Betsy Calkins

CPDT-KA- Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed

ACDBC- Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant

BS- Psychology

Betsy Calkins manhattan beach pit bull dog trainer, golden retriever dog trainer

Betsy has worked with dogs for over 20 years and proudly serves the Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo & surrounding areas. She has completed university-level courses in Canine Learning Theory and Dog Ethology, and is a strong proponent of humane, science-based training methods. She stays at the forefront of dog training knowledge and technique by regularly attending workshops held by the best instructors and theorists in the field. She has studied under Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Karen Pryor, Pat Miller, Victoria Stilwell, Steve White, Sue Sternberg, Pamela Reid, Pia Silvani, Turid Rugaas, and many others.

Betsy is also a Canine Good Citizen evaluator for the American Kennel Club and helps prepare dogs for Therapy Dog evaluations.  She is a 35-year resident of the South Bay beach cities and an active member of the community.

Betsy is a friend of families! She has a degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education and loves to teach families how to be safe around dogs through private sessions and group presentations.

Training Philosophy

Positive Reinforcement

We use only positive reinforcement training techniques based on canine behavioral science. In this type of training, we take advantage of the things that naturally motivate dogs (food, toys, play, praise, attention, etc.) to reward behavior we like. Conversely, we ignore unwanted behavior or remove a reward.

The result? Happy, calm, attentive dogs that love to behave nicely because it's fun.

Positive reinforcement training is effective, fast, and humane. What's more, it lasts a lifetime. The basic principles, once learned, can be applied with every ball you throw, every meal you serve, and every time you snap on the leash.  See our Training Tips.

Veterinary Society Recommends Reward-Based Trainers

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends that veterinarians refer only to trainers who follow the scientific guidelines of positive reinforcement, classical and operant conditioning, desensitization, and counterconditioning. (As opposed to trainers who favor dominance theories and confrontational training.)

Read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's position statement on Dominance Theory.

Manhattan beach private dog training

"Meriah has loved working with Betsy, and has grown into a happy, well adjusted dog...We couldn't have gotten through this without her!"

— Leslie G. and Meriah, Manhattan Beach, CA

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Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) 
*A Certified Professional Dog Trainer -Knowledge Assessed requires 300 hours of hands on training as well as a 250 multiple choice exam on the area such as animal husbandry, learning theory and business practices. Continuing Education Units are required to be regularly re-certified.

Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC) with the IAABC

Professional Member, Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)

BS Psychology, University of Illinois

Former Head Trainer, Grateful Dogs' Clubhouse

AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Evaluator

Former Consultant, Dogs & Storks

Teacher, Doggone Safe

Presenter for Stop the 77 Dog-Child Safety Program

Canine Communication instructor for South Bay Adult School

Member, Southern California Dog Trainers Forum

Member, Dog Trainers Alliance of Southern California

Member,  Manhattan Beach Community Dog Advisory Committee

Former Instructor, City of Manhattan Beach Group Dog Training Classes

Volunteer, SPCA LA

Volunteer, So Cal Golden Retriever Rescue

Mentor trainer, Animal Behavior College

Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Watch Block Captain and District Coordinator, 25 years