Kat, a graduate of Augustana College with a B.A. in Biology and a focus in Veternary Medicine and Animal Behavior, first encountered dog training in college where she was focused on the goal of becoming a veterinarian. Life had other plans for her when she joined a club dedicated to training service dogs for people with disabilities and facility dogs for locations in need of professional therapy dogs. Throughout all four years of college she worked through every stage of the training process, from puppyhood to placement, mentoring under an experienced mentor whose credits included being an Animal Behavior College Mentor, CGC evaluator, and a Protection Dog Sport enthusiast. After watching, taking, and teaching hundreds of hours of training classes, and training over a dozen puppies, it became clear that working with dogs was her passion and her calling.
After graduating, she worked in boarding facilities, doggy daycares, and animal hospitals, learning about dog body language, health, and behavior along the way. She eventually worked with two major service dog training organizations, one as an apprentice under a graduate of Bergin University of Canine Studies, training dogs with positive force free methods, and the other working as an both a focused puppy development trainer and an advanced skills trainer for dogs being placed with veterans. She has placed working dogs all over the country, in hospitals, courthouses, and homes, and even an international placement in Japan.
Kat has seen every side of the pet industry, worked with a variety of training tools and a dozens of training techniques, and trained hundreds of dogs of many breeds, ages, and dispositions. She has lived with dozens of dogs, and currently lives with three - a Lab, Zorn, and Golden Retriever, Fiddle, and a German Shepherd, Buddha. She has never stopped loving dogs in all the time she has spent working with them, and is excited to bring her passion and her knowledge to Training at K9 Tailshakers.