I am a certified professional behavior consultant and trainer, specializing in dog and cat behavior. By Your Side is the outgrowth of my professional and volunteer experiences in shelters, dog day care, and a veterinary clinic and as a student of animal behavior, professional behavior responder for the ASPCA, and behavior consultant. Above all, however, I bring to my work the experience of being a caregiver to my own pets.
Education & Certifications
Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers)
Fear Free Certified Trainer
Feline & Canine Behavior Technology Diplomas (Companion Animal Sciences Institute)
Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practices course (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
Human-Animal Bond and Shelter Medicine courses (Humane Society University)
Bachelor of Science, Biology (Syracuse University)
Master of Science, Higher Education (Syracuse University)
Why Work with me?
In addition to being a qualified, experienced professional...
I recognize that every situation is different.
You and your pet are individuals and a team like no other. Likewise, your environment and routine are not exactly like anyone else’s.
While there are common behavioral concerns and training objectives, every situation is unique. I do not come with a canned plan but with a toolbox that we will access based on your situation.
I believe that people want to have positive relationships with their pets.
I approach my work with people and their pets from this basic premise.
People get pets for many different reasons, most of which have to do with improving their own lives, the life of their family or the animal’s life. I have yet to meet someone who got a pet because they wanted to make their own lives more difficult or because they wanted to intentionally inflict pain or discomfort on their pet.
I respect the bond between humans and their pets. I do not use pain or unpleasant experiences to teach pets or their humans. No one learns well when they are in pain or being told that they are "doing a bad job" or "doing it wrong." Positive reinforcement and clear communication are the most effective (and fun!) ways for both you and your pet to learn together.
I can empathize with the joys, the frustrations, the rewards, and the challenges of sharing our lives with pets.
There is no better feeling than coming home and being greeted at the door by a happy, tail-wagging dog or a cat rubbing against your legs. There is no greater comfort than warm fur, dog kisses, or cat purrs when you've had a hard day. Just having your pet by your side, in your lap, or at your feet can make your cares melt away for a few moments.
On the other hand, it can be embarrassing when your dog barks uncontrollably or jumps on people. It is frustrating and gross when you find your cat’s “accidents” around the house. Living with a fearful or anxious dog can feel lonely as you change your life to accommodate their fears. I have dealt with these issues – and more. I get it. I know what how it feels when your friends, family and coworkers just don't understand.
You are not alone. When you work with me, you will have someone who empathizes with your joys, your fears, and your frustrations.