Dog & Cat Behavior Specialist and Dog Trainer
Assist dog and cat owners with their pet’s problem behaviors. Provide dog and cat behavioral consultations and private dog training lessons. Teach animal behavior seminars and presentations on humane handling, dog and cat behavior modification, enrichment, and animal massage therapy. Teach Kitten Kindergarten and positive dog training classes. Mar. 2003–Present
Fear Free Certified Professional, October 2017
Certified Silver in Low Stress Handling for Dogs and Cats, July 2015
American Association of Feline Practitioners—Cat Friendly Practice Advisory Council, 2015-Present
Certified with the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Bancroft School of Massage Therapy
- American Association of Feline Practitioners
- Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
- Animal Behavior Society
- International Society for Applied Ethology
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers
- International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork
- Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors
Animal Massage Therapist
Teach animal massage therapy and techniques to dog and cat owners. Certified in Small Animal Massage Therapy by the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy. 2007-Present
Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog. New World Library, 2011
The Right Way the First Time: Teaching Your Dog Kindly and Humanely (First edition). Self-published, 2007
Instructor of Animal Behavior, Handling, and Management
Developed curriculum and taught animal behavior, handling, and management for the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy—Small Animal Massage Program, 2007-2010
Environmental Science & Biology Teacher
Taught high school biology, bioethics, college biology, environmental science, 7th grade science, and freshman physics, 1997-2002
Observed surgical procedures, assisted with medical examinations, performed general animal care, administered medications, maintained client records, serviced clients, 1987-1989
Animal abuse as an investigational tool and lethality predictor
Compiled research on using animal abuse as an investigational tool and lethality predictor as an indicator of violent crimes against people. This research was used by Illinois State Police Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board in the curriculum to train law enforcement officers, 1998
Alternatives to Dissection: An Evaluation of Software Programs in Anatomy and Physiology
Evaluated software programs in anatomy and physiology to replace animal dissection. Directed educational research on college students’ experiences with animal dissection in Biology, Fall 1995-Spr. 1996
Manatee Population Study
Surveyed manatee populations in the Florida Intracoastal Waterway, 1989
University at Albany, M.S. Biology Education
NY and MA teaching certifications Albany, NY 1996
University at Albany, B.A. Biology
Graduated cum laude, Albany, NY 1995
Dean’s List, 1993-1995
Certified Silver in Low-Stress Handling for Dogs and Cats
Behavioral topics included low stress handling of difficult dogs and cats, towel wrap techniques for handling cats; handling, moving, and restraining medium-sized to large dogs; handling, moving, and restraining small to medium-sized dogs; preparing the patient and setting up the hospital to create a relaxing environment; the science of animal learning; recognizing and reversing fear and aggression, July 2015
Certified Small Animal Massage Therapist
Completed a 200 hr small animal massage therapy program at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, 2007
Certified Canine Behavior Counselor
Full-time 240 hour internship in canine obedience and behavior modification at the Animal Behavior Center. Certification with the Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors. Curriculum coursework from Clinical Behavioral Medicine in Small Animals by Dr. Karen Overall, Teaching Clicker Classes: An Instructor’s Guide to Using Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training by Deborah Jones, Ph.D., and Delta Society’s Manual on Mission and Ethics for Trainers, Jan.-Feb. 2003
Additional Coursework & Experience
Below is the syllabus for the internship at the Animal Behavior Center in NY. This internship was a 240 hour full-time program taken in Jan. 2003. The curriculum followed the Delta Society’s Manual on Mission and Ethics for Trainers, Teaching Clicker Classes: An Instructor’s Guide to Using Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training, by Deborah Jones, Ph.D., and Clinical Behavioral Medicine in Small Animals, by Dr. Karen Overall.
- History of applied animal behavior
- Scientific inquiry and critical thinking
- The analysis of behavior
- Stimuli, reinforcers, and punishers
- Extinction and schedules of reinforcement
- Stimulus control
- Respondent conditioning
- Acquiring and maintaining behavior
- Biology of behavior
- Biology of stress
- Principles of ethology
- History of the species
- House training and elimination disorders
- Basic canine behavior pharmacology
- Clinical applications of canine behavioral pharmacology
- Ethological definitions
- Molecular evolution of the dog family
- Comparative and contrasting roots
- Can you ID a dog with DNA?
