About Briarcliff


Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, the owner of Briarcliff Pet Resort has built a life around dogs.
> Her love of dogs and horses was apparent from a young age, having grown up with beautiful German Shorthaired Pointers and Cutting horses both bred by her Father. Val started showing her dogs at 10 years of age and never looked back. After graduating from SDSU with a Journalism degree she took her passion for the dogs and turned it into a full time dream as a All Breed Professional Handler.  Her dreams have been realized over and over again with accolades too numerous to count. Having been hired to campaign dogs from all over the world her meticulous care, conditioning and training are evident in the numerous #1 dogs she’s shown to top status. For the general public the most notable shows are the famed Westminster KC held every year in NYC at Madison Square Garden. Val’s first win at WKC came early and young when she was 15 years old winning Best Jr Handler. Since then her beloved Carlee a GSP, was Best In Show at WKC in 2005. In 2016 she repeated going Best In Show, this time with her heart dog CJ a GSP she Bred/owned/handled to the famed win.

> You might have seen the two of them on TV as the WKC is a televised show or possibly in the commercials for Cosequin a joint supplement Val keeps all her dogs on. Now showing a CJ daughter, Jade they too won the Sporting Group this year at WKC and most recently the Sporting Group at The National Dog show televised and aired after the Macy’s day parade on Thanksgiving Day. Jade the current #1 GSP all systems has to shine every time she steps foot in the show ring and that’s where Briarcliff Pet Resort came into the picture. In 2008  Val purchased Briarcliff as the perfect location to enjoy both her passions, dogs & horses. A beautiful 20 acre ranch was home to the boarding and care for both animals. It’s been a labor of love putting together a facility that could offer any and all needs in caring lovingly for dogs/cats and their owners. Val wanted to offer beautiful large sleeping arrangements not tiny cages. Have large open play yards inside and out for the dogs to exercise. A swimming pool, large and small for swim club and conditioning of her show dogs. On this huge property we were able to realize all of this and more. The dogs enjoy 3 levels of sleeping accommodations from individual themed suites with glass doors, large kid beds and TV’s, to Garden Suites with sky lights letting in the natural light, last is our brightly colored Ranch Villas. Even the cats have double sized cat suites. In 2018 Briarcliff had another expansion that has truly brought us to another level of care and services. We were so pleased to welcome Dave and Juliet Clendenon to our TEAM. Juliet is our Facility Manager, she handles anything and everything in our main building. Her infections smile and upbeat nature is only equal to the amazing service she offers to each one of our clients. Her past history as top All Breed professional Handler herself along with her husband again brings in-depth knowledge of dogs and their care. Her husband Dave is our Training Director and Doggy Day Supervisor up at our newly opened Chateau Briarcliff. Up at Chateau Briarcliff our Doggy Day Club is outstanding and a very popular service we offer our clients for those dogs that enjoy and do well in group play. Dave also offers a huge variety of training classes from Puppy Kindergarten/Socialization classes , Agility classes, Obedience (both basic and competitive titled) and private training classes one on one or zoom. We also offer for just a small number of guests overnight home boarding up in the Chateau with Dave & Juliet, for those that may do better in a home open boarding. In either the Resort or the Chateau our main priority is providing a beautiful, clean safe facility where you can feel safe leaving your pets. We know how important they are to you, as we feel the same way about our own. Our true love and passion for dogs is evident in all we do and offer. Simply, we love dogs and our combined knowledge in dogs, in all breeds will give you the peace of mind to know that your pets are well cared for and loved as if it’s one of our own. It’s nice to know and have that peace of mind that you’ve finally found a facility that is truly like a home away from home for your beloved fur kid. We know it’s not easy for them or you but sometimes events dictate you must have a safe place to leave your pet. That has been our dream from the start at Briarcliff Pet Resort a beautiful full service resort for all your pets needs. After your first stay don’t be surprised if your dogs doesn’t want to leave or pulls you to the door when you come back, we love that….proof that a good time was had by all.

Our Training Director, Dave Clendenon started his journey training dogs in 1983. In 1989 he founded what was to become the largest dog training school in Utah, serving the Salt Lake Valley region for the next 20 years.

Dave was widely recommended by Veterinarians and a variety of pet care professionals throughout the state. Having a 5000 square foot facility he added services such as boarding, grooming and the first Doggie Day Care program in Utah. Dave has personally trained hundreds of dogs (titling more than two dozen in AKC Obedience, Rally and Agility). He has taught thousands of classes and instructed tens of thousands of students over the years.

Valerie Nunes-Atkinson recruited Dave in 2018 to establish Chateau Briarcliff and Briarcliff’s new training program. Dave is excited to share his wealth of knowledge in order to help you reach your dog training goals.

Juliet started training and showing dogs in 1983 with her first show dog, a Shetland Sheepdog. Having a very competitive nature, Juliet heard of a title called OTCH (obedience trial champion) and decided she wanted to achieve that. This was no small feat as there were only a handful of dogs obtaining this title at that time. Juliet and her sheltie not only obtained this title but multiple High In Trial awards as well.

Over the years she worked for several top handlers eventually starting her own Professional Handling business in 2008. Achieving multiple obedience titles, championship titles and campaigning several different breeds to #1 are only a few of her accomplishments.

In 2019 Juliet was given the opportunity to join Briarcliff Pet Resort as the Facility Manager. In this role she combines her passions of working with dogs and business management to ensure Briarcliff is Southern California’s top boarding resort.