Meet the Coach


Kristen is the owner of Advances in Animal Behavior. She has been helping people train their dogs since 1995. She has a B.A. in Psychology with a strong biological emphasis. She has obtained additional training as a volunteer, in the behavior department, at the Denver Dumb Friends League,(Denver Humane Society). At the league she learned how to apply what she had learned in college. While volunteering, she counseled pet owners through a behavior help line, taught dog obedience classes, puppy-kindergarten and pet parenting classes. After 500 hours of volunteer experience. Kristen moved back to Chicagoland and Advances in Animal Behavior was born.Through the years Kristen has developed into a top instructor. She knows that the key to being a good coach is to listen to your clients’ concerns, always provide written homework, explain the how and why of changing dog behavior, and break it down for the clients and dogs, so that they can succeed. From the trials and tribulations of learning agility, Kristen knows how hard it is to be a beginner. She brings that experience to all of her classes, and supports her clients with great patience and empathy. Kristen teaches her clients how to train their dogs, and how to properly communicate cues/commands to their dogs. She takes the time to educate her clients on the differences between normal and abnormal dog behavior. She also makes herself available to assess, diagnose, and assist her clients in treating their dogs’ behavior problems.



Kristen’s training philosophy is that education and positive reinforcement are the key ingredients in pet training. She believes that a dog should be trained primarily with rewards such as food, toys, petting, and praise. She also feels that it’s important that dogs earn the privilege to go outside, have a leash put on, be pet, or played with only after first doing something for their owners. As for punishment, rather than teaching clients how to hurt their dogs, she teaches clients how to take privileges away from dogs. Kristen also feels that most behavior problems cannot be solved with obedience alone.

Kristen, a firm believer in education, stays abreast of current training methods by attending seminars and dog training conferences regularly. She also takes agility classes with other instructors weekly.

Kristen is currently the proud parent of 3 All-American dogs: Punk, Mollie, and Leo. Sadly, her Great Dane, Hamlet, crossed the rainbow bridge at eleven and one-half years of age. From each dog she has always learned something new and relishes in the opportunity to enhance their lives as they do hers.

Kristen’s Dogs Pedigree:


Rescued at Two and one-half years.

Taught her how to train dogs that aren’t so comfortable with people, and dog reactive, and guard resources.

  • Titles

    AKC Canine Good Citizen


Rescued at 3 weeks.

Currently twelve and one-half years young. Taught her how to train a sound sensitive dog.  Now retired from agility but still works with dog aggressive dogs, does obedience demos.

    • Titles

      • Rally Obedience APDT:
        • Level III
      • USDAA Agility:
        • Performance Standard Champion
        • Performance Jumpers Champion
        • Performance Snooker Master
        • Master Performance Dog


  • Rescued at age 1.Currently 10 years young. Taught Kristen how fun it is to own a small, feisty, driven terrier. Still trialing in agility.


    • APDT Rally:
      • Level I
    • AKC Agility:
      • Excellent Agility Jumper
      • Excellent Standard
    • USDAA Agility
      • Master Agility Dog
      • Standard Champion
      • Performance Standard Master
      • Relay Master
      • Snooker Master
      • Performance Jumpers Master
      • Jumpers Master


Came to live with Kristen at 10 months.

Was a college dropout. Is teaching Kristen how to train a rowdy hound mix and to understand life with a dog with seizures. Currently trialing in agility, works with dog aggressive dogs, training to be an obedience demo dog, and flyball dog.


  • AKC Agility Novice
  • Agility Jumper
  • Novice Agility Standard
    Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort, Inc.
    10051 Kitty Ave
    Chicago Ridge, IL  60415