Hi! I’m Jen…
I am a professional dog trainer that graduated with a mastery level diploma from Companion Animal Sciences Institute under the instruction of world-renowned behaviorologist, James O’Heare. I am also a Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right Instructor and professional pet groomer. I try to actively participate in continuing education workshops and conferences about dogs and dog training whenever possible. This ensures that I am staying well-versed in the most up to date science-based behavior practices to best help dogs and their guardians build a healthy, fun and mutually beneficial life together .
I am a single parent to a teenager and an animal lover and advocate. I have a special place in my heart for our grey-muzzled senior dogs, but love all of dogs (and animals) no matter the age! I also love everything that has to do with the ocean. I had always wanted to study marine biology, but being landlocked, at the time I was doing school, it just didn’t seem like a feasible career choice. Oh, if I only knew then what I know now! I know… most of us can say that about some aspect of our life. But, anyways… welcome!
I decided many years ago that an office job was not for me. I trained to become a professional pet groomer and had a successful grooming salon up until the birth of my son. When my son was 4 years old he was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and I became a stay-at-home mom. As I learned more about autism, therapies and techniques which have shown to be beneficial, I discovered the world of autism service dogs. This brought us Jorga (as a foster) and then ultimately, Ollie. I became not only an advocate for autism, but for service dogs in society and schools, all while meeting so many wonderful ‘dog people’ and dogs on that journey. My son is a teenager now and is building his future… so it is time for me to re-build mine!
Thinking about a career again, after so long, is a little intimadating but I wanted to do something other than grooming. Still wanting to work with dogs I decided to train as a science-based, force-free dog trainer. This built on my previous handling experience with dogs and would allow me some flexibility as a single parent. My focus is on puppy training & socialization (who doesn’t love puppies?), canine enrichment (a dog that is lacking specific enrichment needs can be a dog that gets into all kinds of trouble!) and cooperative care training (also known as husbandry) as that ties directly back to my experiences in grooming.
There is, in my opinion, nothing that can come close to the incredible bond that can be shared between a human and their dog. The benefits that come from sharing your life with a dog are endless… some you may not even conciously be aware of. But this bond is something to be treasured fully as their lives are far too short!
Evidence-based studies show that for all animals – and humans for that matter – positive reinforcement is the most effective training method used in shaping and changing behavior.
As a force free dog trainer, I believe that training should be done in a manner by which a dog (or other animal) enjoys the process. I believe in the statement – “do no harm“. A dog that enjoys the process of training will become a more confident and well-adjusted companion. I will not suggest, nor use, any product that does, or could, cause psychological or physical pain or harm to a dog, or animal.
Diploma in Professional Dog Training – Mastery Level
Companion Animal Sciences Institute
Puppy Start Right Preschool Instructor
Karen Pryor Academy
Puppy Start Right Online Preschool Instructor
Karen Pryor Academy
DogNostics Career Center
Animal Reiki Practitioner Certification
Lisa Powers Health & Wellness – currently studying
Dog CPR, First Aid & Safety
Dog Emotion & Cognition
Animal Behavior & Welfare
University of Edinburgh
Professional Pet Groomer Diploma
Ollie started life training to be a Diabetes Service Dog, but unfortunately for that trainer, and fortunately for us… he wasn’t a good fit for that role. He was however, an amazing fit for my son as an Autism Service Dog. He had the amazing ability to know when he was needed – and that wasn’t just for my son… as he was also very attuned to me. Ollie made life easier in so many ways and opened us up to a life that may have been very different had he not been with us. He loved life and his toys… oh, and food!
A treasured member of the family, every day was lived to the fullest and I am so thankful that we had the time that we did with him. I only wish it could have been longer… a lot longer!
LOVED & FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS
December 3, 2008 – March 23, 2021
Jorga (pronounced Georgia) came into our lives as a foster, and potential match for my son as an Autism Service Dog. Her personality was so fun and silly, but as an anxious dog she didn’t make the cut. However, we had become so attached to her we decided to make her a member of our family. Nicknamed by my son at an early age, she was known as “The Paper Shredding, Everything Eating, Goat Princess, Spazmanian Devil Who Eats Lego and Licks Metal”… and she lived up to every part of that name! The only dog I have ever had that would go to the dog park with a group of her friends… they all left covered in mud and she, I swear, came home cleaner than she left! Thus… the Princess part of her name!
LOVE YOU & MISS YOU ALWAYS!
July 10, 2007 – November 10, 2018