Rebecca & Yoshi.JPG

Owner & Head Trainer: Rebecca Golian 


  • B.A. Degree in Psychology

  • 15+ years dog training experience

  • Qualified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

  • Professional Service Dog Trainer

  • Canine Behavior Specialist

  • Member of the IACP

  • Pet CPR/First Aid Certified

  • Licensed and insured

Rebecca grew up in Frederick County, Maryland and found her passion for working with animals at a young age. At the age of five, Rebecca began riding horses and joined the United States Pony Clubs (USPC). Rebecca trained and competed horses, taught private lessons, and conducted clinics throughout high school. Rebecca also grew up working with dogs, and volunteered at local rescues and shelters.

During college, Rebecca continued to compete in the equestrian sport of Three-Day Eventing, working under some of the best trainers and equestrian athletes in the world. She started her own equestrian business in 2009, offering training, competition, sport horse sales, and private riding instruction in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Rebecca started professionally training dogs in college. While attending the University of Maryland, Rebecca offered private in-home training, group obedience classes, puppy development classes, and board & train programs for dogs with severe behavioral problems in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Rebecca also raised and trained German Shepherds for The Seeing Eye, a Guide Dog school based in Morristown, NJ.

In 2013 Rebecca decided to pursue working with dogs full time and moved to New York City to start a professional dog training and behavior modification business. Rebecca offered advanced on and off-leash obedience training, puppy training, service/therapy dog training and certification, and behavior modification for dogs with severe behavioral problems.

In 2015 Rebecca was offered a rare opportunity to enter a three year apprenticeship program to become a Qualified Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) at Guide Dogs for the Blind. A GDMI trains guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired, matches trained guide dogs with clients, conducts client training, and offers follow up services for guide dog users throughout the United States and Canada.


In 2019 Rebecca decided to move back to the east coast to be closer to friends and family. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and started Love in the Lead Canine Training, LLC. In 2020 she founded Healing Canines, Inc. which is a local non-profit that trains and places service dogs for residents of North and South Carolina. 

Outside of running her business, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her personal dog Benji, spending time with her family and friends, and participating in outdoor activities.

Meagan Karas

Training Manager

Originally from Norfolk, VA, Meagan has over 20 years experience working with dogs. She has raised and trained dogs for service dog organizations, volunteered and worked at rescues and veterinary clinics, and has over 10 years managerial experience with dog daycare and boarding facilities. 

Meagan also spent many years working at breeding facilities; raising and caring for a variety of dog breeds.

Meagan joined Love in the Lead in January of 2020 and has been an integral part of our continued growth and success. 


Grace Mitchell

Assistant Trainer

Grace has a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Michigan State University and has had a passion for working with dogs from a young age.

Grace has may years of experience as a dog trainer and has trained puppies, pet dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs.

After getting her CPDT-KA certification, Grace moved in California to become certified as a service dog trainer. She trained with Canine Companions for Independence, which is the largest service dog organization in the country.


Grace joined Love in the Lead in December of 2020 and is currently working with both puppies and service dogs in-training.  


Gabby Changanaqui
Assistant Trainer

Gabby was born and raised in the Charlotte area and her passion for working with animals has been cultivated through a variety of experiences in the animal industry.

While in college she became a kennel attendant at a local doggy daycare, eventually growing into a bathing/grooming position and assisting in training.

Gabby also has experience training service dogs; training her own personal dog as well as working with a local non-profit that breeds and raises puppies for future service work. 

Gabby Joined Love in the Lead in June of 2020 after interning for 6 months. She currently works with the adult board & train program dogs and assists with the service dog training as well. 


Assistant Trainer

Jenna was born and raised in North Carolina and her love and passion for animals started at an early age. She grew up with dogs, cats, and horses and knew she wanted a career alongside these wonderful creatures.  


While attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington she earned her certification as an Assistance Dog Trainer. 


Jenna gained experience training and working with puppies as future service dogs during her time in Wilmington. She enjoyed mentoring more students taking the courses and assisting in public access training with the adult service dogs. 


Jenna worked as a head trainer for a local breeder for almost 3 years, expanding her knowledge of breeding, care, and training of dogs aging from newborns to adults. 


Jenna joined Love in the Lead in August 2021 and is greatly enjoying working with puppies in our puppy programs. 

Schedule a free phone consultation!

Are you ready to train your dog for the real world? We have programs for puppies, adult dogs, service dogs, and even private training.