Why work with an Unlocking Resilience graduate?


Stress impacts every aspect of the body and behavior. Animals experiencing chronic or overwhelming stress are more prone to anxiety, fear, and aggression. They are also more susceptible to health issues. These effects of stress decrease quality of life, increase the chances of behavior issues, and make living with stressed animals more challenging.

Hello! I’m Dr. Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB, dog behavior science instructor & geek


I love learning about dog behavior and the science that drives it (and makes us better able to change it, too). But what I love most is sharing that learning with my fellow dog trainers, behavior consultants, and behavior consultants.

Unlocking Resiliency is an in-depth, intensive course focused on teaching animal professionals the impacts of overwhelming stress and—more importantly—how they can foster stress resilience in the animals they work with. While the class is focused on dog trainers, many students work with other species as well including cats, horses, and reptiles.

When you work with a professional that has an Unlocking Resilience certificate, you know that they:

Successfully completed a college-level course on stress and resilience. The Unlocking Resilience course is taught by Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB. She transitioned from teaching at a university to teaching animal professionals—and she brought the standards and teaching tools from the university to this class. Unlocking Resilience students participate in interactive discussions, and complete a series of in-depth assignments. Only students who complete the course with a score of 80% of higher earn a certificate.

Have been trained how to evaluate and alleviate stress. The first step is understanding how detrimental overwhelming stress can be. The second step is being able to recognize overwhelming stress, and the third step is understanding how to decrease it. All these skills are taught in the course. Not only that—professionals must demonstrate their ability to apply these principles to their work in order to successfully graduate.

Value fostering the development of happy, stress-resilient animals. A lot can be done to reduce stress in our animals, but it’s not possible to avoid all unpleasant or frightening experiences. Unlocking Resilience graduates are trained to develop and improve stress-coping skills in animals. If you want a happier, more confident companion that is able to cope with and overcome challenges, then an Unlocking Resilience graduate is a great choice for you!

Understand how to interpret and apply research. Unlocking Resilience students are not just taught a series of facts. They are taught to critically evaluate, interpret, and apply research. Further, the assignments are specifically designed to demonstrate their ability to effectively apply the research to their own work. This results in innovative, unique programs and approaches that set them apart from other professionals.

In sum—Unlocking Resilience graduates care deeply about the well-being of animals, are trained in interpreting and applying scientific research, and know how to improve animals’ ability to cope with stress. This means they are well-positioned to prevent and address behavior issues and support the development of happy, resilient animals. You’ve come to the right place!

Interested in learning more about the course?