Meet Our Dog Trainers

Lydia Gytri, CPDT-KA | Trainer

Lydia GytriLydia joined the DogBoy’s team in December of 2007 and is now one of our star trainers. She was working as a vet tech before coming to DogBoy’s, but wanted a job that allowed her more hands on experience with dogs, and a chance to learn about behavior and diet. Lydia is originally from Pflugerville and graduated from Pflugerville High School. She is the mom of two dogs, Cody and Monty, both acquired from owner surrenders. In December 2015, she married Mr. Donald Gytri, whom she met here in the kennel back in 2007!

Meggan Porter, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA | Trainer

Meggan PorterMeggan first entered the world of dogs on her 18th birthday. After years and years of begging, her parents granted her the best birthday present ever: a four-legged best friend. A few days after walking out of the shelter with a ten week-old Cattle Dog mix, Meggan began to question the wisdom of this decision. She found herself entirely in the deep end with this energetic “demon puppy”, and had no idea how to swim! This drove her to find DogBoy’s Dog Ranch by taking our Puppy Class. After months of being a client, Meggan joined the DogBoy’s team as a Kennel Tech. She spent the next three years soaking in everything she could about behavior and training. Unfortunately life moved Meggan away from DogBoy’s and she had to leave the kennel. Thankfully, she has returned – this time as a Trainer, and her focus is growing Austin’s awareness of the force-free dog training movement.

Meggan has also worked as a receptionist at a vet clinic, a kennel technician at a Humane Society, and as a Trainer teaching group classes in downtown Austin. Meggan’s energetic, troublemaking puppy, Tyler, is now a well-mannered adult and has two more canine siblings: Oliver, a cattle dog/border collie mix who is reactive, and Allie, a pointer/whippet mix who is fearful. The behavioral quirks of her own dogs have led Meggan to extensively study and work with both reactive and shy/fearful dogs.

With her active crew Meggan spends a lot of time participating in dog sports including disc dog, Treibball, and Agility. She also enjoys taking her group on long hikes, kayaking, and enjoying the many dog-friendly venues of Austin. Meggan is also dedicated to continuing her education through reading, attending seminars and webinars, and is currently a member of the Pet Professionals Guild, and enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy.

Jen Larson, KPA-CTP | Trainer

1857e14f-d8a3-497d-a2e4-5eade0ff1a19-1Jen moved to Austin from the frozen North – Madison, Wisconsin in 2014, with her dog and her cat, and hasn’t looked back since!

She is a multi-species trainer and veterinary technician with years of experience in dog daycare and boarding facilities, animal shelters, sanctuaries, vet clinics, and private training. Jen graduated from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy as a Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) and is also Pet First Aid Certified through the American Red Cross. Jen is a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild, and Doggone Safe, a non-profit aimed at educating children and their families about bite prevention.

Over the years, Jen has been privileged to work alongside some amazing animal trainers and has experienced teaching and learning with all kinds of animals including dogs, cats, pigs, goats, horses, and even fish! She is forever grateful to her favorite college professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and renowned animal behaviorist, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D, CAAB, for opening her mind to the wonderful possibilities of animal behavior and learning.

While dogs have always held the biggest place in Jen’s heart, some of her proudest accomplishments have been training other species – clicker training a “project pig” to come, sit, and touch a target stick with his nose, training cats to go through mini agility courses, and even using a laser pointer to light train a Betta fish to swim through a hoop for a food reward. Jen is very passionate about positive reinforcement training and truly believes that every animal deserves to learn in an encouraging, compassionate way that deepens the bond between them and their handler.

Some of her favorite jobs include: working as a trainer out at Dogtown in the gorgeous Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, an adoption counselor/cat caretaker/trainer at Austin Pets Alive!, and as the manager of a luxury boarding facility, supervising up to 30 off leash dogs in play groups in Madison, Wisconsin.

Since moving to Austin and becoming a foster parent through Austin Pets Alive, Jen has acquired a few more pets as a “foster failure”! She now lives in South Austin with two dogs, 7 cats, Betta fish, a few varieties of tarantulas, and scorpions. She is preparing to eventually enter graduate school with a focus on animal behavior, specifically how emotional and psychological well-being is affected by environment and enrichment. She enjoys hiking, reading any training or animal behavior book she can find, and playing guitar and ukulele.