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Meet the Faculty

Brief Faculty Bios:

For more in-depth information about our faculty please go to:

Barbara Handelman, M.Ed., CDBC

Pan, a smooth collie, is holding a red stick and delivering it to Barbara Handelman, who is seated in a chair.

Barbara’s service dog training focuses most on mobility assistance tasks, and psychiatrist service dog skills.  She also focuses heavily on selecting service dog candidates which she considers the fulcrum on which all SD training relies. As an author, Barbara has written articles for professional trainers, academic journals, informational on-line posts for Facebook groups geared to service dog topics.  Barbara is the author of the critically acclaimed book Canine Behavior a Photo Illustrated Handbook.

Barbara developed the curriculum for the BHSDT course. She considers it her “brain trust” based on 30+ years of life shared with her own service dogs. The course melds materials researched and

collected for her many conference presentations, as well as the webinars and course lectures she offered over the years.  She also created new lectures for inclusion in the BHSDT curriculum.  


Barbara is very glad to now have co-instructors with areas of specialization different from her own. Together, they broaden the depth and breadth of what the BHSDT course offers to students.


Martha Hoffman, B.A.

Martha Hoffman has long been known in the service dog community as the go-to person for knowledge about hearing dog selection and training.  She was a trainer at the Hearing Dog Program in San Francisco for thirty years.  Martha also has vast experience teaching her own on-line hearing dog training program.  After a hiatus, her on-line program is up and running again.  Her course, Soundwork 101, can be found at  Martha’s book Lend Me An Ear received excellent reviews and is considered to be the textbook for understanding Hearing Dog training, temperament, and selection. The temperament testing section applies to evaluating all types of service dogs and pet dogs as well.

Garou, a Belgian Malinois, is pictured with Martha Hoffman, who has her arms around him.

In addition to Martha’s vast knowledge of Hearing Dogs, she brings students her wide range of involvement with other working dogs and her participation in canine sports. She not only shares her knowledge with students, but also consistently, and generously offers her personal/professional perspective on human and canine bonding and teamwork between humans and dogs. 


Christina de Juan, Ph.D., PCT-A, CPDT-KA, LSHC-S

Luna, an Alaskan Klee Kai, is sitting next to Christina de Juan, in a snowy forest.

Christina, is the Owner & Lead Trainer at CreScent Service Dogs Inc.  

Christina is dedicated to helping persons with disabilities owner-train their own scent detection service dogs. Through CreScent Service Dogs, she continues her work specializing in gluten and allergen detection training, as well as training other medical alert and response tasks based on scent. 

Christina strongly believes that having the owner involved in every step of the training - in particular for gluten and allergen detection - is the best way to learn scent training for medical alerts. She emphasizes the nuances of properly handling scent, the risks of cross contamination, and the understanding of how to maintain the scent training for the working life of 

their service dog. 


Christina is the technology guru for the BHSDT training team.  She is years ahead of the curve in the field of on-line teaching and training. Christina gathered the technology and skills long before Covid-19 necessitated that other trainers’ convert their programs to on-line platforms.   Christina offers service to clients all over the world, using internet technology to bring her clients and their dogs to her, and to offer them evaluations of their dogs’ temperaments, their training progress, and to troubleshoot when and where the needs arise.

BHSDT Website Banner - Left to Right - Black and white Papillon Service Dog assists woman in wheelchair to remove a yellow jacket; large white service dog pushes a handicap accessible door button with woman standing behind; black and white Papillon service dog retrieves a banana; German Shepherd service dog retrieves a debit card from an ATM.
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