Jen 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.