Meet the Team

Crystal Blaker

Master 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. She holds a B.S. degree in Animal Science from the University of Arizona. She is a certified trick dog trainer, and certified AKC CGC evaluator. 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

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.

Ariel Berger

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 is pet CPR and first-aid certified, a certified AKC STAR Puppy and Trick Title evaluator, a  member of the Int’l Assoc of Canine Professionals,  and continues to sharpen her dog training skills through ongoing completion of continuing education courses.  She adopted her dog Sugar from Pima Animal Care Center.

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!