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Michelle Belio

Head Trainer + Owner
certified dog Behavior Consultant / dog trainer

Michelle Belio (Head Trainer/Founder of Pawsitively Waggin' Academy) CDBC, CPDT-KA, FFCP, BA Psychology, MA Animal Behavior and Conservation (competing thesis) is a certified dog behavior consultant and certified professional dog trainer. Our company uses LIMA based, 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 is finishing up her graduate studies in Animal Behavior and Conservation (MA) at Hunter College.

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 you can find her hiking somewhere in the North East or competing with her dog at a trial. She competes with her Border Collie Arya in Disc, Dock Diving, Rally, Scent Work, Agility, and Trick Dog.


Her future goals are to open up a LIMA/force-free center in New York that includes a behavioral wing, and a dog sports center.

Michelle's certifications

  • Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) - IAABC

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) - CCPDT

  • Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer (FFCP) - Fear Free Pets

  • MA Animal Behavior & Conservation (completing thesis) - Hunter College

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continuing education

  • The Lemonade Conference 2020

  • The Lemonade Conference 2021

  • The Lemonade Conference 2022

  • Cooperative Care and Beyond Conference 2022

  • IAABC Pounce 2021

  • Recallers by Susan Garrett

  • Suzanne Clothier Seminars

    • ​Fight or Flight?  Understanding and Helping Fearful, Shy and Reactive Dogs 

    • Relationship Centered Training

    • From Confused to Connected:  Finding the Paths to Better Dog/Human Relationships 

    • From Maddening to Maturity

    • Enriched Puppy Protocol: Raising Confident, Coordinated & Connected Canines

    • What’s The Problem? Solving the Puzzle of Behavior, Training and Performance

  • OneMind Dogs

  • Malena DeMartini Webinars

    • Separation Anxiety (Puppy Works)​

  • Trish King Webinars

    • Fearful Dogs: Tools to Cope with Reactivity​

  • Pat Miller Webinars​​

    • Excitability​

  • FDSA

    • ​Stop! Drop! and... STAY! Reliable distance downs for herding (Helene Lawler)

    • Ring Entrances – Train Your Dog to Happily Leave Rewards Outside the Agility or Obedience Ring (Nancy Gagliardi Little)

    • Houston, Weave Got a Problem (Megan Foster)

    • Go the Distance: Getting Bigger Jumps for Dock Diving (REPEAT) (Sara Brueske)

    • The Tipping Point: Contacts and Teeters (Barbara Currier)

    • Intro to Agility - Handling Basics (Loretta Mohler)

    • Foundations, Foundations, Foundations for Nosework (Stacy Barnett)

    • Container Wizardry: Fixes, Proofs, and Results (Stacy Barnett)

    • Fun with FUNdamentals: Progress Games for Success (Stacy Barnett)

    • Green Dog Setups for Spectacular Skills

    • Polishing Skills for NW2 and NW3 (Stacy Barnett)


Michael Spiotta

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.

Michael's certifications

  • MA Animal Behavior & Conservation (2022) - Hunter College


continuing education

  • The Lemonade Conference 2020

  • The Lemonade Conference 2021

  • The Lemonade Conference 2022

  • IAABC Pounce 2021

  • Recallers by Susan Garrett

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