Guests: Allie Bender, CDBC & Emily Strong, CDBC

Emily Strong, CDBC, SBA is Co-Owner and Behavior Consultant at Pet Harmony, LLC, Co-Founder and President of First Train Home, and co-author of the book Canine Enrichment For The Real World. She and her business partner, Allie Bender, also run a Mentorship Program for budding behavior professionals as well as a membership site called Pet Harmony Pro Campus for established behavior professionals. Emily has been involved in various animal welfare fields since 1990, working and volunteering in animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinary hospitals, stables, wildlife rehabs, an aviary, and finally as a behavior consultant. While a behavior consultant in Austin, TX she was on the board of Wings of Love Bird Haven and co-founded and ran Austin Parrot Society. She then relocated to Utah to work as a behavior consultant at a multi-species animal sanctuary for almost 3 years before moving to Salt Lake City to go back into business for herself, publish the book, and launch Pet Harmony’s various programs. She has been training animals of many species her whole life, including (but probably not limited to): dogs, cats, parrots, a wide variety of other species of birds, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, rats, mice, horses, miniature donkeys, pigs, goats, tortoises, leopard geckos, snakes, pygmy octopi, fish, and even insects. In addition to co-running Pet Harmony and its various programs, she is also a national speaker, a freelance writer, and has an international client base.

Allie Bender, CDBC, CPBT-KA, SBA is the founder and co-owner of Pet Harmony Animal Behavior & Training, co-founder of First Train Home Program, and co-author of Canine Enrichment for the Real World. She and her business partner, Emily Strong, also run a Mentorship Program for budding behavior professionals as well as a membership site called Pet Harmony Pro Campus for established behavior professionals. Allie is a national speaker, published author, and an animal welfare advocate. She has been working with rescue groups and shelters since 2006 in various capacities, including founding a student-run animal welfare organization. Allie started dog training professionally in 2012 and by 2015 became the lead dog behavior consultant for a large, multi-species animal sanctuary. Here she had the opportunity to work with dogs and cats with serious behavior challenges as well as speak at national conferences, write magazine articles, and make TV and commercial appearances before moving back to IL to start Pet Harmony. Allie has a BS in Animal Science from Iowa State University and is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and Council for Certification of Professional Dog Trainers.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What is “enrichment” and why should we care?
  • Is enrichment part of training or is training part of enrichment?
  • What do we mean when we say “meeting the animal’s needs.”
  • Can we just get a checklist of things to do?
  • Why behavioral diversity matters.
  • The importance of measuring outcome.
  • Categories of enrichment.
  • The importance of choice and agency.

Links Mentioned:

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