OWNER | HEAD TRAINER
Kathy Santo has developed a fresh, innovative approach to dog training. In the past, training methods were based on a “one size fits all” approach, but with her system, finding out who the dog is at the other end of the leash is the first priority. After that, she customizes the training method to that unique dog, which guarantees the team’s success. She believes that the dogs themselves don’t fail the training; rather it’s the training that failed the dog.
The approach is based on her 30+ years of being a top canine trainer, teaching basic and competitive dog training and solving complex behavioral issues throughout the United States. Every day, she helps dog owners address a wide range of issues, from the simple — “my dog is a picky eater” — to the serious — “my dog was almost hit by a car when he ran into the road” and “how can I get my dog to stop biting?”
In 2005, Kathy began a dog training program for children with autism and their dogs. Initially formed as a way to help the children to teach their companion dogs basic obedience commands, the program has now grown to include agility training, in-school classroom visits, and a social skills/dog training program for adolescents and their dogs. Her goal is to have more programs created across the country and has formed a charity called PAWS FOR AUTISM. A portion of the profits from her products will be donated to organizations that provide dog-based programs for people with autism.
She’s a columnist for the American Kennel Club’s Family Dog Magazine (“Training and Behavior”), and her House Beautiful columns (“Ask The Dog Shrink”) can be read online at www.housebeautiful.com. Her dog training book, Kathy Santo’s Dog Sense was internationally released by Alfred A. Knopf.
On television, Kathy had been a regular on Martha Stewar’s television show, as well as appearing on ABC, TBS, and the CBS Early Show, who interviewed Kathy (and two of her students) about her programs for children with autism and their dogs.
Previously, she founded a training center in Jupiter, Florida, taught competitive dog training camps across the United States, won competitive obedience titles in AKC obedience, spoke at schools in the Martin County, Florida, school system for its Humane Education Program, and led testing and evaluation for the Treasure Coast, Florida, Pet Facilitated Therapy Program.
Additionally, she evaluated the temperament of dogs brought into the Treasure Coast Humane Society to determine their adoptability. Her innate ability to “read” people and dogs helped potential owners unite with dogs that were well suited to their personalities and lifestyles.
Certifications: IACP CDT, CDTA, PDTI, Certified Canine Athlete Specialist (CCAS), AKC CGC/CGCA, Urban Dog, and Trick Evaluator
FASTTRACK MANAGER | TRAINER
Nancy has a degree from Elon University in North Carolina. She has been training and teaching with Kathy for over 7+ years. She’s an IACP Certified Dog Trainer, and a Certified Canine Athlete Advisor for Canine Conditioning. She also holds her CGC/CGCA Evaluator for the AKC.
Assistant FastTrack Manager | TRAINER
Lauren has her Animal Sciences degree from Penn State University. During college, she worked with both domestic and wild animals, and volunteered at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for 4 years of college and even interned at Central Park Zoo. She is an IACP Certified Dog Trainer and is a Certified Canine Athlete Advisor for Canine Conditioning. She also holds her CGC/CGCA Evaluator for the AKC.
TRAINER | SOCIAL MEDIA
Sarah has been a trainer at the school, but recently moved to Colorado and currently helps to run our social media platforms, online dog training courses, and offers private dog training lessons in the Fort Collins, CO area! Sarah’s training background is in family dog obedience and behavioral issues with a special interest in canine fitness to help dogs live a longer and healthier life. She is a Certified Canine Athlete Advisor and is also working towards her Certified Canine Fitness Trainer from Fitpaws and The University Of Tennessee.
Nikki has her certification from Animal Behaviorism College and has been training at Kathy Santo Dog Training for a year and a half! She has a furry friend at home named Pepper – she’s a cat, but they’ve been working on some tricks, too!
Stacey Samela has been involved with dogs for over 20 years. In addition to being a passionate instructor, she’s also achieved numerous American Kennel Club performance awards in conformation, earth dog, tracking, and Rally obedience trials with her beloved, home-bred, wire-haired dachshunds.