Erin Kidd, KPA CTP, came to positive-reinforcement training with a sigh of relief 15 years ago. Since she bought her first clicker years ago she has enjoyed training her own dogs, working with client dogs through her business Happy Bark Dog Training, and launching the training side of Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care Luxury Pet Resort, where she will offer group classes beginning in January 2020 in her role of dog trainer and training program designer.
Laura Heyer, KPA CTP, an experienced educator of children with behavioral and developmental disabilities, has utilized—and extended—that special skill set in her pet-training career. A trainer at C&C PALS, she offers basic training and puppy classes as well as private, in-home training.
Jade Fountain, KPA CTP, has trained a multitude of species, studied with many of the most renowned animal training and behavior professionals across the globe, and traveled extensively to teach, train, and learn about animals and their human handlers. With academic credentials that include a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in animal behavior/zoology, as well as experience in environments as varied as the South African bush, US film sets, conservation areas in Australia, and prison populations, she is a busy and talented KPA CTP leading an extraordinary life.
Michael Baugh, KPA CTP, has trained dogs since 1999, but has a background in communications that extends back even further. A degree in communications and graduate studies in community counseling yielded important knowledge and a varied skill set that Michael uses now to work with his clients and their dogs through his business Michael’s Dogs. Michael also communicates through writing, blogging on his own site and for Chron.com in Houston, his home city. His past work as a local TV news producer also adds nuance to Michael’s communications with people and animals in his professional and personal lives.
While Amy Creaven’s career focus has switched from intensive care nursing to dog training, she has not abandoned her nursing skill set or her sensitivity to those in pain or struggling. A Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) since 2010 when she completed the Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program, Amy offers positive and professional training at her business Trust Your Dog Training in Fort Collins, Colorado. She focuses on behavior issues such as aggression, separation anxiety, and fear; on agility; and on an interesting specialty: rattlesnake avoidance.
Megan Ramirez, KPA CTP, switched her professional focus from library science, in which she earned a master’s degree, to dog training because of her “heart” dog, Amadeus. Now older and arthritic with other health problems, Amadeus demonstrated aggressive tendencies beginning at nine months of age. Because of his fear-based and aggression behaviors, “no one could get near him,” according to Megan. With a training plan from a veterinary behaviorist and lots of hard work, Amadeus now meets new people and walks in public. After learning so much about training and behavior in order to provide a better life for the dog she loved, Megan changed careers and now helps other dogs like Amadeus, and their families, too. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Amadeus,” explains Megan.
Kimmie Harlow, KPA CTP, provides private dog training in Rockville, Maryland. She has a special interest in helping families where canine behavior issues are obstacles to a serene home life. Kimmie heard about the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program from Beth Mullen, KPA CTP, when they worked together at a local animal shelter. “As an open-admission shelter, we saw quite a range of behaviors and animals daily. Almost immediately, I was interested in learning more about behavior,” remembers Kimmie.
Born in Ontario, Canada, Sandy Issler, KPA CTP, came to the United States for graduate school. She has lived in the US ever since, becoming a citizen in 2001. A research chemist with a demanding career, Sandy’s lifelong love of dogs (especially golden retrievers) and horses was limited to canine pets at home and training and competing with her dressage horses. Sandy and her dogs attended basic training classes, but Sandy was put off by the choke chains and positive punishment in training that were prevalent at that time.
Patrick (Pat) Emmett, KPA CTP, is full-fledge into his second career. Pat turned to dog-training in his retirement after more than 35 years as a businessman and president of his own company. Now he is the Training Program Manager and an Instructor at his wife’s business, Godfrey’s-Welcome to Dogdom / Dog Is Family (DIF) K9 Training. Pat oversees all training offerings and services, including Karen Pryor Academy’s Puppy Start Right Preschool. His strong interests include helping families adding a new dog to their home and therapy dogs. Pat and his golden retriever, Lake, are certified as a Therapy Dog Team through Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services.
One of the first graduates of the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program held in Australia, April Williams, KPA CTP, considers Karen Pryor her inspiration. Her dog, Archie, also inspires her; he completed the DTP program with April in 2016.