top of page

Trainer Bio:  Wendy S. Katz

 KPA CTP #63199, CPDT-KA, CCUI, Certified Fear Free Professional

My goal is to help my clients achieve harmonious, enjoyable lives with their dogs.  Isn’t that what we dream of when we adopt a puppy or dog?

 

Having adopted most of my pets from shelters and rescue groups, I’ve experienced many of the problems and frustrations that my clients face.  I know how good it feels to see a frightened dog gain confidence and to see a reactive dog learn to walk peacefully past another dog instead of barking and lunging. 

 

I love helping my clients share that experience of success.  I get a special kick out of hearing clients report that neighbors and family commented on the improvement in their dog!

 

I’ve been training my own dogs since the age of ten and have been committed to using force free methods since 1998.  I began teaching dog training in 1999 as an apprentice and started an independent training business in 2005.  I’ve participated with my dogs in service projects and group activities including nursing home visits with a certified therapy dog.

My Credentials and Background

I became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner in 2013. I obtained my CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed) certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (an independent certifying body) in 2019, a Fear Free Professional certification in 2019 and a Control Unleashed Instructor certification in 2023. I've also obtained advanced training in puppy training and helping aggressive dogs.  I continue to hone my training skills by participating in workshops, webinars and conferences.

With a Ph.D. in biology, I've also worked for 40 years in biomedical research, most recently in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.  I enjoy the synergy between my training in biological science and the evidence-based approach to pet training that I learned through Karen Pryor Academy and my continuing education.

Training Style

Cassie's Story - Why I train the way I do

We met through a card on the pet store bulletin board: “Free lab, needs big yard.”

 

When 9-month-old Cassie joined my life, her exuberant approach to life covered me with bruises.  We forged a deep bond through games of fetch and long hikes together.  I immediately started training her using the traditional methods I had learned as a child: pushing and guiding her into position.  Once I thought she knew what to do, failures to perform were enforced by jerks on her choke collar.

 

I was surprised by what happened and what failed to happen.  She did learn the basics of obedience, but it didn’t make her ballistic behaviors go away.  She still lunged and jumped, but in an anxious way.  What did go away was her joyfulness.  She started to look sad and worried much of the time.  Training wasn’t fun for either of us.

 

Then someone gave me a book about clicker training.  We took a break from “real” obedience and just learned some tricks together.  Cassie’s joy returned and in time we were able to re-learn heeling, stays and so much more.  She performed even a seemingly boring behavior such as “go to your mat” with gusto {see it in action) Training the old way, she refused to take an object from my hand.  Taught with the clicker, she would carry anything I gave her, and retrieve whatever I pointed to.  Her favorite game was “find the keys.”  She trained me to put my keys away as soon as I got home, because if I absent-mindedly set them down, she would fetch them! (see it in action)

 

I also found that reward based training is highly effective for breeds of dogs that previously were thought to be untrainable, and that cats excel at learning tasks and love it!  (see my cat Mira learning to get on her "stay-station without dawdling) 

A growing body of evidence shows that reward based training is more effective, better for your pet and better for your relationship compared to training that incorporates punishment.  In particular, it is the approach recommended by veterinary behaviorists for pets with behavior issues such as aggression, anxiety or fearfulness (see the position statement by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists).  My joy is to share this way of training that enables our pets for enjoyable partnership.

A head shot of a black labrador retriever
A dog is holding a basket of candy and standing in front of a woman

Cassie carried a basket of candy in the Christmas parade

Continuing Education

2023

Webinars:     Resilience Rainbow Tour - Dr. Kathy Murphy, Bobbie Bhambree

                     Stress and the Social Brain - Dr. Kathy Murphy

                     Using Social Interaction as a Reinforcer: What the data tells us about when and how to use it -

                          Dr. Erica Fuerbacher

2022

Course:        Neurobiology of Toxic Stress - Kristina Spaulding Ph.D. 

Conference: ClickerExpo Live Online

                     Aggression in Dogs

                     Control Unleashed Conference 2022

                     Dogs with Big Feelings

Webinars:     Resilience in Dogs - Dr. E’Lise Christensen, Dr. Kathy Murphy, Bobbie Bhambree

                     Constructional Aggression Treatment - Lauren Novack, Kellie Snider MS

2021

Course:        Separation Anxiety - Moira Hechenleitner DVM, CSAT

Workshop:    Shelter Playgroup Alliance 2-day workshop on dog play interactions - Mara Velez MA, CPDT-KA

