Who We Are

Field of Dreams Dog Training and Doggie Day School is a dream come true for owner, Karen Hough. Karen has been training dogs for over twenty years. Field of Dreams has been at 223 W. Jackson Ave, Vinton for over 10 years and prior to that rented space from St. Francis of Assisi Service Dogs. 

Field of Dreams offers many options for your dog and you to have fun! We offer Agility lessons for all levels.  Karen Hough is a nationally ranked competitor with her own dogs and excels at teaching the sport to others. We offer Puppy and Teenager Life Skills classes, which are based on the age of the dog. Puppy Life Skills enrolls puppies up to 5 months of age and Teenager participants range in age from 5 – 12 months.  Our Levels classes which teach standard skills such as sit, down, stay and loose leash walking are designed to flow from BA to MA to PhD as skills are acquired. All of these classes are open enrollment, so that you may begin your classes when it is convenient for your schedule. 

Our certified instructors are also available for problem solving and behavior issues consults. All skills are taught with rewards based methods. Field of Dreams believes that learning must always be engaging and fun for the learner and should never require the use of aversive tools.

Our day school is unique among doggie day cares in that our students play in small groups according to play style, energy level and size. Karen Hough developed the business model with a trainer’s eye and knowledge that dogs do best in smaller groups with frequent rest breaks to allow their level of stimulation to return to normal levels. Field of Dreams is unique in that a trainer is always on staff and available to the day school staff should questions arise.


Karen Hough


Owning Field Of Dreams is a dream come true. Dogs have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents raised Schnauzers and my first dog was a stray we found in Las Cruses, NM at a dump site. As a young girl and into my teens I raised and trained horses.

As I reached my 20′s, I became interested in dog training. Pursuing my life’s passion of dog training enticed me to explore some interesting paths and rewarding opportunities working with exceptional people and dogs. I am immensely grateful for those opportunities.

Since co-founding Star City Canine Club in 1995 and devoting four and a half years to the inspiring mission of Saint Francis Service Dog Foundation as Director of Training – developing the service dog training program, puppy classes, recipient training classes and the prison-pup-partnership – I discovered that miracles usually happen in unexpected ways!

In 2005 I was provided an opportunity to pursue Field of Dreams on a full-time basis.
Another passion is education. I have attended many seminars and workshops in agility training and instructing. I have attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Annual Conference, Clicker Expo and the Clean Run Instructor Conference.

I helped the Roanoke Valley SPCA in their institution of the Open Paw program. This program is designed to help shelter dogs develop the skills to help them be more adoptable.

As Field of Dreams continues to grow I have focused aligning qualified staff to manger our doggie day school and training program while I worked on building our agility program. I have become a nationally ranked agility competitor with my own dogs and have built a successful agility program teaching the sport to others. I’ve also gone on to become a NADAC judge.

I share my life with my husband, my Labrador Retriever and Boykin Spaniel.

Sarah Sloan

Picture and Bio coming soon

Alisha Proffitt

Working with animals was always a dream of mine. My interest began in veterinary medicine when I got my first job as a kennel attendant in a clinic at the age of 16. However, after years of working in the pet care industry in different capacities, I realized my passion was rooted in animal behavior. I decided to pursue a career in training and received my certification through Animal Behavior College in 2022.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from the other trainers at Field of Dreams and have grown so much under the mentorship. I dedicate a percentage of my time every week to continuing education in order to grow my knowledge base and better serve our clients.
While I find all aspects of dog training fascinating and valuable, I take particular interest in the areas of scent work, canine enrichment, and family dynamics involving dogs.
My husband, 3 kids, and I happily share our lives with our motley crew of mutts.

Jessica Vellella

My dog training journey started back in 2018 when my soul-dog, Molly, crossed the Rainbow Bridge after losing her battle to cancer. Having had such a deep and meaningful relationship with my own dog greatly inspired me, and has since sent me on a path to help other people understand and connect with their dog’s. I wanted to learn how to help people build joyful relationships with their dogs that are rooted in mutual trust, understanding and love.

I graduated from Whole Dog Academy in Portland, Oregon in 2020 and soon after obtained my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed). Since becoming a trainer, I have worked with a wide range of dogs and behaviors. I have a passion for dog-dog interactions and early puppy socialization, as well as helping dog guardians meet their dog’s specific physical, mental and emotional needs. I live for the “Ah-ha!” moments with clients and enjoy seeing dog guardians strengthen the bonds with their own dogs through relationship based, positive reinforcement training.

Prior to training dogs professionally, I taught preschool at a Reggio Emilia inspired school for 10 years in Portland, Oregon. My family and I moved from Oregon in November of 2022 and have greatly enjoyed exploring all that Roanoke, Virginia has to offer. When I’m not training dogs, you can usually catch me in the woods with my own dog.

Katie Degen

I grew up with golden retrievers and a love of animals but took the ``practical`` path to pursue Biomedical Engineering. In graduate school, I came back to my love of animals volunteering with rescues as a way to destress. After school I worked in rescue with cats and dogs in a variety of capacities for several years until an opportunity to blend science and animals presented itself. In my post doctoral research position, I pursued novel detection methods for canine epilepsy. During this work I was accepted to Virginia Tech's Animal Behavior and Welfare Master's program where I am pursuing indepth education on animal behavior across species. My thesis work combines engineering and animal behavior to develop AI video analysis of behavior as a tool for researchers. I am also participating in my peer's on going conservation detection dog study that is exploring the use of canines for spotted lantern fly detection with my senior dog Samantha.
I love the team work of competing with my own dogs in a variety of sports including nosework, agility, rally, tricks and conformation. Each dog has their own gifts and competing with them is about being their teammate and bringing out their best. Samantha has retired from high impact sports and is working towards her trick dog champion title and nosework. Loki is a sensitive soul that is working his way though NADAC agility and Rally. Baby dog Gwen is a credit to her breed's versatility and is training in a breadth of sports including agility, nosework, tracking, rally and conformation.