December 12, 2022

#32 - Marissa Martino: Cultivating Connections for Behavior Change

In this episode, we are joined by Marissa Martino. Marissa has dedicated her career to the welfare of both ends of the leash and how exploring ourselves can build a stronger bond with our dogs and other pets. If you are interested in how to connect with your dog on a deeper level, you will love this one.

In this episode, you’re going to hear Emily and Marissa talk about:
  • How your stories, thoughts, and relationships impact your training
  • The layers of complication in human communication
  • Giving yourself grace while continuing to grow and improve
  • Why everyone needs a mentor

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Meet the Guest

Marissa Martino

Marissa Martino began her career working with canine companions after attending the Academy for Dog Trainers in 2007. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Since then, Marissa has had the pleasure of working for three different animal shelters directing their behavior departments in Colorado and California. Her latest role included offering animal shelters and rural CO communities the education and resources needed to expand their animal welfare impact. 

Marissa offers behavior consulting for animal shelters by helping them implement evidence-based, positive reinforcement best practices to reduce the stress and behavior concerns of the animals in their care. She is currently designing a behavior course for shelter professionals in Nevada on behalf of the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation, piloting in the Fall of 2022.        

In addition to her animal welfare career, Marissa operates her private practice, Paws & Reward, in Boulder, CO. She offers in-person behavior consulting and online programs. She is the author of Human-Canine Behavior Connection: Building Better Relationships Through Dog Training and hosts the Paws & Reward Podcast.

Meet the Hosts

Allie pic with Oso

Allie Bender, CDBC, CPDT-KA, SBA

Allie Bender is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge Assessed, and a Shelter Behavior Affiliate. She has been in the animal welfare industry since 2006 and professionally training since 2012. She is the founder and co-owner of Pet Harmony, co-author of Canine Enrichment for the Real World, and a national speaker.

While in the animal sheltering industry, Allie realized that her passion lied in helping pets with maladaptive behaviors. Specifically, she wanted to help prevent animals with rehabilitatable problems from being euthanized. She loves working with dogs and cats displaying stranger danger, resource guarding, and leash reactivity. Her favorite thing about working with pets and their people is seeing relationships grow and seeing harmonious households develop.


Emily Strong, CDBC, SBA

Emily Strong is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Shelter Behavior Affiliate. She has been in the animal welfare industry since 1990 and has been a behavior consultant since 2008. She is the co-owner of Pet Harmony, co-author of Canine Enrichment for the Real World, and a national speaker. 

Emily started working with animals at a young age and struggled with the notion that you have to hurt, scare, or intimidate animals to help them. When she discovered the behavior sciences and learned that it wasn’t necessary to do so– that we can care for emotional, mental, and physical health simultaneously– she plunged headfirst into animal behavior. Emily loves helping current and prospective behavior professionals and working with pet parents through our in-depth services. She enjoys working with all species.

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