Kristen Smith – Obedience Instructor

Kristen’s first experience with dog training was when her mom took her childhood Golden Retriever, April, to an obedience class. The classes were held outdoors and the instructor didn’t allow children to be present at the classes. Kristen wanted to be part of April’s training, so she asked her mom if she could go every week and watch from afar through a rolled down car window. Ever since, Kristen has found that she is truly amazed by what dogs can and will accomplish with training by their owners.

After adopting her own dog, Kristen learned that she could foster dogs in need of homes, she was overjoyed at the idea of getting to be a part of many dogs’ journeys to their forever families. When she started fostering, it became very important to her that each dog who stayed in her home learned what they needed know in order to succeed after adoption. This is when her near-obsession with training dogs began. Nothing is as wonderful as watching the transformation that just a little bit of patience and consistency brings to a dog and the humans caring for him or her. Each foster dog has learned a little differently, but each has also far exceeded her expectations. Moreover, each dog has taught her something new!

If each of her foster dogs has taught her something new… then Kristen says that she could write books about what her own goofy, fun-loving dogs have taught her. Gordy the Labrador Retriever mix has earned rally obedience and trick dog titles, as has her little pitbull mix, Breelan. The newest addition to Kristen’s family is Napa, also a pitbull mix. Napa earned her novice trick dog title as her foster dog right before Kristen and Seth decided to adopt her!

Kristen firmly believes that training opens so many doors for us and our dogs, enhances the bond we have with our dogs, and allows us to harmoniously live together.