CCDT, CPDT-KA®, Certified Fear Free Professional
Kristina’s Critters offers force free dog training to help build and strengthen the human-canine bond in order to allow dogs and their owners to live together without conflict in a species appropriate way.
Kristina O’Keefe has a Bachelor’s Degree from UMass Amherst in Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary studies. Here, she gained a lot of hands-on experience working with a variety of animals including sheep, goats, donkeys, alpacas, and even an African Grey Parrot, and a porcupine! These experiences, while they were brief, stressed one important fact: that every animal has a language of their own, communicated by species specific signals.
Kristina went on to serve as the Town of North Attleboro’s Animal Control Officer and Shelter Manager for three years. During her time at the shelter, she fell in love with canine behavior. She realized that there was a need to educate pet owners on the right way to work with their dogs in order to protect their dog’s physical and emotional well-being through force free methods that help humans to grow in relationship with their dogs alleviating existing or future conflict.
Kristina is a certified dog trainer through CATCH Canine Trainer’s Academy (CCDT) and is a Certified Fear Free Professional through Fear Free Pets. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is currently earning her MSc in Clinical Animal Behavior through The University of Edinburgh’s Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies.
Why Force Free?
Dogs build associations rapidly so it is important that those associations with people, things, sounds, other animals, and situations are positive.
With rewards-based dog training, we reward the behaviors we want and we ignore or interrupt behaviors that we do not want by redirecting to an appropriate behavior. This type of training shows our dogs what we want without adding fear, anxiety, or stress into the training process.
Dogs are exceptional at reading human body language, and at Kristina’s Critters, we return the favor to our dogs by learning to understand canine communication signals to better understand what our dogs are communicating to us through their body language and vocalizations. When we understand what our dogs are communicating to us, we can help them live alongside us without conflict in a species appropriate way. We know that building a strong bond with your dog based in good communication is the key to a lifetime of happiness for both you and your canine companion!
Be sure to explore our class sessions to see what we have to offer. I hope to see you and your dog soon!