Karen Taylor

Dog and Woodland Hills, West Hills, Encino, Tarzana, Chatsworth, North Hills, Northridge, Van Nuys, Porter Ranch, Canoga Park, Winnetka, Bell Canyon, Simi Valley, Agoura Hills, Topanga, Lake Balboa, Sunland, Sherman Oaks, Studio CIty, Bel Air, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Moorpark. Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Castaic and ValenciaPuppy Training CPDT-KA Dog Behavior Modification in 

MEET KAREN 

Our owner and primary behavior counselor is Karen Reardon Taylor, CPDT-KA (formerly Sumner). Taylor's training career began at the tender age of seven. Mom & Dad said, "Train that dog or she's off to the shelter."  Karen had wanted a dog ever since she could remember... it must have been in her blood because her Granddad and his father used to run a training kennel in the early 1920's & 1930's!  Mom and Dad weren't being mean ... they were simply fed up with the chewing, barking and peeing in the house.  She had a Am Staff mix that was going the way of many other, so called, untrained and unruly dogs; shelter bound with no chance of a full life!  So she and her pup followed a good friend to a 4-H Junior Dog Obedience Course, and the rest is history! 

As a teen, Karen stayed out of trouble by training neighborhood stray dogs and placing them in new homes (after diligently trying to get Mom & Dad to let her keep them instead).  From that point forward, her mission was clear... TEACH DOGS TO RESPECT THEIR OWNERS AND THEY WON'T END UP ON THE DEATH ROW!  Simultaneously, Karen began studies in horsemanship and eventually worked at various breeding, riding and boarding stables in Maryland training and exercising horses.  Karen also took numerous Dog training courses with the Montgomery County Maryland Recreation and Parks Department, with Dog Sense Unlimited, and the Montgomery County Maryland Humane Services organization.  Sadly, training was aversive back then. She enjoyed training but not the path to getting what she wanted...there had to be a better way.

She got a scholarship thru the Raleigh Business and Professional Women's organization and began college at North Carolina State University but the scholarship ran out.  Later, as a young U.S. Navy wife, she moved to Florida and found herself training dogs again with Five Flags Dog Training Club in Pensacola.  With the support of her club and their dog show expertise she titled her Pomeranian, Frodo (see his picture in our Logo), in obedience and received the FFDTC's award for Highest Score in a trial!  They started to teach her how to teach people to teach dogs and she liked it!  A military transfer caused a move to Los Angeles.  Shortly after Karen split with hubby and returned to College.  Being single, going to school, and keeping a full time job was taking it's toll physically and financially; so she finished her current courses and, at the urging of some friends who had just gotten puppies, started a small dog training class at a "pseudo" dog park in Venice, California.

Karen never really thought of herself as a dog expert or trainer, just a training hobbyist who liked dogs!  But her students felt differently and sent their friends to Karen's class.  Then, people who stopped just to observe asked to join in!  Hundreds of happy, well trained humans and dogs later, Karen realized she had inadvertently come across her "calling" and made dog training and behavior a career.  Of course, being an instructor is more than just having some knowledge and experience... Karen wanted to provide a truly valuable service, so she started reading everything she could get her hands on, watched every video she could find, and joined the Society of North American Dog Trainers... and, later, became a Charter member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.  These organizations regularly coordinate national and international speakers to provide continuing education for their members.  Karen started MY BEST FRIEND OBEDIENCE in 1993.  We are listed in Google, Facebook, and Yelp Ratings to Name a few and achieved third place in the LA's Hotlist competition in 2013.

Karen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) thru CCPDT  since 2003 and a AKC CGC Evaluator since 1998.

Karen's Seminars and Intensive Workshops include:

  1. Jean Donaldson's Swimming Upstream: Training Against the Genetic Grain

  2. Wayne Hunthausen, D.V.M.'s  Fears & Phobias, Compulsive Disorders, Aggression and Medical Causes of House Soiling

  3. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.'s  Diagnosing and Treating Aggression in Dogs

  4. Dawn Jecs' Learning the "Choose to Heel" Dog Training System (King of Prussia & San Diego)

  5. Sue Sternberg's Recharging Your Instructing Skills, Reading Dogs and Defensive Dog Handling, Socialbility vs. Aggression Thresholds

  6. John Fisher's The Nature of Dog to Dog Aggression, Living with the Emotional Dog and a New Perspective on Dominance

  7. William Campbell's Consultation Skills

  8. Jean Donaldson's Treat, Manage or Execute

  9. Leslie Nelson's Can You Use All Positives in a Group Class

  10. Pet Professional Guild Ratlesnake Avoidance Training

  11. Annual conference 1999- Training Behavior Cues - Good and Bad, and Learning Choose to Heel

  12. Scaredy Dog Training Seminar w/Ali Brown

  13. Kellie Snider Taming the Domestic Beast, Shape Your Way Out of Agression

  14. Donna Duford's Instructor's workshop 2002

  15. John Rogersonson's week long Instructor's Workshop 1995 plus everything else locally w/John! including Canine Aggression in Depth 2014

  16. Gary Wilkes Rescue and Rehab workshop for Shelter Dogs 2002

  17. Clicker Expo in Woodland Hills 2007

  18. Dr Raymond Coppinger Evolutionary Development and the Natural Development of Dogs and Intellegence of Dogs and Canine Cognition: Ethological Lessions on the Emotional Physiology of Dogs

Additional Seminars attended include a week long intensive program given by John Rogerson on Behavior as well as behavior seminars given by Ian Dunbar and Roger Abrantes, and one given by Debra Potts on T-Touch, and the APDT's Annual Conferences in Las Vegas (2016), San Diego (2011), Oakland/San Francisco (2009), Portland (2007), San Diego (1999) King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (1998), Phoenix (1996), Chicago (1995) and ,. Tellington T-Touch is a gentle and unique method of working with both health and behavioral problems in animals.

Karen's achievements include:

  • Appearing on Amazing Animal Rescues on Fox Television and KABC Los Angeles Channel 7 News as a Dog Behavior Specialist. 

  • Providing dog behavior counseling services to other dog trainers, groomers, dog day care owners and veterinarians.

  • Performing low cost Behavior Consulting for Perfect Pets Rescue, Amanda Foundation, NEVA, Pet Adoption Fund, Pet Orphans, Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue, Husky Rescue, Golden Retriever Rescue, Labrador Rescue, Much Love Rescue, Angel Puss Rescue, and the Santa Monica and West Los Angeles Animal Shelters, among others.

  • Serving as an expert witness, and providing written reports on dog behavior, for owners of "aggressive" dogs and "barking dogs" for Los Angeles county and in Animal Control hearings.

  • Writing a monthly dog training column for a popular Internet publication called Valley Pet News. (see our links page).

  • Article for local free paper, Pet Press, "Dog Raising is more fun if you are a 'control freak'," April-May 2007

  • Training Knuckles the bulldog on the X-Show (for men and the women that put up with them) that ran on FX-FOX Cable Network from 1999 - 2001.

Karen was the first obedience instructor for the Pets in the Hood program, the brain child of Tia Torres (famous with Pit Bulls and Parolees) of Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue.  Los Angeles probation camp adolescents learned to train and care for dogs by working with Pit Bulls from the Rescue, thus making the dogs more adoptable as well. (for more information see below and the other offerings page).

Karen Reardon Taylor now brings her expertise to you and your dog, while, of course, always continuing her education, as every good dog training and behavior modification specialist should.

Karen is currently a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.  In her limited free time, Karen can usually be found hanging out at home with her husband, Doug, son, Bryce and her two dogs.