Trainer Profile: Katie McKnight, CDT
Certified Dog Trainer
Canine Behavior Practitioner
Certified in Canine Psychology & Behavior, ISCP
Studied Dog Emotion and Cognition, Duke University
Studied Treatment and Prevention of Dog Aggression with Dr. Ian Dunbar
I began my career working with animals in shelter environments. While many people feared pit bulls, I fell in love with the smart, loving breed. While I’ve enjoyed preparing shelter animals for new homes, I wanted to ensure that dogs did not wind up in shelter environments due to behavioral problems. Honestly, most behavioral problems are solved with the help of a professional dog trainer. Whether you recently welcomed a new puppy into your life, share a home with a spoiled pet or live with a challenging dog, I want to help.
I am also the proud dog parent of three rescue dogs. Nine years ago, I rescued Madison, my faithful boxer, from a family who could not handle her high energy. Over the years, we helped Madison overcome separation anxiety, dog aggression and the naughty behavior that frightened many visitors. She is a loyal dog and a much-loved family member.
On Mother’s Day 2015, we welcomed a three-year old boxer-mastiff mix to our home. This 92-pound teddy bear has mastered all training techniques in a short amount of time. Duke transformed from a runner to an assistant who happily aids my dog-clients suffering from dog aggression.
In February 2016, we welcomed Elsa, a one-year-old, blind dog with a host of health problems and slight food aggression. Obedience training transformed her into a confident, well-mannered dog, who also assists in my training lessons.
My family and I are fortunate to have shared our lives with these three wonderful dogs.
How did you get started in the Dog Training business?
I volunteered as a dog walker for a local town shelter and studied under a dog behaviorist. The other volunteers and I wanted to prepare the shelter dogs for their forever home and ensure they never returned to shelter life. Waving goodbye to the dogs as they drove away with their new families was exhilarating. Witnessing the terror on the faces of the new surrender dogs broke my heart. I wanted to bring them all home. Since that was not a possibility, I decided to help families before it got to the point that families relinquished their dogs. I studied hard and had the best mentor in the world. I have the pleasure of working for my mentor, Jessica Freedman, at Sublime K-9 Dog Training ever since.
What is your favorite challenge in training?
I adopted a one-year-old dog who was born blind. People thought I was crazy. This fabulous dog was an internet sensation. So many people wanted to welcome her into their homes, but feared the disability. I believe her disability increased her desire to learn. She is brilliant. I have had the pleasure of training dogs that are either blind or deaf. There is nothing better than watching a disabled dog thrive and an owner’s amazement at their dog’s ability.
What is the best advice you can give Dog Owners?
Please remember that dogs are not human. They do not think like us. They don’t act like us. They don’t speak our language. We must respect their species and learn how dogs think in order to teach them how to live in a human household. You will never find a better friend than a dog, sometimes it takes some training to discover the greatness