- Bachelors & Masters Degree in Animal Behavior
- Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
- Certified dog trainer with Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training
- Member of the Pet Professional Guild
- Member of the Animal Behavior Society
ANIMAL BEHAVIORIST | MS, CDBC, VSPDT
Hello! My name is Kari Bastyr, and I am the owner of Wag & Train Animal Behavior Specialists. I specialize in animal behavior and dogs with severe behavioral problems, but I also teach group classes. I am certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a certified VSPDT trainer with Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training, a member of the Animal Behavior Society, and a member of the Pet Professional Guild.
In 1993, I received a B.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, and earned a Masters Degree in Animal Behavior in 1995, both from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. After receiving my Master’s Degree, I began working with Dr. R.K. Anderson and Ruth Foster, co-inventors of the Gentle Leader through Alpha Academy in Minneapolis. Dr. Anderson designed a ‘new’ style of Gentle Leader and tested the prototype in my Level 1 class during my last year with Alpha Academy. In 2001, I moved to Denver, Colorado and created Wag & Train because there were no reward-based trainers there at the time. In 2017, I expanded Wag & Train to Minneapolis after I moved back… I wanted to be near lots of water again!
My goal is to provide pet parents an alternative to punishment-based behavior modification, while educating and building an unbreakable human-dog bond. I have 30 years of experience working with anxious, fearful, and aggressive dogs, and am very proud to say I don’t use any choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars. I use my knowledge from my Animal Behavior degrees, my experience working with thousands of stressed dogs, and my passion for creating a safe-space for both dogs and humans to help change emotions and behavior.
I share my life with my dogs Paisley and Turtle. Paisley is a 9-year old Chocolate Lab, whom I call my ‘dessert dog’. She is perfect in every way. In August of 2019, I adopted a little brindle puppy and named her Turtle. She and I are working towards becoming a working service dog team with Luna Service Dogs. She will (hopefully) be my Medical Alert/Gluten Detection Dog, as I have severe Celiac Disease. Fingers crossed!