Britta Wilson, BA, KPACTP, CPDT-KA
Bachelor of Arts-Psychology, Minor-Biology, Emphasis-Animal Behavior-California State University, Long Beach
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed-Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
Certified Training Partner-Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior
Certified Puppy Start Right Instructor
Approximately 30 years experience working in the animal field; approximately 20 years experience training animals (8 years experience training animals at The San Diego Zoo)
I would like to start my biography by saying that animal training and dog training is an unregulated business. The reason that I want to start off my biography this way is so that I can educate you, the consumer, in making an educated choice when you hire someone to train or care for your animals.
Anyone can wake up and decide that they want to train a dog or animals with NO credentials or NO overseeing body. “Trainers” can advertise their services and profess to be experts in their field with NO regulation. Many “trainers” use outdated methods, such as force, corrections and intimidation, as well, outdated equipment, such as, choke chains, prong collars, citronella collars, and electric collars, to get the job done quickly and guarantee results. And many of these “trainers” will convince you their training methods are great, or worse, you board and train somewhere and they tell you they use positive reinforcement methods and they don’t.
It has been proven that force free, positive reinforcement techniques and methodologies are the best and most effective ways of training animals and people. That is why I choose to use these methods. You do not need to hurt animals emotionally and physically to train them. Furthermore, I have extensive education, credentials and experience and continually strive to learn and grow as an individual, business person, animal trainer and animal caretaker.
Please read more about me...
I am an 8th generation San Diegan and a descendant of the historical Osuna family of Rancho Santa Fe. I have worked in the animal field for approximately 30 years and have been training exotic and domestic animals for almost 20 years. I specialize in animal behavior, marker/clicker training, enrichment, handling and care of animals.
I have been a lover of animals and an advocate of animals since I was child. I grew up with a mother who nurtured my love for animals and taught me to treat animals with love, kindness and respect. I had many different animals growing up animals, including birds, rabbits, mice, cats and dogs… and would ride horses whenever I got the chance. Growing up on the beach in the North County coastal area of San Diego also nurtured my love for animals and nature.
I started my career working in the animal field in the mid 1980’s. I volunteered at The Orangutan Foundation in Los Angeles, California and as a veterinary assistant at Sun Surf Animal Hospital in Sunset Beach, California.
While I was in my senior year of college at California State University, Long Beach in 1993, I began an internship at the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park in Santa Ana, California studying the intraspecies and interspecies behavior of black-capped capuchins, howler monkeys and capybaras from South America in a newly-opened exhibit called Amazon’s Edge. I reported my findings to the zoo management regarding the animal’s behavior after each shift and they were so impressed with my work at the end of my internship they offered me a position as a keeper when I graduated from college. I graduated from college the end of 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a minor in biology and an emphasis in animal behavior and began caring for a menagerie of animals including, but not limited to, mountain lions, colobus monkeys, ring tailed lemurs, white-handed gibbons and farm animals.
In 1995 I accepted a position at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park working as an educator/guide. My responsibilities included, but were not limited to, leading “behind the scenes” tours, presenting animals to the guests, working as a back-up lead trainer for Wildlife Education, driving photo caravan trucks and working as a media spokesperson on the local news.
In 2001 I accepted my “dream job” working as an animal trainer at the San Diego Zoo. My primary responsibility was providing enrichment for all the zoos’ animals, including, but not limited to, elephants, hippopotamus, bears, gorillas, tigers, lions and giraffe.
In 2003 I was transferred to the “Hunte Amphitheater of Animal Behavior” and trained, handled and cared for over 25 exotic animals and performed in shows attended by 1000’s of guests a year. Some of the animals I worked with included a cheetah, arctic wolf, red tailed hawks, binturongs, red river hog, clouded leopards, emu, servals, kookaburra, pacaranas, reindeer, badger and golden retrievers.
I left the zoo field in 2008 and began working in the animal rescue and shelter field. I worked as an adoption counselor for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, and as an elephant caregiver at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, one of only three reputable elephant sanctuaries in the United States.
In 2012 I launched my business, Britta’s Animal Training and Pet Services, offering my expertise in the animal field to pet parents in the San Diego area and volunteered my time training volunteer staff at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas and for the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services in the use of positive reinforcement and animal handling techniques.
In 2013 I became a certified training partner of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPACTP).
In 2015 I developed a program called “Junior Animal Trainer” teaching children how to train animals using positive reinforcement and clicker training. The program was offered at Mira Costa “College for Kids.”
In 2017 I received my second certification in dog training through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). I am now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA).
I look forward to meeting you and sharing my expertise working in the animal field helping you with your animal training, animal care and dog walking needs.,
Jan Miley-Animal Care and Dog Walking
Jan has been a professional animal caretaker and dog walker for over 10 years. She has worked with a variety of species and is dedicated to providing quality, professional animal care to your pets.
She has been a volunteer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society since 2010 and has completed the highest level of dog handler training there. She is also certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation for pets and completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Foundations program as well as their Shelter Training and Enrichment program. She is dedicated to continuing education and attends workshops and lectures on the latest developments in animal science, behavior, and training.