Advances in Animal Behavior logo with dog in half circle

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 has rescued and housed many dogs including a Great Dane, a Golden Retriever,  a Doberman, and her favorite, All-American Rescue dogs. From each dog she has always learned something new and relishes in the opportunity to enhance their lives as they do hers.

Here’s a brief summary of some of her most accomplished dogs:


  • 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.
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen


  • Rescued at 3 weeks
  • Taught her how to train a sound sensitive dog.  Was an agility Champion and worked with dog aggressive dogs. Loved to heel and do obedience demos.
  • Rally Obedience APDT
    • Level III
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen
  • USDAA Agility
    • Performance Standard Champion
    • Performance Jumpers Champion
    • Performance Snooker Master
    • Master Performance Dog
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen

ADCH PACH PAX Mollie aka Good Golly Miss Mollie

  • Rescued at age 1.
  • Taught Kristen how fun it is to own a small, feisty, driven terrier.
  • APDT Rally
    • Level I
  • AKC Agility
    • Preferred Agility Champion
    • Preferred Agility Excellent
    • Excellent Agility Jumper
    • Excellent Agility
    • Master Excellent Jumper Preferred 3
    • Master Excellent Preferred Bronze
    • Master Bronze Jumper P4
    • Master Jumper Preferred Bronze
    • Novice Fast
  • AKC Canine Good Citizen
  • USDAA Agility
    • Agility Dog Champion


  • Came to live with Kristen at 10 months.
  • Was a college dropout. Taught Kristen how to train a rowdy hound mix and to understand life with a dog with seizures. Retired from agility, now enjoys nosework. Currently works with dog reactive dogs and does obedience demos.
  • AKC Agility
    • Novice Agility Jumper
    • Novice Agility Standard
    • Master Agility Performance 2
    • Master Agility Jumpers
  • USDAA Agility
    • Performance 1 Jumpers
  • Novice Agility Standard

MACH Zing! Aka Bazinga!

  • Came to live with Kristen at 4 months.
  • Taught Kristen how to work with a slightly nervous dog. Zing! Currently trials in agility and works with reactive dogs and an agility demo dog.
  • AKC
    • Master Agility Champion
    • Master Jumpers Bronze
    • Master Standard Bronze
    • Time to Beat