Meet the Staff

Alfredo Ayala – Owner, Professional Dog Trainer

professional dog trainer, Alfredo Ayala

Professional Dog Trainer, Alfredo Ayala

As a professional dog trainer, Alfredo has been called the “Dog Whisperer of Charlotte,” but if you see the way the dogs follow him in the yard, you would understand why his wife calls him the Pide Piper! Clients have brought their dogs from other trainers and programs to Alfredo and lamented that they did not find him first! He has something very special with the dogs that is a rarity. He truly does speak their language and is an amazing trainer!  Alfredo has years of experience as a dog trainer of all sizes, types, breeds and temperaments. After initially learning the old school “yank and crank” style of training back in the 90’s, he realized he needed a different method. He was thrilled to find the teachings of professional dog trainer, Michael Ellis, and reward based training. This re-ignited his passion for dogs and training and he opened his own business, DSL Dog Training and Boarding in 2010. It has been thriving ever since. His unique understanding of dogs and their signs of communication makes him a great trainer. He is also an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator and professional (dog trainer) member of the IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals) and APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers). To say that dogs are his life, would be somewhat of an understatement.


Sunny Ayala – Owner

As the “other” owner of DSL, I’ve watched the blood, sweat and tears my husband has put into starting and growing DSL into what it is today. Dogs truly are his passion and in my “unbiased” opinion he is the best dog trainer around! His heart is for every dog in the world to be happy and every owner of those dogs to be knowledgeable in how to facilitate that! I enjoy working “behind the scenes” to help make sure things run as smoothly as possible. When I’m not being dog-mom at DSL, I run my own Holistic Health business, “A Practitioner in Your Pocket”, where I help people suffering from all types of illness/disease and discomfort to regain their health naturally. I do it all online which enables me to be accessible to people from all over the country, while still being accessible to my amazing DSL staff.  I love sitting on my beautiful back porch enjoying my garden and starting up our new DSL parkour and free running team affectionately named, Barkour! If you have any concerns that my staff are not able to address for you, please do not hesitate to email me! Your happiness with our business is extremely important to me!


Ashia Kerr

I am the Manager at DSL. I am in charge of floating around to ensure our carefully thought-out schedule is flowing smoothly. I oversee Office, Yard, and Helpers to make sure they have the tools they need to provide the absolute best care we could possibly provide! It’s extremely important to me that your dogs are taken care of  to the same standard you would take care of them. I feel very lucky to have the privilege of looking after your pups as they fill up a huge part of my heart. I have a little boy that fills up my heart too (pictured to the left) named Duke; he’s the sweetest, goofiest dog (and much happier than pictured, ha!) In my off-time from DSL I enjoy working out, hiking with Duke, staying involved in my church, and spending time with my family.



Shelby Hallman

I am the Assistant Manager and an Office Assistant at DSL. Part of my time at DSL is spent assisting management in ensuring the day is running smoothly and safely for your dog. The other part of my time at DSL is spent in the office handling your scheduling, billing, and customer service (as well as loving on your pups in the back when office gets slow). I really enjoy working with our clients, both human and furry! I love all dogs and even have one of my own! Pictured to the right is my Mini German Shepherd, Luna. In my off time I enjoy spending time with my family, baking with my little sister, and hiking with Luna.




Ali Little

I have the privilege of being Facility Manager here at DSL. I’ve been working in dog care for a few years now and it is absolutely my passion. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else! I also help monitor for safety and different behaviors for fun play times. Bringing your dogs all the snuggles and belly rubs they could want is probably my favorite thing about my time in the yard.  As facility manager, I make sure your pups have all they could ever hope for while they enjoy their stay. In my off-time from DSL I love spending time with my husband, my daughter, and my newborn son Gryphon. I love roller skating, dancing, and singing with my little girl Leilani!





Thomas Herring

I am on Yard Staff at DSL. My job is to monitor the yard for safe and fun play times (and cuddle and love them every second in between). I make sure the dogs are playing nicely with one another and I help separate them into fitting play yards after feeling out their temperaments. I love working as yard staff because I get direct interaction with these amazing little creatures! I have a dachshund/chihuahua mix named Ramsay myself. In my off time from DSL I enjoy reading comic books and cosplay.






Lady, Choncho, Sonya and Bunny Ayala – Work Dogs

The work dogs can’t type their own bios as they don’t have thumbs, but they surely are a big part of DSL. When a new doggie comes in, our work dogs are used to help “introduce” the new dog to the big packs in our play yards; they help us in evaluating temperament. Where would we be without the joy, the love, the laughs and the warmth of our four little “babies”?  Lady (front) teaches us to stop and enjoy the sunshine. Choncho reminds us daily that living in the present means that everything and everyone is awesome all the time. Bunny’s sweetness is a real example that a rough beginning in life doesn’t have to end with a hard heart. Sonya tells us that it’s important never to be too busy to let someone bear hug you for as long as they need. Who could ask for better teachers?





“We want to express deep thanks to trainer Linda Taylor for her encouragement and inspiration; without which, DSL would not be. She was the first to see dog training as our family business and helped speak our future into existence.”



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