Dr. Spaulding has a PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist through the Animal Behavior Society. She has been in the dog training and behavior profession since 1999. She is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and wellbeing and how to apply these concepts to the prevention and early intervention of behavior problems in dogs. In addition to working with behavior clients, Dr. Spaulding teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior. As a graduate student, she taught university courses on learning and behavior for several years and won the Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student award in 2012.
In 2019, Dr. Spaulding received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award. She serves on the IAABC Foundation Board, and the Fear Free Advisory group. Dr. Spaulding regularly presents on the science of animal behavior as an invited speaker at training and behavior conferences.
Before opening Smart Dog, Dr. Spaulding earned her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In college, she worked for the local humane society for several years. She also served as an assistant trainer at Dog’s Best Friend which was owned at that time by Dr. Patricia McConnell.
Smart Dog currently offers both private dog training and behavior modification. In private training (day training), Kristina will train your dog in your home while you work, relax or take care of other business. Once a week, she will teach your family how to maintain the newly established behaviors. Day training is faster and more effective than doing the training on your own and is ideal for busy professionals and families. However, some people prefer to be more actively involved in training their own dog or don’t require the kind of intensive work done in day training. Coaching gives you the skills you need to teach your dog to be well-behaved in a variety of real-world scenarios.
All methods apply the most up-to-date science on dog behavior and training. We use humane, gentle, and effective techniques and do not use physical corrections, choke chains, pinch collars, electronic stimulation collars (aka e-collars or shock collars) or methods designed to intimidate or cause fear in the dog.
Brendan Dubia, CDW
Co-owner, Class instructor
Brendan Dubia, Certified Dog Walker (CDW), started as a class assistant in 2015. He also regularly assists Dr. Spaulding when working with behavior clients, particularly dog aggressive or stranger aggressive dogs. Brendan is a graduate of dogTEC’s Dog Walking Academy. At the three day academy, attendees learn important skills related to dog walking and training including learning theory, reading body language and safety protocols. In addition, Brendan is certified in dog first aid through the American Red Cross. In order to become a CDW, attendees must be certified in first aid, agree to a code of ethics, pledge to only use humane training methods, and pass a practical and written exam. Click on the icon below for more information. Although we no longer offer dog walking services, many of the skills and information learned for dog walking – such as how dogs learn and reading body language – aid him when teaching classes.
Brendan currently teaches Foundations, Puppy Kindergarten and supervises Puppy Play hour. He is working toward becoming a Certified Pet Dog Trainer.