Desireé Kilen, Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer (ABCDT), has always loved animals especially dogs. Despite the many job titles she’s held over the years which include a stint as a movie theater manager, a bell desk dispatcher, a board operator and a receptionist, she’s always had a passion for working with dogs and their owners. To her, helping owners develop happy and healthy relationships with their four-legged companions is essential to a harmonious partnership.
“I love helping people and bringing humans and animals closer through training and trust-building,” she said. “I bring my love of animals to everyone I work with which is why I want to share everything I know about dogs to help owners build stronger relationships with them.”
It’s this commitment to educating owners that Desireé accepted an opportunity to participate in America Matters’ radio call-in program “Out to Lunch with Deidra” [Martinez]. The one-hour, four-segment program airs on Mondays from noon until 1 p.m. PDT. During her segment, Desireé answers questions and talks about everything from correcting negative behaviors and when to call the veterinarian to understanding dog breeds and basic dog training techniques.
“A caller asked how he could get his dog to stop eating trash,” she recalled. “I explained that some dogs will raid the trash out of boredom or when they smell something interesting. Some do it because they’re hungry.”
She advised the caller to ensure the pooch is well-fed and that his nutritional needs are being met. She also encouraged him to take the canine on walks to ensure he receives adequate exercise and to seek professional dog training if necessary.
“When the caller hung up, I found my mind racing. I came up with even more suggestions and contacted him after the show through Facebook,” she laughed.
Desireé has always enjoyed learning and teaching. In fact, she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and at one time planned to be a teacher. Disillusioned by a public education system overly focused on test-scores, she decided not to pursue a teaching career. In 2016, it was her desire to be “her own boss” doing what she enjoyed most – training dogs and their owners – that inspired her to enroll in ABC’s Dog Trainer Program.
“I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and felt that making a difference in a dog’s life would be even better,” she said. “[In addition to the training received at ABC], I felt I could use my Elementary Education degree and apply what I learned to become a dog trainer.”
In April of 2017, Desireé opened a dog training business called Desireé’s Dog Training in Reno, Nevada where she offers positive reinforcement training and behavioral counseling. In addition, she teaches lessons in Sparks, Nevada. The busy entrepreneur works full-time as a Traffic Assistant for a local radio station and spends all of her spare time training dogs and building her business.
“I enjoy watching the relationship between dogs and their owners improve from when I first begin working with them to when we’re finished,” she said. “I love being able to see that when dogs are trained properly, the owners see an obvious difference and are so very happy.”
In addition to building her dog training business, Desireé plans to open a doggy daycare with her mother once she can find a building to house it. She looks forward to the day when she can work at her business full-time and bring her dogs to work with her.
“I want to be able to spend more time with my four-legged babies,” she said excitedly. “I’ve learned to never give up on dreams that you work towards every day. Stay positive. Everything will work out.”
Desireé’s next call-in segment will take place at noon on Monday, May 21st. To listen, visit AmericaMatters.us.