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 (CPDT-KA)
Certified Training Partner-Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPACTP)
Certified Puppy Start Right Instructor-Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior
Approximately 30 years experience working in the animal field
Approximately 20 years experience training animals- Trainer at the San Diego Zoo for 8 years
I would like to start my “about” page educating you, the consumer, about the animal training and pet care industry. The reason I feel this is important is because I want you to make the best choice when it comes to hiring someone to care or train your beloved pets.
The animal training and pet care industries are unregulated. Anyone can wake up and decide that they want to train animals or care for 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 Many “trainers” use outdated methods, such as force, corrections and intimidation, as well, outdated equipment, such as, choke chains, prong collars, citronella collars, and electric collars, to get the job done quickly and guarantee results.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 positive when they are not, for example, covering a prong collar with a bandana. You need to be particularly careful with board and train facilities.
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 through continued education.
In addition to this, my independent contractors are held to the highest standards of excellence and we are all insured and bonded for your peace of mind.
I am an 8th generation San Diegan and a descendant of the historical Osuna family of Rancho Santa Fe. I grew up on the beach in the North County coastal area between Del mar and Leucadia. 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, including birds, rabbits, mice, cats and dogs…and would ride horses whenever I got the chance.
I started my professional 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.
1993-I graduated for California State University, Long Beach and accepted a position as a keeper at the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park 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.
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, educating guests about wildlife and the environment, 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.
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.
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.
2008- I left the zoo field 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.
2012- I launched my own business, Britta’s Animal Training and Pet Services, offering my expertise in the animal field to pet parents in San Diego. I also worked a volunteer trainer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society and for the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services teaching volunteers how handle dogs and how to use positive reinforcement training techniques when interacting with the shelter dogs.
2013- I became a certified training partner of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPACTP).
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.”
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).
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.