherd dogs, and she is a member of the United Schutzhund Clubs of America (USA) and of the California-Swiss Search Dog Association (CASSDA). As a geneticist, her special field of interest is the genetic basis for behavior in dogs.



Chantal Philipona Young
Chantal grew up with Bernese Mountain Dogs in Switzerland. Under the watchful eyes of Swiss master coaches, she very successfully trained them through obedience degrees. In the US, she continued her hobby with her Boxer, Spock, in Obedience and Agility. After Spock’s retirement, Chantal entered the highly challenging and competitive field of Versatility Sport for Working Dogs (formerly Schutzhund) with her Riesenschnauzer, Guinan, whom she titled to the highest level possible. For over four years, she has assisted Vera and Betty in the competitive training of their own dogs as well as in training dogs for the general public. Chantal is on the Board of Directors of the Working Riesenschnauzer Federation and a member of the United Schutzhund Clubs of America.


Atherton Acres Kennels
521 Atherton Avenue
Novato, California 94945
Tel: (415) 897-7311
Fax: (415) 897-4008

Business Hours:
9 am-12 noon; 2 pm-6 pm
Sunday 2 pm-6 pm