About Us

Unlike your doctor, electrician, or plumber, you can’t check with a licensing authority to make sure that your dog trainer or pet sitter is a professional in good standing.  There are no licensing requirements for dog training or pet sitting.  Consequently, it can be hard to find the company with the right skills, experience, and personality to trust with your pets.  That’s where we come in!

At Harmonious Hounds we set ourselves apart  from part-time hobbyists.  First, our learning, certifications, and backgrounds in the animal and educational fields show our commitment to our profession.  Additionally, we carry liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and bonding.

We founded our business in 2011, when Lauren and Tim were both at crossroads in their careers, looking for a new way to celebrate their love of animals.  As a result, they’ve spent the last nine years building a thriving community, focused on education and bettering the lives of every animal that they meet.  Ultimately, we have helped countless animals and families over the years lead happier, more harmonious lives. Keep reading to learn how we are the right choice to help with YOUR dog!

Lauren Stamatis, CPDT-KA
Lauren Harmonious Hounds

Lauren has a B.A. in Zoology and Animal Science from the University of Vermont.  She has dedicated the past 20 years of her life to caring and training both domesticated and exotic animals.

Lauren also has an interest in municipal planning.  Starting in 2012, she served as the City of Attleboro’s Assistant Conservation Agent. Subsequently, she was promoted to the position of Planning Administrator.  Today, she is a City Hall worker by day, dog trainer and business owner by night!


Lauren has a long history working with animals, starting with her first job at age 14!  The visual resume below shows her animal care experience leading up to the founding of Harmonious Hounds:

Lauren’s history includes work at several zoos and aquariums, as well as a world-renowned conservation center.  She’s assisted in training rhinos to present legs for blood draws, snow leopards to lay down to receive arthritis medication, and sloths to come to a perch (to check if a baby’s been born!)  Over the years, she’s worked with countless species, including penguins, cheetah, okapi, giraffe, kangaroo, lemurs, and more!


Just a few of the many species Lauren has cared for and trained!

Before Harmonious Hounds, her work history with dogs includes over ten years managing dog daycare centers and cage-free boarding facilities.  As a result of that work, she developed her understanding of dog body language and husbandry.  Her first experience as a dog trainer was at the Humane Society of Chittenden County.  As a result of her efforts, dogs were more likely to find their forever homes.  Subsequently, in 2010 she apprenticed under Karen Perusek, CDBC, CPDT-KA of Courteous Canine, LLC to gain professional dog training experience, before founding Harmonious Hounds with Tim.

Lauren has extensive expertise in the use of positive reinforcement to change behavior, having worked with a wide variety of species.


Lauren believes strongly in professional development.  She is always exploring cutting-edge, scientifically-sound ways to help you and your dog. As a result, she is a great ally when training your dog.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the largest group of dog trainers across the globe.  Most noteworthy in the fall of 2017, Lauren earned the distinguished title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA).   As a result, she has passed rigorous testing, follows a strict code of ethics, and is committed to continued education.

Knowing firsthand the joy of rescuing animals, she is also supports shelter work. For that reason, she gives back to her community by serving as the President of the New Bedford Coalition for Animals. The Coalition is a volunteer non-profit committed to raising awareness and funds to benefit local animals in need.

Tadhg (“tim”) irving, CPDT-KA

Tim Harmonious Hounds

Tim has a B.F.A. in Visual Art from the University of Connecticut and a M.A. in Education from Sacred Heart University.  He has over 20 years of teaching experience in both the classroom and one-on-one settings. As a result, he is a natural-born teacher, with the innovation to connect with students young and old. Consequently, Harmonious Hounds lets him unite both of his passions: animals and education.


Tim has a long history as an educator.  A summary of his experience leading up to the founding of Harmonious Hounds can be seen in the visual resume below:

Working with people has always been Tim’s strength – which he has leveraged into a successful career in education.  Because of his ability to relate to people, he excels with learners of all ages.  Meanwhile, he has taught topics ranging from general and special education to art and photography.  His skill with teaching and communicating is an asset as a dog trainer.

Tim’s experience with dog training started with his German Shepherd, Moses. His first time raising his own puppy, he tried a little bit of everything – treats along with punishment and choke chains. As he grew, Moses started to have behavior issues (read more about his story here) on leash.   Consequently, Tim attended a Feisty Fido class to get control of his barking and lunging at other dogs.  As a result, he truly knows how his clients feel.  He knows what it’s like to feel desperate to change your dog’s behavior; to try anything and everything.  Ultimately, his path led him to the solution – positive reinforcement training.  This approach allowed him to humanely change Moses’ highly emotional behavior. He looks forward to helping his clients do the same.

Tim’s passion for animals and teaching make him an exceptional dog trainer. His gentle nature makes him well-equipped to help families with fearful or anxious dogs.


As a result of what he learned with Moses, Tim’s interest in dog training grew.  He realized that professional dog training was the perfect way to combine his love of animals with his background in teaching.   Over the years, he  adopted several special dogs with fear and arousal issues.  Raising these dogs infinitely expanded his understanding and ability to train.  Due to these experiences, he was inspired to start his journey to become a professional dog trainer.

After years of working with owners and their dogs to build better lives together, he subsequently earned the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in the fall of 2017.  This makes him one of about 2,000 people dedicated to education, excellence, and sound scientific approaches to dog training.

Additionally, Tim is a talented artist who studied sculpture in college, and became an incredible painter.  He continues to make art in his downtime.

A few of Tim’s paintings from over the years

Together, Lauren and Tim combine animal learning theory with proven educational strategies to teach both you and your dog. Their love of animals and people creates a positive experience for all!


Still not sure if we are the right fit?  Check out our client testimonials to see what we can do for you and your pets!

Each of our staff receives thorough training, including topics like animal care, how dogs learn, handling, and communication.  Furthermore, staff are regularly quizzed on emergency protocols to keep them ready for anything.  Check out the rest of our staff below!

Samantha Defrias

Office Administrator, Pet Care Provider, & Training Assistant
Sam joined Harmonious Hounds the summer of 2019.  She is from Fairhaven and lives with her wife, cats, Labradors, and Chinese Crested. As a result of being a life long pet enthusiast, has worked as a positivity-based groomer for the past three years.  She enjoys learning about anything dog-related and loves to go on adventures with her dogs.  Always looking for new ways to connect with four legged babies, she can’t wait to meet yours!  Sam is Pet CPR & first aid certified.

SaRa Haskins

Pet Care Provider 
Sara joined our team in the summer of 2019. She lives in New Bedford, MA with her husband and dachshund Marley. Her passion for animals has been a life-long affair, including work as a groomer, doggy daycare coordinator, and boarding assistant.  As a result, at Harmonious Hounds her goal is to ensure that all creatures are well cared for. She strives to continue learning, growing, and bonding with animals. Sara is excited about meeting your special furry friends!


Have a question? We would love to hear from you.


Harmonious Hounds, LLC is insured and bonded. Our instructors are certified dog trainers.  All of OUR staff are background checked for your peace of mind.

Meet the Harmonious Hounds mascots: