Animal Behavior & Training

About Me

Susan Nilson BA (Hons) DipCABT is a former journalist who developed an interest in animal behavior when one of her original four rescue cats started spraying copiously around the house (thanks Loulou!). She is now a UK qualified animal behavior specialist and trainer, having completed the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers (CAPBT) Advanced Diploma Course in the Practical Aspects of Companion Animal Behaviour & Training in 2005, with a particular focus on learning theory, advanced pet behavior therapy, physiology and motivation, counselling skills, individual animal assessment and neurophysiology.

She has also completed certificates in Canine Communication, Body Language & Facial Expression, Feline Behavior, Clicker Training for Dogs, and Practical Behavior Therapy (specialising in canine aggression) at the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers (UK) and at Alpha Pet Behaviour & Training (UK).

Now based in Los Angeles, USA, Susan is a member of the Pet Professional Guild which advocates force-free, positive training methods only. In other words, no shock collars, no choke chains, no prong collars, no pain, no fear, no physical force, no physical molding and no complusion methods. She also manages and edits the Guild's quarterly publication BARKS from the Guild which is read worldwide by industry professionals and pet owners. In her free time, aside from managing four 'challenging' rescue dogs picked up off the streets of Dubai, an even more challenging foster dog, and six relatively straightforward cats, Susan is a volunteer clicker trainer for the wonderful dogs at the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, and a keen swimmer and mountain biker. She also helps out with behavior consults at the incredible START Dog Rescue who, to date, have saved over 5,000 dogs from being euthanised in Los Angeles shelters

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