About Us

About Us

Julie Wassell
Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor, Tellington Touch Companion Animal Practitioner, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

When most kids had bunnies stuffed with cotton Julie's had a heartbeat. His name was Buttons Beauregard the Third (don't know if there was a first or a second!). Julie trained him how to navigate from his front porch studio compartment up a flight of stairs directly to her room where she would come home and play with him after an arduous day at grammar school. Relationship based training can start anywhere when you least expect it. Next came some very special felines, parakeets and the life changing dog named Nanny.

A blown knee ended a promising dance career, and choice ended years as a top concierge in three of New York's five diamond hotels "training" upcoming concierges. All these life adventures contributed to Julie's dream/mission to spend full time working with animals, primarily as a dog trainer and life coach. To be a "Top Trainer" you need to be trained yourself. Halfway is not an option for Julie as she has studied with some of the best in the field. You could say Julie's career had gone to the dogs. During her years of training Julie garnered additional knowledge in the important areas of health and nutrition while managing one of New Jersey's Holistic Pet Food Stores Mikes Feed Farm. She received her education at Clayton College of Natural Health. Julie then branched out to sharing her knowledge and love for companion animals by writing a monthly column for Greenpaw.com.

When her beloved Nanny became severely crippled with arthritis Julie studied the use of Essential Oils and went on to become a Tellington Touch Practitioner. Her use of these modalities combined with nutrition extended Nanny's life for an extra two years! Shortly after Nanny's passing, Dixie, her Collie mix puppy, landed in New Jersey from the countryside of Kentucky complete with love and major fear issues. The rest is history. While Dixie led Julie into the world of training, Julie did a "Sit Stay" in the world of behavior modification. Dixie's fear of anything male, new, sudden, approaching or just plain scary has provided Julie with the opportunity to learn and master various techniques in teaching fearful dogs that this planet is not really so bad and can even be a safe and happy place. Julie takes pride in her ability and intuitive nature in recognizing the early signs of shy and fearful puppies and turning them around to be happy confident dogs.

Next in line was Bentley a male Golden Retriever rescued from a doggy day care. Golden and goofy yet sharp and loving Bentley loved to do Rally and Agility but was best at assisting his mom with her canine students. Whether it was socializing or just plain showing them how things were done right . Next came Wiley not faring well in shelter conditions . He came for a short visit AKA foster for a regroup. Well he regrouped alright! He became a beloved family member most bonded to Julies husband Doug. In the time span of three years the "Dream Team" passed. While Julie prided herself in being what she called a "Rescue Snob" she was curious what it would be like to work with a breeder. Enter Lambert. Full title "Gaylans Lambert my Latte" from the Coffee Litter of course. A true love story. Julie established herself as an experienced effective compassionate trainer. She believes that a better world begins with the bonding and training you do with your dog. Also studied with: Linda Tellington-Jones, Pam Dennison, Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Sue Sternberg, Kathy Cascade, Sarah Wilson, & Liz Catalano.


CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed



CGC - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator



BAT - Training method for dogs who experience fear, frustration and aggression



Tellington Touch Companian Animal Practitioner



Professional Member APDT



Official Mentor Trainer



ABC Mentor



Former Montclair Shelter Training Consultant



International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) — active member



Progressive Reinforcement Training



Vet recommended




Lou Plumey & Janet Matasic
Canine Care Coordinator - Assistant Trainer

Louis Plumey "Lou" has worn many different types of hats in his life, from a Medical Assistant, HHA, graphic design business owner to caring for dressage horses Lou is a man of many talents. But the hat that fit him best was that of a Certified Animal Control Officer. Whether on an animal rescue mission, visiting a family home to finalize an adoption, or providing care and socialization to the residents at a local animal shelter, Lou was always there. Then, along came Julie, who was hired as the shelter dog trainer. There were many hours of collaboration on the very unique needs of each dog and Lou's mission in life evolved into dog training. Lou has now been certified as a dog trainer with Catch Canine Academy and continues to work with Julie on the not so easy cases. Lou has a very keen eye for dogs in their element and is also a wise and talented photographer.

In addition to mastering the fine art of Rewards Based Dog Training, Lou and his wife Janet provide in home canine care, dog walking and outdoor adventure trips for the New Leash clients.

Last but not least, Lou's favorite hat is being Daddy to his dog Itchy. Itchy was in serious trouble and in danger of being euthanized when he and Janet pulled her from the shelter and dedicated themselves to her rehabilitation. Itchy is now a playful, loving member of their family.

They all live happily together anticipating many years of service to the canine/human community.


Courtney Angerer

Courtney is a Certified dog trainer with Catch Canine Academy and a CGC Evaluator. Courtney has been training dogs professionally since 2014 and has been very involved in rehabbing rescue dogs since 2002. Since relocating from Minnesota she is quickly becoming a well trusted trainer in the Essex County area offering in-home training, working with local rescue groups and teaching group classes. Proud mom of Louie, Byron and Janet. Louie and Byron have their CGC titles as well as a wide range of sport titles. Courtney and her crew are a welcome addition to the New Leash on Life family.


Executive Assistant Extraordinaire

When I was young I always knew I wanted to work with animals. I contemplated many professions including becoming a vet, working for an animal rescue, and even caring for animals on a farm. That life path changed when I realized all the difficult and painful situations these professionals are faced with on a daily basis. I did not feel my heart could handle it, but my passion for working with animals never left me. Instead I took the desire to influence the lives of animals and turned it into an opportunity to be an influence on children. I am now a special education teacher where I spend endless hours creating behavior management programs and building relationships with my students. I try to focus on the positives instead of pointing out the negatives and have seen amazing results. It is the same belief that brought me to working with dogs. As an assistant trainer, I found that I can apply all the patience and behavioral methods I use on a daily basis to help families embrace their own furry family members to have a truly unique relationship with their pets. Almost 10 years ago I was blessed with a baby girl in the form of a Black Labrador Retriever who had been badly abused and in desperate need of someone to love her, and in return someone to share her love with. Through patience and training my relationship with her is now my most cherished gift. She is the most loyal and loving member of my family, and I would not be who I am today without sharing this process with her, although the obstacles we had to overcome seemed impossible at times. Nothing makes me happier than being able to share my experience with new pet parents and to help them begin the same process with their pets that I went through 10 years prior. Seeing the amazing growth of these families over time makes this the most rewarding job a person can have.

People are Saying

"Julie takes the time to explain where the animal is in his life cycle, why he behaves in a certain way, and how to redirect his behavior when necessary."

Itching Pups