Meet the Team

Crystal Blaker

Lead Dog Trainer / Owner

Crystal Blaker is a Tucson native. She is passionate about helping people and animals live there best lives. She has worked at dog boarding, doggie daycare, and veterinary facilities since adolescence. In addition to her natural animal-behavior assessment abilities and years of dog-training experience, she continues to sharpen her skills through formal continuing education and participation in competitive dog agility and pet therapy work. Prior to founding Ruff House, she served as the Animal Enrichment & Behavior Coordinator for Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Accomplishments, Affiliations and Certifications

  • B.S. Animal Science
    • University of Arizona
  • AZ Daily Star Reader’s Choice
    • Best Dog Trainer: 2016 -2021
  • Certified Evaluator
    • AKC Canine Good Citizen Program
  • Certified Trick Dog Instructor
    • Do More With Your Dog
  • Therapy Dog Team Member
    • Humane Society of So AZ Pet VIP
  • IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals)
    • Professional Member
  • Scholar’s Group Mastermind                                                         
    • TBTE (Training Between The Ears): 2020-2022 
  • Large-Field Canine Socialization
    • Jason Vasconi/Lifesaver: 2018
  • Behavior Troubleshooting Workshop
    • Chad Mackin: 2018
  • Relationship-Based Behavior Modification
    • Nelson Hodges/Canine Content: 2017
  • Agility Handling
    • Stacy Goudy/C Spot Win Agility: 2017
  • Dog Agility Titles:
    • USDAA Cynosport World Champion: 2018
    • USDAA: 2014, 2017, 2018
    • DOCNA National Champion: 2016
    • DOCNA: 2013 – 2017
    • NADAC: 2013 – 2017

Ariel Berger

Dog Trainer

Ariel Berger is a Virginia native.  She has been working with animals for decades and is passionate about helping people and dogs enjoy a great life together.  Her experience includes years of dog grooming and training.  She continues to sharpen her dog training skills through ongoing completion of continuing education courses.  She adopted her dog Sugar from Pima Animal Care Center

Accomplishments, Affiliations and Certifications

  • Certified Evaluator
    • AKC STAR Puppy
    • AKC Trick Dog
    • AKC Canine Good Citizen Program
  • Certified 
    • Pet CPR
    • Pet First Aid
  • IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals)
    • Professional Member
  • Continuing Educations Seminars
    • TBTE L1: Resolving Conflict in Human-Canine Relationships
    • TBTE L2: Dog-Dog Socialization
       

                                                       

  • Dog Sport Titles:
    • Rally Obedience
    • Scent Work
    • Canine Good Citizen
    • Trick Dog
    • Agility
    • IGP (Schutzhund)

Michael Blaker

Operations / Owner

Michael Blaker is a Pennsylvania native and moved to Arizona in the early 80’s. As a kid, his family always had a mix of pets including dogs, snakes, fish and even a Tarantula!. After college and 15 years in the Los Angeles area he moved to Tucson, met and married Crystal and helped her start Ruff House. Michael serves as an Air Force reservist and brings years of sales, marketing and operations experience to Ruff House’s daily operation.

Hayley Davidson

Administrative Assistant

Hayley Snapp is a Tucson native.  She was raised “Ranchy” in Catalina, Arizona. As a kid her family had 2 horses, a turtle, a chicken and a huge flock of parakeets. Along with her Australian Shepherd Rosie she holds the title 4H Grand Champion in Showmanship, Agility, Rally and Obedience at the Pima County Fair.  Her time at Ruff House has included work as an animal caretaker, dog trainer and administrative assistant.   She recently married her high school sweetheart Matt, who serves on active duty with the United States Navy.

Wrigley Blaker, CGCA

Director of Dog Sports

Wrigley is a Goldendoodle was adopted from the Arizona Golden Rescue in 2010. Her primary responsibility before her recent retirement was working as Crystal’s dog agility competition partner. Wrigley continues to perform therapy dog work with Crystal through the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s VIP Therapy Dog program. She holds a 2018 USDAA Cynosport World Champion title.

Bindi

Agility Intern

Bindi, an Australian Shepherd/Standard Poodle mix was adopted from Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) in 2018. She is showing great promise for a strong future in canine agility competition. There is no missing the Aussie part of her as she leads with her butt when she is excited and approaches you.

Larry

Director of Treat Consumption

Larry, a Miniature Poodle, was adopted from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) in 2012. He is the oldest of the Blaker pups at over 13 years old. His favorite activities include eating, chasing tennis balls, playing tug, snuggling and of course….. eating. He is very active old man and super fast!