Mary Hunter - Dog Trainer and Behaviorist
Mary Hunter earned a Master of Science in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. While at UNT, she spent four years studying the science of animal training and animal behavior. Mary also has an undergraduate biology degree from the University of Chicago.
Mary’s combination of hands-on experience and academic knowledge gives her a unique perspective when working with dogs and their owners.She believes that an understanding of the science of behavior helps us find smarter and more humane ways to train animals. Mary’s academic training in behavior analysis gives her the skills to analyze and solve even complex behavior problems. She uses science-based techniques to teach appropriate behaviors and build strong relationships between dogs and owners.
In addition to training dogs and their owners, Mary conducts research about animal behavior and learning. She is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and has presented research at the organization’s annual convention, including research about the process of shaping and about training methods for overcoming fear in animals. Mary is also interested in developing the best methods for teaching people to train animals and conducts workshops to help professionals improve their training skills.
Mary has experience training many different kinds of domestic and exotic animals, including dogs, horses, cats, rats, raccoons, Patagonian cavies, goldfish, macaws, and more. She also spent four years training horses and supervising volunteers at an area horse rescue. In her free time, Mary volunteers with dog rescue groups, including the SPCA of Texas. She also volunteers at Serenity Springs Sanctuary, training horses and other animals.
Sarah began her training career over 15 years ago with her Miniature Schnauzer, Schatze. Together they earned many titles in Agility and Obedience, including the AKC Agility championship title MACH3 and the USDAA Agility Championship title ADCH. Sarah started teaching agility and obedience classes in 1997. When she got her Shetland Sheepdog, Indy, in 2001 she opened her own agility school which she ran for 10 years. Sarah and Indy competed at the top levels of agility until Sarah’s knee injury prematurely ended their agility career. Sarah has attended national agility competitions with both her dogs, and reached the AKC finals with Schatze.
Despite starting her training career with traditional trainers who used punishment-based methods, Sarah discovered clicker training shortly after starting her competition career with Schatze when she needed a better, more positive way to motivate and train Schatze. Sarah has used positive training methods exclusively for over 14 years. These methods help her students and private training clients develop deeper bonds with their dogs and achieve consistently good results.
Although Sarah’s background is largely in performance sports, she includes two important concepts that are relevant for anyone raising a dog: How to use positive training to build motivation, and the importance of incorporating play into training.
Sarah continues to develop her knowledge and understanding of dogs by constantly keeping herself immersed in the latest discoveries by dog behaviorists and participating in continuing education seminars with experts in the field of training and behavior. Sarah has trained with top experts in the agility and dog sports field, including Susan Garrett, Greg Derrett, Ruth Hobday, Susan Salo and Chris Zink.
Sarah is a member of The Pet Professional Guild which promotes force-free training. In March 2013, Sarah attended the first instructor certification course for and became certified to teach the brand-new sport of Geoscenting. Sarah offers classes in Geoscenting, Agility, Rally, Competition Obedience, manners and socialization for puppies and adult dogs as well as private in-home training and behavior consultations.
Traci Murdock, CPDT-KA, is a Master Trainer, Canine Behavior Specialist, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Talent Scout and Wrangler. She has trained dogs and their humans for over 11 years. Traci's expertise includes: behavior issues, nutrition, dog sports/activities, and rescue/adoption. Additionally, she is extremely knowledgeable in regards to several dog related subjects. Traci prides herself in creating rewarding relationships between dog and owners by equipping them with the knowledge to lead a happy and healthy life together.
Traci's experiences in competitions, dog sports, dog therapy, and print and film media, has allowed her to broaden her set of skills and tools used to train dogs and their humans. Lessons learned while training for Flyball, Agility, Rally, Obedience, Conformation, Herding, Freestyle, Frisbee, and Therapy work translate into enhanced methods of teaching pets to be better companions and family members. She is a member of the 4 Dog Flight Flyball Club. Not only do her dogs hold titles in several sports, including flyball and agility, but they are also involved in therapy work and pet education. Traci also volunteers as a behavior consultant and trainer for rescues and shelters.
Traci created the Hollywood Dog™ class to teach owners the skills necessary to break into show business. She created the Reactive Dog™ classes to help people learn to manage their dogs' out of control behaviors and teach them the skills to improve their interactions with the world around them.
"I take pride in providing my clients with personalized attention and professional instruction that is based on the most up-to-date science about dog training and behavior. My goal is to help you better understand and teach your dog so he or she can be a valued, lifelong companion. My training methods are non-force-based, progressive, and very dog friendly. You'll love the simplicity, your dog will love the attention, and you'll both love the results. No more struggling to get your dog's attention and cooperation. You'll be delighted with your dog's progress and will look forward to each lesson."