- Rabies virus
- Medical consideration for dog bites
- Pica behavior in adult dogs
- Separation anxiety
- Problem barking
- Submissive urination
- Acral Lick Dermatitis
- Attended the First International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Two-Day Conference in Maryland (founding member), 2005. An Overview of Companion Parrot Management, How to Run and Teach Feisty Fido Classes
University Undergraduate & Graduate
- Veterinary Science
- Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2
- Medical Terminology
- Animal Biology
- Animal Social Systems
- The Oceans
- Animal Behavior
- Marine Biology
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
- Anthropology—Urban and Cultural
- Classroom Research
- Perspectives in Science
- Sociology of Families
- Teaching Science
- Child Abuse Seminar
- Analgesia for Cats by Sheilah Robertson, DVMS, PhD (2016)
- Feline Pain Management in General Practice by Michael Petty, DVM (2016)
- Addressing Aggressive Behavior in Birds by Barbara Heidenreich (2005)
- The Basics of Parrot Care by Pamela Clark (2005)
- Solving Common Parrot Behavior Problems by Barbara Heidenreich (2005)
- Enrichment Techniques for Companion Animals: Cats, Dogs and Parrots by Dr. Oliva-Purdy (2005)
- An Overview of Companion Parrot Management (2004)
- How to Run and Teach Feisty Fido Classes (2004)
- Featured in Hondenleven magazine.
- Interviewed by Animal Voices Canada 2011, Lucky Dog Show 2009.
- Featured in local newspapers, The Newton Tab, regarding my work as a dog trainer and animal massage therapist 2008, and in the Boston Globe, as a feline behaviorist 2011.
- Featured animal behaviorist on The Chronicle, a local television show about New England 2006.
- Appeared on Capital News 9 to provide tips on how to calm down high-energy dogs 2004.
- Appeared on local news stations, Albany, NY, regarding “Jimmy,” a capuchin monkey, on his abusive conditions and held at an exotic pet shop. He would be later released to Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Jacksonville, FL. 1994-1996.
Rescue, Advocacy & Volunteer Experience
- Case stories of two shelter dogs, Zee and Ari, with implemented behavior modification suggestions, are in my books, The Right Way the First Time (2007) and Training Your Dog the Humane Way (2011).
- A shelter pitbull appears on the front cover of The Right Way the First Time (2007) to promote humane training for stigmatized and maligned breeds.
- Shelter dogs and volunteers have attended my training classes free of charge.
- Donated copies of my book, The Right Way the First Time, to animal shelters and rescue groups. White German Shepherd Rescue, Milton Animal League, New Jersey Animal Control, Pueblo Animal Shelter, and Redmond Humane Society.
- Single-handedly trapped, had vetted, and rehomed a stray and feral cat colony in Northern Vermont.
- Decades of experience socializing feral and stray cats and acclimating these cats to gentle touch and handling.
- Taught humane education to grammar school students.
- Implemented humane education and animal rights awareness into the curriculum for seventh grade science and high school. Invited humane educators to teach classes for an ‘Animal Rights’ week to 7th grade students.
- Dozens of my Letters to the Editor have been printed in local newspapers on animal advocacy.
- Created a campaign to rescue an abused capuchin monkey from an exotic pet shop. Researched laws on exotic animal transport, ownership, bans, and protection. Jimmy was kept in confinement for over 30 years and was previously an ‘organ grinder’ monkey in New York City. The pet shop closed and “Jimmy” was released to Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary.
- Co-president of SETA (Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in college.
- Designed and displayed a vegetarian billboard that reached 40,000 people per day.
- Life-long ownership of former rescue and shelter animals; dogs, rats, and cats (many of whom I trapped with Tru-Catch traps).
- Decades of experience caring for animals who needed continuous medical care such as syringe feedings, administering oral and injectable medications, and subcutaneous fluids.
- Founder and president of a high school animal rights group, Students Concerned for Animal Rights (1986-1989). The student organization is active and was renamed Student Organization for Animal Respect in 2007.