Shirley Donovan - SmartyPup! Trainer
Shirley made a career change from marketing executive for large consumer products companies (Gillette and Wilson Sporting Goods) to professional dog trainer in 1995. Her interest in learning about dog behavior and training was sparked by Katie (1989-2002), her first dog who she acquired as a pup. Katie was an Australian Shepherd which is now Shirley’s “breed of choice”.
She started by teaching for Sirius Puppy Training and later spent 12 years as an on-staff dog trainer for the San Francisco SPCA. In this position Shirley dealt with many dog breeds; she evaluated dogs for adoption, counseled adopters, designed and executed behavior modification plans and taught public and volunteer training classes. She also directed the SPCA’s Puppy Program which included evaluating the puppies, developing behavior plans if needed and guiding volunteers in socializing puppies before they were adopted.
Shirley has been a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 1995 (www.apdt.com), is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (www.ccpdt.org), a certified evaluator for the Canine Good Citizen Test, and is a graduate of the San Francisco Dog Trainer’s Academy. She continues to further her education in dog behavior and keep up with the latest training techniques by attending related seminars on a regular basis.
Shirley competed in obedience with Katie (1989-2002) receiving a title in Utility from the American Kennel Club. Currently she is owned by two rescued Australian Shepherds—Benny and Tad.
Shirley loves competing in agility with Benny and hiking and taking long walks on the beach with both dogs.
Shirley strongly supports SmartyPup’s mission to enhance the human-dog bond . . while striving to raise the dog’s quality of life and contribute to people’s understanding of domestic dog behavior.