I’m so glad you’re here!
It's my passion to train animals for the people who love them. I want my clients to enjoy the best companionship from their animals, which means helping pets become their best version of themselves.
If you’re here looking through a training website—and especially the About page checking up on the trainer’s credentials—I know you truly care about your animal and want the best for them. I applaud you and I’d love to work with you.
So please read through the rest of this page to learn about my background and my methods to make sure you feel I’m the right match. I’ve included a bit about my own pets and hobbies, too, so you can see just how deep my passion for animals and training runs.
My professional training credentials
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
KPA is widely regarded as one of the most respected and rigorous schools for trainers. I am not only a proud graduate, but a Certified Training Partner. My KPA credentials include the KPA Dog Foundations, Dog Pro, Cat Training, and Better Vet Visits courses.
Continuing Professional Education
To keep up-to-date with all the latest animal training science and techniques I attend at least two seminars, conferences, or professional courses every year.
I currently offer private sessions for dogs, pigs and cats in Wasatch County, Utah. Several times per year I return to Las Vegas, where I lived for many years, and offer dog training classes at Impetus Animal Training with a team of fellow professional positive reinforcement trainers. I have also assisted in reactive dog classes for Helping Idaho Dogs and have assisted during a KPA Dog Pro Course.
I'm a Certified Fear Free Pet Professional which seeks to reduce/eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets during grooming and other procedures, I'm certified in pet CPR and 1st aid through Pet Tech, and have achieved certification in Animal Reiki as part of my holistic interest in animal behavior and well being.
My training methods
You want results. I want them for you, too. You love and want the best for your animals, and I want that, too. That’s why I study and use only science-endorsed humane training methods.
Rather than old-style methods that forced good behavior through pain and intimidation, I use techniques that focus on teaching dogs to actively enjoy making good choices, and that address the underlying emotions and motivations behind poor behavior.
A dog who barks and growls at other dogs out of fear or anxiety, for example, can be taught to stop by punishing the behavior. But the reason for the behavior remains, which means it can easily crop back up. Plus we’ve added onto the dog’s anxiety through a stressful training process. Far better to use positive training to address the root of the problem—the fear. If a dog is no longer fearful, there’s no longer a reason to bark or growl. Problem solved, effectively and kindly.
Modern, science-based training has another advantage, too—it’s actually quite fun, for both the animals and their humans. I want you get great results. I’d like you and your pet to enjoy getting them, too.
My personal menagerie
Maggie and I have learned a lot together over the years. I adopted Maggie when I was still employing old-school dominance training. As a result of that stressful style of training Maggie became reactive around other dogs, and distant from me. I thought she was just “independent.” It wasn’t until I’d encountered and made the switch to positive training that I realized she wasn’t independent; she was wary. Clicker training transformed Maggie. As she gained trust in me and began to enjoy training, Maggie turned into a happy, confident cuddle bug—the best version of herself. No longer uncomfortable around other dogs, she now works by my side to help other dogs experience the same transformation.
Todd turned out to be the most expensive free dog ever. He lived through two ACL surgeries, eye surgery, tumor removals, hyperplasia removal, obstruction removal, and finally cancer treatments. But he was worth every penny and happily lived his best senior life. Before passing over the rainbow bridge Todd earned his keep as a talented demo dog and a reactive dog helper (his job was to help teach fellow canines how to relax around dogs instead of barking at them). He was a very special friend and always made me look like a better trainer ;)
Boris the Pig
I met Boris when he was a tiny piglet. I was visiting a rescue ranch and the little guy followed me around all day. The ranch owner called Boris mischievous, regaling me with all the trouble he’d managed to get himself into. I answered that I thought Boris would make a great student. We ended up collaborating on a pig education event and I got to work training Boris. Fast-forward a few months (and 60 pounds—boy do pigs grow fast!) and Boris and I were ready to show off his new tricks. He delighted the audience by “jumping” through a hoop, playing peek-a-boo through my legs, kissing, spinning, picking up a basket, and coming when called. I’ve continued visiting and training Boris weekly ever since. He’s now a handsome 300-pound artist, having learned to paint with his hooves and snout, as well as with a roller brush. His work hangs in fine art galleries all around the country. (Okay, that last part isn’t true—but I think it should be!
The Fish & Their Friends
My fish obsession began with an old roommate’s guppy living in a glass of drinking water. I should say attempting to live, really, as fish are actually quite challenging to keep alive—and a drinking glass definitely won’t do. I’ve had up to four tanks at a time, and I love the work of creating realistic and healthy habitats for the fish and various friends, including snails, shrimp, and frogs. Believe it or not, fish are trainable, too. I once trained a betta fish to flare on cue and to swim through a hoop.
The Crested Geckos
No doubt it’s obvious by now that most of my hobbies revolve around animals and their training. I love training them, I love reading about training them, I love thinking about training them. I love watching them, too. The behavior of all animals is fascinating. I’ll even admit to a slightly embarrassing obsession with watching ants. (You should try it—give it a few minutes and see if you don’t get hooked! Amazing what all you begin to notice…)
I also enjoy arts and crafts, particularly painting and macramé. Even here, though, I can’t help but get the animals involved, as with my painting project with Boris the pig. Haven’t been able to figure out how to teach him macramé yet, though.
Alright. Enough about me.
What do you think? Ready to work together?
I inherited these small, wingless dragons from my sister. I enjoy creating realistic habitats for them and, yes, training them. They’ve learned to station themselves to ask for and receive their meals of live cockroach. (Sorry, you probably didn’t want to hear that last bit.)
I'd love to hear from you!
Call me at (406) 381-0178
Private puppy training, private dog training, private cat training, private pig training for animal lovers offered by credentialed professional puppy trainer, dog trainer, cat trainer, pig trainer. Serving online, virtual sessions and in-person sessions in Park City, Heber City, and surrounding cities.