A little bit about me:
My name is McKenna Williams and I am passionate about training dogs! To be completely honest, I love all animals but have the most fun working with dogs. I was taking engineering classes at NC State University, but knew that wasn't what I truly wanted to do. I adopted my shepweiler and have worked hard with her training. I have loved training her so much that now, I am studying hard at the Karen Pryor Academy!
I'm also now enrolled at Arizona State University's college of social work for Community Advocacy!
How I got into dog training:
When I first got Delilah in 2018, I knew very little about dog training. After working with her for a few months, I really fell in love with watching her learn. As time went on, my health decided it didn't want to cooperate with me and I found myself researching service animals. Here in the US, service animals can be trained by programs and organizations, private trainers, or individuals! With that knowledge and seeing the cost of organizations, I started task training with Delilah. She really took to it and made training a lot of fun. I worked hard with her and now she works hard for me. It's truly amazing to compare who she was when we first adopted her to the hardworking dog she is now. Seeing her transformation made me want to help others in similar situations teach their pups to help them.
The story behind my logo:
This logo holds so much meaning to me and to my goals for this business. Dogs are so incredibly smart and can do so much with us and for us. My goal with this business is to train dogs who help others. This includes service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support animals, even training pets to help their humans. Service dogs are often viewed as superheroes, so I feel like the cape fits well towards that end.
My tag line of "One Treat at a Time!" speaks greatly to how I train. I believe in training the dog in front of me, one cue at a time, one task at a time, one treat at a time. Work slowly and be adaptable with your pup.
A lot of people may think "why not one step at a time?" It's simply an inclusivity measure. Simply put, not everyone takes steps. I pride myself on inclusive training and teaching methods.
A little bit about Karen Pryor Academy:
As a Certified Training Partner through Karen Pryor Academy, I went through a lot of training to help grow my training foundations. I now have more tools in my toolbox and a large network to pull resources from. This means I can better help you and your dog!
The Karen Pryor Academy (or KPA) is well-known worldwide for its foundation in training. Karen Pryor has spent decades training and has used her force-free methods successfully with many different species. Because she got her start working with dolphins, one of the requirements for certification is actually to train a species other than a dog, which is really unique. I had the pleasure of working with some of the cats at Purr Cup Cafe! These cats were adorable and they have many cats looking for good homes. If you're in the Raleigh area and looking for a furry friend, be sure to check them out!
A Statement on Inclusivity:
This business was built because the dog training world around me was not inclusive. In all aspects of my business, I will do everything I can to accommodate you on every level. This is why I ask for pronouns in my intake questionnaire, why I offer virtual training options, why I offer text-based training options, and more. I will do everything in my control to accommodate you and your needs that you communicate to me.
I ask in return for understanding that my disabilities may need to be accommodated, as well. My disabilities are variable meaning that I may be doing great one day but the next day may be really tough. If I need to change our session in any way (in-person to virtual, more accessible location, rescheduling, etc.), I will give you as much notice as I can. If the options I provide don't work out for you, I am happy to credit your account!
I appreciate your kindness and support in helping me make dog training more inclusive and accessible to all!
Feedback from my clients:
"McKenna is by far one of the best trainers I’ve met. She took the time to really learn more about what kind of training and help my dog, Amelia, really needed. Her advice has helped me get rid of a few tricky behaviors, such as scattering her food everywhere and dragging on the leash during walks. She also has helped my dog become more comfortable with me, helped her learn to play, and even figured out that my dog has separation anxiety and provided tools to help her with that.
On top of her skills, McKenna is friendly and reliable. She is awesome about providing sessions in a convenient format and does a great job of working with my schedule. She really goes out of her way to help you help your dog!"
- Amelia's Human
"McKenna is very professional and has very helpful insight as to WHY a dog is behaving a certain way. She caters to addressing the root issues, rather than throwing a band aid on smaller problems here and there."
- Penny's Human
"When I would take Izzy to dog friendly stores, I would get frustrated when she wasn't responding how I pictured it in my head. I contacted McKenna about training sessions and she responded quickly with setting up virtual sessions with me. McKenna has been amazing at communicating clearly, concisely, and quickly. She explained the issues she saw in a way that made sense and was easy to follow. When I asked for clarification on a few topics, she was able to explain in a different way and elaborate. By the end of our session, I felt informed, supported, and confident moving forward. Her plan for continuing Izzy's training has helped us to grow as a team and Izzy is flourishing under the methods shown to me by McKenna. I am forever grateful to her and look forward to future sessions with her and seeing how far she can help Izzy and I go! McKenna has been incredibly supportive on this journey and I don't think I could be doing this without her."
- Izzy's Human