My name is Karen Piwinski. I have loved animals from a very young age. At ten, I started my first pet sitting business by caring and walking my neighborhood dogs. My family owned dogs in addition to a variety of other pets. In high school, I expanded my pet-sitting business alongside working at a therapeutic horseback-riding program, where I worked and rode horses to help keep them well trained for the program.
In 2010, I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Animal Science Business Management. My courses focused on animals, from both a scientific and a practical standpoint, through frequent hands-on experience at the University farm.
I have worked at an animal shelter, racehorse farms, and private horse boarding facilities. I have training and experience as a veterinary technician, from working at both a large emergency hospital and a smaller veterinary practice.
Post-graduation, I worked with a company supervising and providing for the care, training, transportation, and oversight of the horses while traveling throughout the east coast to grouse and field trials. I started training dogs using the e-collar when I began to train and run dogs in field trials. I had the unique opportunity to mentor under Mike and George Tracy, nationally recognized bird dog trainers, and gained a vast amount of knowledge from this experience. I had great success with one of the dogs I ran and we achieved 3rd Place Amateur Walking Shooting Dog in the State of Pennsylvania.
My own dog, Trevor, was a former field trial dog. To expand my knowledge of training and to see if he would show promise in other dog sports, we worked in agility, rally, and nosework. We competed in barn hunt, where he excelled. He also enjoys hunting and I have continued to take him when I can. In addition, Trevor is a therapy dog, where his calm nature appeals to children and seniors alike.
I enjoy my work at AFT. It gives me the opportunity to use my background in dog training and the use of the remote collar to help dogs become better companions. I love the challenge of determining what each dog needs with regards to training and helping them to achieve this.