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Meet the crew of Canine Conversations Podcast. Hear about the crew’s childhoods, how they get into dog training, where their businesses are now, and why they are positively obsessed with dog behavior.
Kayla Fratt, CDBC
- First started training homing pigeons in 2007
- Started Journey Dog Training in 2012, focusing on private day training
- Got really into animal behavior while studying biology and psychology at Colorado College.
- Did some research on stress behaviors in zoo-housed gorillas
- Started tackling behavior issues as a trainer in 2016
- Volunteered extensively at All Breed Rescue and Training, where she really got the behavior bug.
- First job out of college was in communications with an environmental political nonprofit during the 2016 election season.
- Worked at Denver Dumb Friends league as a Behavior Technician, training shelter animals that weren’t ready for adoption
- Now works as a freelance writer, specializing in dog behavior
- Became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant in 2018.
- Journey Dog Training is 100% online now, providing one-on-one behavioral support to owners remotely and launching online courses soon!
- Loves working with resource aggression, dog-cat introductions, and barky-lungy dogs.
- Lives with Barley the border collie and travels full-time.
Marissa Martino, CTC, CPDT-KA
- Originally from Jersey
- Left a job at Martha Stewart Living as a designer to go to Jean Donaldon’s Academy For Dog Trainers in 2007
- Went into animal sheltering after graduation.
- Was the first Behavior and Training Coordinator at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley
- Was the Director of Behavior and Training at the East Bay SPCA in Oakland
- Launched Paws & Reward in San Francisco in 2011
- Moved back to Colorado and joined Dumb Friends League as the Behavior Manager
- Just started a new job at Colorado Humane Society as their Community Liaison to help animal shelters get the resources, education, and support they need throughout rural Colorado.
- Certified Dog Trainer, Knowledge-Assessed
- Launching online courses soon, do a lot of public speaking, and working on workshops.
- Wrote a book, The Human/Canine Behavior Connection: A Better Self Through Dog Training, in 2017
Ursa Acree, CDBC, CDPT-KA
- Grew up on a farm
- Started training thanks to her dog Ruckus, but she really started training back as a little girl with her golden retriever mix Sunny
- Got hooked after reading The Power of Positive Training by Pat Miller
- Apprenticed with a woman who Pat Miller put her in touch with, Linda.
- After a few years working as a trainer with Linda, Ursa applied for the job of Behavior Manager at Kentucky Humane Society
- Became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (Knowledge Assessed) in 2007
- Moved to Denver to be the Behavior Manager at Denver Dumb Friends League
- Later took a job at Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Topeka, Kansas working as a Behavior Technician
- Really loves working with aggressive dogs and puppies.
- Loves going off to the mountains with her husband Andy, son Fox, and three dogs: Mina, Niko, and Zip.
About the Podcast
Our main goal is to help you take steps to help your dog (and yourself). This podcast isn’t a replacement for seeing a professional like us, but you can reach out to any one of us for help if you’re really stuck with your dog. We all offer remote behavior help and are also happy to help connect you to another trainer in your area.
This podcast will come in a few different formats. We’ll have some episodes that feature two or three of us chewing over a specific question, problem, or theme. Our goal will always be to end those episodes with some actionable tips for you and your dogs.
Other episodes will feature two or three of us going over a complex case study. This might be a current client that one of us is working with or it could be a listener question. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like your case to be featured.
Finally, some episodes will involve a guest speaking to at least one of us. We’re all really focused on bringing you the best information that we can, and that means trying to bring in the very best experts that we can find on canine behavior! If you’re an expert who’d like to be on our show, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.