I’m Kristen. I’ve been a dog trainer in the Boston area for several years focusing in scent work and agility, and am a Lead Judge in Performance Scent Dogs. I made the leap last year to leave my academic science roots, trading in my pipettes and periodic table for a clicker and some yummy cheese! I love science – ALL SCIENCE! That may be my problem :) I have my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics with a focus in Cancer Biology. Over the last few years, I became frustrated with bench science and the length of time it took from hypothesis conception to acquiring a piece of data (positive or negative). I decided to focus more deeply on my passion for positive-based behavior modification. By specializing in the science of behavior change, I am able to make and see measurable changes in behavior and the absolute best part is, I am able to help people and dogs!
I have two dogs, Dazzle a 6 year old little brown dog and Prosecco, a 60 lb adolescent Kelpie/Boxer mix. Both love to play agility and scent work and continuously challenge me everyday to become a better trainer and find more creative and effective solutions to common dog problems using positive-based training methods.
I became interested in science based methods of behavior modification after adopting my first dog Dazzle. She was the absolute cutest puppy, that was until she spotted a dog, bike, or heard plastic wheels. In those moments, she became a 30 lb barking kite at the end of her leash. Since we were living in Cambridge, it made it really difficult to walk her (or even leave our apartment). Heck, we had to keep all the blinds down in our apartment since we lived on the first floor and the site of a dog outside caused her to go bananas. Let’s not even talk about the night before trash/recycling day. Being a scientist, I looked for effective science-based methods and trainers that could help us help her. We worked to change her emotions about dogs, bikes, plastic wheels and anything else that she found very, very scary. Nowadays, she is a happy-go-lucky dog that loves to hike and chase the occasional ball. In addition to leading a normal dog life, Dazzle and I compete regularly in agility and scent work. She loves it!
We adopted Prosecco at the age of 10 weeks in July 2017, shortly after I thought I had figured out almost everything I needed to know about dogs, dog training and behavior modification. Boy, was I wrong. Prosecco taught me that behavior is the study of one. I credit him with challenging me everyday since to find more creative and effective solutions to common puppy/dog problems. He is a large 60lb Kelpie/Boxer mix with a bubbly personality to match his name. He hasn’t seen a person or child he didn’t want to meet. Prosecco loves agility and I am looking forward to competing with him in the coming months.