Sarah Rodriguez, KPA CTP, was working in the dog-care industry while she completed a master’s degree in visual art at UCLA. Her goal at that time was to pursue interspecies communication, but she was discovering that it would be difficult to have the animal interactions she prioritized. As a dog walker and then a trainer, Sarah had used aversives before learning about stress signals in dogs. Observing those signals in her own dog, she began to rely more on enrichment and positive reinforcement.
When Esti Araten, KPA CTP, wanted to understand her Lhasa Apso, Looli, better, she investigated all aspects of dog behavior. Although she was already involved with the Israeli Kennel Club (IKC) and participated in conformation shows, Esti was looking beyond the veterinary, breeding, and conformation-show rules and regulations she already knew. If possible, she wanted to know “what Looli thought.”
As a mental health professional, Catherine Ricchetti, KPA CTP, was already working with dogs as she built and implemented facility-dog programs. While she had credentialed social worker skills and experience planning and developing programs, she felt that her dog training skills were insufficient for her needs. When Catherine discovered Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) and learned that its core philosophy was positive training, a philosophy that mirrored her own, she knew she had found what she calls “a perfect match.”
As she was completing her degrees in biology and pre-veterinary medicine, Monica Callahan, KPA CTP, decided to switch lanes from vet school studies to an animal-behavior job. “I had fallen in love with training my two Dalmatians, Delta and Doc,” she explains. She investigated in-person and online dog-training schools but was not impressed until she came across the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program.
Philip Sun, KPA CTP, transitioned to learning the basics of dog behavior, having a dog, and then training others’ dogs himself when his industrial equipment sales position was eliminated. Chance encounters with stray dogs, and with their happy and grateful owners when Philip reunited dog and owner, sparked interest and feelings in Philip just when he was leaving one job and facing a job hunt. He remembers thinking, “Oh, wow. Working with humans and dogs, the two ends of the leash, feels SO different from closing a large deal.”
Laurie Schlossnagle, KPA CTP, has been clicker training for 20 years. Her first training was with her own dog, in therapy work and Rally Obedience. Now the owner of Side By Side Dog Training, LLC, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Laurie works with people and their dogs of all ages across many training paths. Her training offerings range from manners, life skills, and problem behaviors to canine sports and competition, service- and working-dog behaviors, and tricks! Laurie is also a multi-level judge for several of these industry sectors.
Linda Randall, DVM, KPA CTP, owner and trainer at One Smart Dog in Seville, Ohio, graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program and became a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP) in 2022. However, she has been a positive trainer for many years, applying tenets of clicker training and other positive philosophies to her clients and herself, and toward understanding and coping with societal conflicts and challenges.
Stephanie Perkins, KPA CTP, is the Director of Animal Therapy (AT) at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. A lifelong animal lover, she marvels at what positive reinforcement can accomplish in learning, in contrast to force and intimidation. While completing many local training classes and attending seminars recommended to her by people who share her views about animal training, Stephanie learned about the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program.
Samantha (Sam) Milner, KPA CTP, had heard about the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program, but attending a seminar conducted by Ken Ramirez in the United Kingdom, where she lives, led her to investigate the program fully. Sam remembers that Ken
incorporated DTP students’ work in his talk, which intrigued her.
As a high-school student, Taryn Schultz’s senior project was to volunteer at a dog training organization in her hometown of Lafayette, Indiana. She loved the work so much that she transitioned to an employee role and assisted with the training. Both the owner of the business and a coworker were Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partners (CTP). They encouraged Taryn to enroll in the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program and become certified herself.