Conference: ClickerExpo Live Online

                     The Lemonade Conference

Webinars:     Fear Free Nail Care - Fear Free Pets CEU

                     Understanding Declaw Salvage Procedures - Nicole Martell-Moran DVM, MPH, DABVP      

2020

Course:          Living and Learning with Animals - Susan Friedman Ph.D.
Workshop:     Enrichment, 5-Day Workshop - Allie Bender CDBC, CPDT-KA, SBA; Emily Strong CDBC, CPDT-KA,

                      SBA

Webinars:      Deep Dive: Sensory Integration, Neville's Story - Kathy Murphy DVM, Ph.D., E'lise Christensen 

                      DVM; Bobbie Bhambree CDBC, CPDT-KA

                      Introduction to Behavior Meds - Jennifer Summerfield DVM

                      Behavior Meds Part 2: Beyond the Basics - Jennifer Summerfield DVM

                      Incorporating Enrichment into a Behavior Modification Plan - Allie Bender CDBC, CPDT-KA, SBA

                      Recognizing Pain in Dogs - Debbie Gross Torraca DPT, MSPT, Board-Certified Clinical Orthopedic

                      Specialist Emeritus

                      Adolescent Behavior and Development - Chris Pachel DVM, DACVB, CABC

                      Introduction to Pattern Games - Leslie McDevitt MLA, CDBC, CPDT

                      Leash Aggression - Jessica Wheatcraft CDBC CPDT-KA

                      Dog to Cat Aggression - Katenna Jones SCM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA

                      Using Enrichment to Treat Aggression - Emily Strong CDBC, SBA and Allie Bender CDBC, CPDT-

                      KA, SBA

Conference:  Aggression in Dogs Conference

                      The Lemonade Conference - IAABC and FDSA

2019

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed;                        

                       Certified Fear Free Professional

Conference:   Clicker Expo 3-day conference - Karen Pryor Clicker Training

Course:          Aggression in Dogs Master Course - Michael Shikashio CDBC

Webinars:      "But my Dog is Not Food Motivated" - Kathy Sdao MA, ACAAB                       

                       Sound-sensitivity - Jessica Hekman DVM Ph.D., Deb Jones, Ph.D., Amy Cook Ph.D., Jennifer

                       Summerfield DVM

2018

Course:       Concept Training - Ken Ramirez

Workshops: Shaping with PORTL - Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz Ph.D. and Mary Hunter MS

                    Your PORTL to Stimulus Control - Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter

Webinars:    Exploring Canine Attachment Behavior - Lauren Thielke MS 

                    Advances in TAGTeach - Theresa McKeon       

2017

Course:     Cat Behavior Consulting - Katenna Jones MS, CDBC, CCBC, CPDT-KA

Webinars: The Power of Choice - Irith Bloom CPDT-KSA, CDBC, CBCC-KA, KPA CTP

                 How to Organize a Kittengarten - Paula Garber

                 Trauma in animals - Patricia McConnell PhD

                 Psychological Trauma and PTSD in Dogs - Franklin D McMillan DVM

                 Cat Behavior & Cognition: Using science to increase cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat

                 bond - Kristyn Vitale Shreve PhD

2016

Course:         How to Work Aggression Cases A-Z - Mike Shikasio CDBC

Conference: Clicker Expo 3-day Conference - Karen Pryor Clicker Training

Webinars:     Feline Destructive Scratching - Francine Miller ACDBC

                     Quality of Life for Cats and Dogs - Patricia McConnell PhD, Amy Marder VMD,CAAB and

                     Stephen Zawitowski PhD

                     Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive Approaches - Jean Donaldson

                     Training for Health Care - Laura Monaco Torelli KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, CPBC,

                     TAGteach Level 2 Complex Tools and Behavior Chains - Ken Ramirez

                     The Cat Behavior Continuum - Margaret Slater DVM, PhD

2015

Conferences: Clicker Expo - 3-day conference I

                       AABC 2-day National Conference

Webinars:       Consulting and Teaching Skills - Ken Ramirez

                       Managing Dogs in a Group Setting - Kathy Sdao ACAAB

                       The Biology of Socialization - Jessica Hekman DVM, PhD

2014

Course:          Puppy Start Right for Instructors - Kenneth Martin DVM, DACVB and Debbie Martin CPDT-KA,

                       KPA CTP, LVT, VTS (Behavior)

Webinars:       Improving behavior in the veterinary clinic - Melissa Spooner LVT, KPA CTP

                       Kitty Kindergarten: Creating the New Improved Cat with Early Socialization - Sophia Yin DVM

2013

Certification:  Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed
Fear Free Certified Professional
IAABC International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants - Supporting
Puppy Start Right Preschool
Aggression in Dogs Certificate of Completion
Cal Berkeley
Association of Professional Dog Trainers - APDT
Pet Professional Guild
MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
bottom of page