Stephen Bell, KPA CTP, describes himself as having a strong affinity for animals, especially dogs, from a very early age. Although he dreamed of working with animals, he followed a very different career path, to electronic engineering. After running multiple high-tech companies, Stephen launched his own tech business in the energy sector, which allowed him to work from home and provided time and opportunity to start working with dogs.
Emilea Byrum, KPA CTP, is a registered veterinary technician with a special interest in behavior. She is particularly interested in service dogs and herding breeds, and in the team approach to a well-cared-for pet.
Jay (Jihyung) Seo, KPA CTP, offers animal-training services in Seoul, Republic of Korea. In addition to working with dogs and their families, she trains other species, including cats, birds, and zoo animals. An animal lover since childhood, Jay remembers the rabbits, hens, rooster, ducks, and geese that she cared for at elementary school. As a middle-schooler, she studied in New Zealand, where she could not have pets of her own, but dreamed of ways to work with animals.
Nina Daniel, KPA CTP, now a married mother of two grown children, had a unique family introduction to the idea of animal training. Her grandfather was a cinematographer and early pioneer of underwater photography who worked on the TV shows Flipper and Salty. As a young girl, Nina swam with dolphins and sea lions at Sea World. “This experience planted a little seed in my mind: animals could be taught to work with us.”
Camilla Chu, KPA CTP, is an experienced teacher, first instructing humans and now training animals as well as human/animal teams. Her business, Behaviours In Training, is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
After first hearing about the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Training Professional (DTP) program from a friend who provided daycare for her dogs, Joy Chia, KPA CTP, enrolled in 2013. She was inspired after attending a ClickerExpo conference in San Francisco. Joy completed the KPA DTP program in September 2013, in Sequim, Washington, with Terry Ryan.
Dan Tower Anderson, KPA CTP, who generally goes by Tower, is a crossover trainer. When he first trained dogs in the 1990s, Tower’s methods included correction and aversion. He researched clicker training only to be able to refute its value; he was good at getting training responses from dogs and thought “why learn to do something different?” It was only in that research process that Tower discovered the benefits and effectiveness of clicker training. Reading Karen Pryor’s book Reaching the Animal Mind was a significant part of Tower’s transformation. Now, he trains animals with positive methods exclusively.
Ben Touchton, KPA CTP, discovered his passion for working with animals as a part-time employee at an animal shelter while he was in college. He developed a particular interest in helping homeless pets thrive in the shelter environment and, over time, a deep interest in canine behavior and training generally.
Alasdair (Al) Bunyan, KPA CTP, first heard about the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program when he attended ClickerExpo. There, he spoke with Linda Ryan about the program, ultimately enrolling in the DTP International program and completing it in 2016 at Leeds Dogs Trust Rehoming Center (United Kingdom)—with Linda as his instructor!
Imogen Poropat, KPA CTP, learned about Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) and the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program when she was applying for jobs in the dog-training world. Certification as a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP) was often listed as a preferred qualification in job postings. With a master’s degree in Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare from Newcastle University in England, Imogen had a strong academic background in behavior science but reports that she was “looking for something that would improve my practical application.”