Melinda Dayhuff, DVM
ACCESS – SOUTH BAY
Dr. Melinda Dayhuff was born in Whittier, California and raised in the neighboring city of Hacienda Heights. As the daughter of a high school teacher who insisted a college education was essential in life, Melinda could read before starting school and was raised on a steady diet of the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Magazine, Reader’s Digest and Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Endlessly fascinated by all things animal, her childhood role models were women writers, scientists, and field biologists: Joy Adamson, Diane Fossey, Jane Goodall, and Mary Leakey.
She attended the University of California, Davis and graduated with her B.S. in Animal Science, M.S. in Avian Science, then graduated veterinary school in 1994. Her course work, volunteer work, and field studies explored interests in small ruminants (sheep, dairy goats), genetics (cell culture, karyotyping, and RFLP linkage mapping in domestic poultry), and physiology while her free time was spent hiking with her dogs, caring for her menagerie of pets, or horseback riding.
Melinda’s first employer after graduation had a special interest in animal behavior. Here, she was exposed to dog training using operant conditioning and positive reinforcement methods (aka “clicker training”). The power and speed of the clicker to accomplish training goals was a bit addictive and from here, her life literally went to the dogs.
Two members of that animal hospital staff introduced her to the dog sport of flyball racing and the WoofGang flyball team, which continues as an active interest to this day. Although she has trained, competed, and titled with many dogs, ranging from a Great Dane mix through Border Collies to a Russell Terrier, she is best known in NAFA and UFLI flyball with miniature Australian Shepherd “Magic” 2008 NAFA Fastest Dog in Breed. Agility training became an added interest in 2004 and agility competition was added to the household schedule in 2006. Magic would retire from sports in 2014 with numerous titles in AKC and USDAA agility, including his Preferred Agility Champion (PACH) title. Dr Dayhuff is currently training and competing in flyball and agility events with North American Shepherd (aka miniature Australian Shepherd) “Katie”.
Melinda joined ACCESS South Bay in 2016, when the facility made the transition from the Emergency Pet Clinic of South Bay. Prior to the switch, Melinda had been with EPC since 2002 and we are glad to be able to work with her today.
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