Today we’d like to introduce you to Mandy Zatorski.
Hi Mandy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have worked in the animal-related field for over 20 years now. I started in high school walking dogs at a kennel and quickly worked my way up in the field.
I was a vet technician in college and worked as an animal control officer and cruelty investigator. Eventually, I started up my own nonprofit dog rescue and advocacy group, Missouri K9 Friends.
I started my own training business as well, Mandy K9 LLC, and now do that as my full-time career. I’ve dedicated my life to helping animals in need and helping people rehab special needs dogs.
I am now a certified dog trainer and certified behavior consultant with the CCPDT.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When I was working as an animal control officer in 2013, I contracted Lyme Disease while on duty. I was investigating horse cruelty on a farm that was covered in ticks.
By the time the doctors found out what was wrong with me, I had almost gone blind and could barely walk. I became disabled for a few years and could not work in the field. This was devastating to me, and during this time I started my nonprofit, Missouri K9 Friends so that I could still be involved in the animal-related field.
I am now in remission and have been for several years, and I am back in the working field with my dog training business. Everything that happened definitely happened for a reason, and I am glad it led me to where I am today.
As you know, we’re big fans of Mandy K9 LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am a certified dog trainer and a certified behavior consultant with the CCPDT. I am also a certified CGC evaluator with the AKC and a member of the APDT. I focus on science-based training (reward-based training). I handle everything from basic obedience for puppies to rehabbing severely fearful or aggressive dogs.
Most other dog trainers today are not certified, and most of them focus on punishment-based training, relying on pinch/prong collars, or shock collars. What sets me apart is that I focus on training the dog without using pain as a motivator, but using a reward. Dogs that are trained with punishment-focused methods tend to develop behavior issues down the road, such as anxiety, aggression, or leash reactivity.
The dogs also become collar-dependent. Your dog should work for you because they want to, not because they are avoiding punishment. I train owners with their dogs and help them to build a strong bond while also boosting confidence.
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
I am looking to expand in the future and I am looking at opening up my own academy for dog trainers, to help encourage more science-based training in the area.
Networking and educating are key, and helping people to see the benefits of going with a reward-based trainer rather than relying on punishment and pain to train a dog.
- Free consults at my facility in Ellisville
- 4 private session packages (most popular) $495
- Level 1 group class $295
KSDK and Teller Photography