October 23, 2023

#60 - Kalyn Holl: Sled Dogs and Reindeer

In this week’s interview episode, we are joined by Kalyn Holl, the Head Reindeer Trainer at Chena Outdoor Collective. Whether training reindeer, teaching education programs, or competing in sled dog races, Kalyn brings a beautiful perspective to their training. In this episode, you’ll hear Kalyn and Emily talk about:
  • Letting the animal tell you what they need
  • Living a life in moderation
  • How reindeer are lazier than caribou

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Meet the Guest

Kalyn Hall

Kalyn is the reindeer herd manager for Chena Outdoor Co. in Two Rivers, Alaska, where – with the help of the reindeer (and sled dogs too) – they educate curious minds about the history and importance of the species in the north, both from human perspective and an ecological one. 

A love of behavior and animal care didn’t start with reindeer; Kalyn has been training dogs for 20 years and began running and racing sled dogs 10 years ago. In addition to sled dog and reindeer tourism, they also team up with a local veterinarian for behavior consulting cases. Their days are filled with the chaotic shenanigans that come with sharing their life with 9 sled dogs, a jack russell, a herd of reindeer, and a hive of bees. When not educating, training critters, or continuing their own education through Pet Harmony, Kalyn is exploring their Alaskan backyard by trail, canoe, or kayak and photographing the exquisite life around them. 

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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