We’re diggin’ on Detroiters who are the top dogs in the animal care industry. These entrepreneurs, innovators and educators are what make our community a top notch place to own our pups. We hope you enjoy learning about Detroit’s Dog Bosses as much as we enjoy working with them.
Katelin Thomas is the Founder of K9 Turbo Training. Along with a double major in Psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies, she is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Katelin also works closely with us at Canine to Five, and K9 Turbo holds a variety of dog training classes at our Detroit and Ferndale locations as well as private lessons.
Q: When did you know you wanted to work with animals and how did you get there?
A: After my first year of training my personal dog I decided to jump into training more seriously for rescue and shelter dogs in my community. I started working with a local group that focused on community outreach in the city of Detroit, another passion of mine (shout out to Dog Aide!), which led me to my first professional training job as the Behavior Specialist at a local Humane Society where I stayed for several years.
While finishing up my degree in Psychology and researching behavior as often as I could, I decided to start training until I could “find a real job”, not imagining my passion could possibly be my career. This brought me to meet my now partner and closest friend, Kate Wilson. In a matter of weeks we had full books and we opened what would now be K9 Turbo Training. All events that serendipitously changed the course of our lives and introduced us to this amazing team of incredible trainers and dog-loving warriors.
I feel lucky every day that this wild ride brought me to this amazing training community. None of us can do this alone and we count our blessings as we all continue to grow this awesome organization that is geared towards teaching people how to have only the best relationship and training options for their dogs in Detroit and beyond.
Q: What do you like the most about working with dogs?
A: You know, sometimes people tell me they would like our jobs because they like dogs more than people. I have to say that we love our jobs because of people, not in spite of them. We love being able to give people a great relationship with their dogs. Teaching each training team how to communicate and work together is an amazingly beautiful thing. With my own dog, Turbo, I didn’t have resources and made a lot of mistakes along the way. I like being able to provide people with opportunities to get it right the first time. Making resources accessible, it’s my favorite thing.
Q: What’s the most exciting thing happening in your organization this year?
A: This year we are launching our HUGE webinar and seminar series and are focusing on crossing state lines for education. We are going to be bringing education from right here in Detroit to as Canada, Minneapolis Wisconsin and beyond. We are over the moon about the ability to help more people both in and out of our community. The second annual 2020 Science of Animal Behavior Conference is a pretty exciting addition to our dock as well!
Q: Favorite dog breed, and why?
A: Australian Cattle Dog is the newest addition to my home and I am in love. He is fun, spunky, he has his own (very strong) opinions and ideas. He makes me laugh and is like a little ball of fun in my house. I also love anything with a blocky head (hey there pitty lovers) and German Shepherds. I have so many favorites. It’s hard to choose just one!
Q: What’s one thing you want dog owners in Metro Detroit to know?
A: That you have a community here to support you. Detroit is getting educated at unprecedented rates. Everything from amazing behavior-focused veterinarians, daycares, boarding facilities, support groups to trainers. The community is coming together to help dogs and to get up-to-date as fast as possible. It’s wild. When we travel elsewhere, cities and states are years behind us. It’s amazing to see Detroit so far ahead of so many other places.
We are here for you. Education is here. If you need help finding resources, we are happy to connect you to reliable resources that fit your needs.
Detroit is here. And the behavior-focused professionals are coming in an army.