About Me

Introducing Karen Karatsu Kennedy, BA, CPDT-KA

I “know dogs”, and am a life-long dog lover. Let me help you with yours!

My passion is helping homeless big dogs find a great forever home and staying there as a cherished family member. It is upsetting when a big dog who has waited so long for a home finally gets adopted, and then gets returned for exhibiting normal dog behaviors. Simple training techniques could have helped that dog stay in his home! That is what motivated me to become a professional trainer. I still volunteer at the shelter walking and training dogs, and enjoy going to homes and helping adopted dogs settle in.

My credentials:

BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara

ABCDT- Dog Trainer certification from the Animal Behavior College, a rigorous program consisting of ten learning modules and hands-on teaching, supervised by a mentor trainer.

CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) is a certification issued by an independent agency called the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. In order to earn this credential, a dog trainer must have 300 hours of dog training experience, endorsements by a dog trainer, veterinarian, and client, and pass an exam consisting of 250 questions pertaining to dog training, animal husbandry, training theory, ethics, and ethology.

Since the 1980’s I’ve taken numerous dog training classes with the multitude of dogs I’ve had, and am versed in compulsion, clicker, and positive reinforcement training. I enjoy attending seminars on animal behavior, aggression, and behavior modification. I wanted to get a formal dog training certification from an accredited institution (which I did from the Animal Behavior College) so I would have the credentials to go into homes or run training classes to help others learn to communicate with their dogs. I have taught Puppy Kindergarten and Obedience Classes, I have lectured to Homeowner Associations on Dogs, and trained staff at local shelters.

For the past fourteen years I have been an active volunteer at Operation Kindness in Carrollton and DAWG in Santa Barbara, CA, two no-kill shelters where I have walked, handled, and loved hundreds of dogs of all breeds and sizes.

My Dogs

I currently have four large rescue dogs: Jonas, Winnie, Esmee, and Teddy. Jonas (American Bulldog/Shiba Inu) was dog reactive, Esmee (pitbull and foster failure) was a fearful and unsocialized “street dog”, Teddy (also a pitbull and foster failure) was so malnourished and thin that he could hardly stand up; he was also terrified of other dogs. Teddy now has his CGC (Canine Good Citizen). Winnie is a cattledog and comes with me to appointments where the client dog is “dog reactive”. Winnie is a very calm, neutral “Trigger.” They all live in harmony, and although they came from rough beginnings, they are now perfectly house-trained, do not bolt out the door, walk nicely on a leash, Sit and Stay, do not jump on anyone, enjoy car rides, and run into their crates when they hear “Crate Up!” We all enjoy being together.