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About Mara Velez, MA, CPDT-KA

My passion for dog training and behavior started with my own rescues, one of whom was semi-feral and the other developed human-directed aggression.  In addition to working as a dog trainer for private clients,  I also work at a local open-admission shelter.  I specialize in training shy and fearful dogs; helping families with dogs recently adopted from a shelter; managing and training leash reactive dogs; strategies for managing a multi-dog home; and working with fear-based dog aggressive dogs.

I enjoy training not just dogs, but also other species.  Training other species expands my training and observation skills.  To date, I have worked with cats, rabbits, wolves, foxes, guinea pigs, coyotes, buffalo, donkeys, goats, alpacas, chickens, parrots, corvids, budgies, and a fish.

Animal behavior and training related programs completed

Trish King’s Canine Behavior Academy, levels I and II (CBA)
Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior (KPA)
Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals (LLA)
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Principles and Practice

Aggression in Dogs Mentorship (IAABC)

Shelter Dog Behavior Mentorship (IAABC)

Summer Shelter Institute

University of the Pacific Animal Shelter Management Program

Memberships and Certifications
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) - Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Pet Professional Guild (PPG) - Full Member Dog Training Professional
Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) - Member
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Supporting Member, Dog Division

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – Affiliate Member, Shelter Division

Fear Free Certified Professional 

More about Mara...

I posses a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology and bachelors degree in psychology. I am a practicing instructional designer, corporate trainer, and facilitator (see http://www.maravelezid.com for more on that). I completed all of the course work for a doctorate in international and multicultural education. My dissertation topic is entitled College persistence of Latino Youth: How a positive ethnic identity influences academic self-efficacy.

In addition to the above programs completed, I am continually developing my skills and knowledge of canines by regularly attending seminars, workshops, and reading science-based canine literature.  Some of my favorite workshops and seminars have been facilitated by Ken Ramirez, Susan Friedman, and Kay Laurence.

I am one of the co-founders of a group of East Bay Area dog professionals advocating for humane dog training methods through education and local government advocacy.  Learn more at our website, Humane Dog Training Advocates.

I am also co-founder of the Shelter Playgroup Alliance.  Learn more by visiting our website.