Head Trainer + Owner
certified dog Behavior Consultant / dog trainer
Michelle Belio (Head Trainer/Founder of Pawsitively Waggin' Academy) CDBC, CPDT-KA, Fear Free Certified Trainer, BA Psychology, MA Animal Behavior and Conservation 2021) is a certified dog behavior consultant and certified professional dog trainer. Our company uses force-free, positive reinforcement dog training techniques, which is the only training style that is backed up by science to help your dog in a safe effective manner. Michelle will be finishing up her graduate studies in Animal Behavior and Conservation (MA) at Hunter College in 2021.
Michelle's favorite types of dog clients to work with are those with fear-based issues. To her, there is nothing better than changing a dog's life around from one of complete anxiety to one without stress. In her spare time, she competes with her Border Collie Arya in Disc, Dock Diving, Rally, Scent Work and Trick Dog. They are currently training to debut in Agility and Herding this year. Her future goals are to open up a force-free center in New York that includes a behavioral wing, and a dog sports center.
Dog & Cat Trainer
Animals have always played a pivotal role in Mike’s life. From the time he learned about the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in National Geographic at 8 years old, he knew he wanted to someday work with animals, most specifically, canids. Mike has had the opportunity to travel the world conducting hands-on behavior and conservation research. His love of animal behavior was cemented while living in the remote wildlands of north-central Kenya studying and living alongside elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and more. He has had the opportunity to work with a variety of captive and wild canids. It was however during Mike’s time as a volunteer at a local shelter that he became increasingly interested in domestic canine behavior.
Mike completed his BA in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he focused heavily on the conservation components of the discipline of Sustainable Development. While at Columbia, Mike was nominated and appointed to the Earth Institute Student Advisory Council, and aided in launching the Earth Institutes multi-year Climate Adaptation Initiative. He is currently finishing his MA in Animal Behavior and Conservation at CUNY Hunter College, where he is researching the use of visual signals in African wild dogs. Mike has authored multiple official reports/publications and presented at major conferences. He continues to further his education through accredited journal articles, books and networking with others in the field of animal behavior.
In his free time Mike enjoys competing in multiple dog sports with his dogs, as well as hiking and exploring much of the northeast. In addition, he enjoys traveling to remote areas to pursue his passion of canine (Creative Canine Photography) and wildlife photography.