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My Story
Running with Dogs

Hi, I’m Holden. I’ve spent the last twelve years dedicated to the science of animal behavior, but I’m not just a nerd. Dogs connect us to the wild, the land and ancestral practices of hunting, traveling, work, survival, community and play. I love looking for ways to meet an individual dog’s innate needs, talents and motivations, even if our shared society has changed dramatically in the last thousand years.

Growing up with gun-dogs, later adopting and fostering terriers, shepherds and many mixed breed dogs, I now share my life with my sled dog ZZ. I particularly love working- and primitive-breeds. In my free time I am an amateur canicross runner, and a sailor (I spent seven years living aboard with dogs!)

My values











Our expectations for our pets are high and there are often mis-matches and mis-understandings between what we want and what our dogs were designed to do. A cornerstone of my work is to help you and your dog co-exist, communicate and thrive cooperatively in whatever environment you share. I aim to achieve the highest possible welfare outcomes for your family.

My education & Credentials

I have well over a decade of experience working professionally with dogs, beginning in shelter and rescue, though I’ve been a teacher as long as I can remember and my work in applied behavior and learning theory began with (human) kids! 


I am a featured conference and panel speaker for organizations including the Pet Professional Guild, The Academy for Dog Trainers and Animal Rescue Foundation, and I publish regularly in PPG’s BARKS magazine.  

Advocacy Panel - Pet Professional Guild

Shelter & Rescue Division Committee Chair - Pet Professional Guild

Contributing Author - The Pet Rescue Resource

Aggression in Dogs Master Course, Michael Shikashio

Veterans’ Service Dog trainer - Animal Rescue Foundation

Behavior internship under board certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Jeannine Berger - San Francisco SPCA

Graduate, The Academy for Dog Trainers (Awarded Shelter & Rescue Scholarship)

Why reward-based learning?

Because your dog’s welfare matters: I support your bond with your dog.

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Because it’s safer: Reward-based training is associated with less aggression, anxiety,

avoidance and excitability.

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Because it’s ethical: The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends

only reward-based training methods.

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Because it’s effective: Aversive measures aren’t necessary for behavior change or long-lasting results, even in difficult or complex cases.

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