The Engineering Change Team
Owner and Head Trainer of Engineering Change: Canine + Equine Training
Me with two of my (many) animals. Billy, a goofy and lovable Arabian, was adopted from a horse rescue 10+ years ago and has been my "heart horse" and constant companion. Abe, a little lab mix, was adopted from a shelter a few years ago with a severe case of fear aggression. He's now a happy, well-behaved, well-adjusted canine citizen, and the best snuggle buddy.
Hi! I'm Kassie!
For a long time, I was in the field of Engineering. I was a design engineer, then an engineering manager, and then Vice President of Engineering at a local manufacturing facility. I trained part time for years, and recently made the leap to full time!
I started my training career with horses in my county's 4-H program, where I became the person that could swing a leg over anyone's horse and fix whatever issue they were struggling with. Over the following years, I trained horses to help pay for college. Horses are my true first passion. When I got my first dog, Abe, that passion transferred to dogs as well. Abe was severely fear aggressive, and I knew that I needed to get a handle on his issues if I wanted to keep him. That started the dive into the rabbit hole of dog training, and I haven't looked back.
Through my work with rescue horses and rescue dogs, I've developed a love for working with the "problem dogs" and "problem horses" - those that exhibit unwanted or even dangerous behaviors. Figuring out what makes them tick to find the root of the problem is a challenge, and as an Engineer, I love a good challenge. I really pride myself in my ability to "cut the crap" and get to the bottom of a problem by utilizing the same skills that made me successful in my day job in Engineering Management.
I've studied extensively with professional trainers in the industry and I've used that knowledge to develop my own style and methods to approach training. My main focus is facilitating a strong working relationship between the human and the dog. A strong relationship is the driving force behind cooperative, enjoyable life with your dog. Your dog should work with you because they WANT to, not just because they want the treat you're holding or are scared of the consequences of not listening. I spend 95% of my time teaching the dog what I want them to do through positive reinforcement and reserve the use of punishment/corrections for the rare occasion that they are needed. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and ALWAYS want to keep learning. You can learn something from everyone, but my favorite trainers are the likes of Larry Krohn, Jay Jack, and Chad Mackin, among many others.
I am an admitted softie for animals, specifically rescue animals. I currently have 4 horses, 2 miniature horses, 4 goats, 3 dogs, a lot of chickens, and some barn cats. That number is always threatening to grow; I have a very hard time saying no to an animal in need.
They all have their jobs, and they're good at them!
Abe, the One Who Started It All
Abe, now 6 years old, was my first dog adopted as an adult, and he's the reason I'm a dog trainer!
Abe's role is to teach dogs to read social cues and to be neutral around other dogs. He's very patient but not super social, and he's very good at clearly communicating using body language to ask for space from other dogs.
Sky, The Social Butterfly
Sky, a 2yo lab mix, is my constant companion. She's super social, easily brings shy dogs out of their shells, ignores dogs that are concerned about her, and generally just operates as an extension of me during lessons. She's the best assistant I could ask for!
Pip, The Instigator
Pip is a 3yo Border Collie mix. He's super driven, super intense, and generally a lot to handle for most dogs. His role is to test and proof dogs once they've learned how to properly behave. Pip makes his appearance in client lessons when the client dog is ready for some serious distraction! He listens very well, but he does everything with such enthusiasm that he's a lot for dogs to handle.