Born and raised in the small (but proud) Eastern European nation of Estonia, Pilla moved to Texas in early 2015. She has worked professionally in the animal field since 2012, when she was the administrator of the Tartu Animal Shelter in Estonia, but she has been an animal lover and nature enthusiast as far back as she can remember. Currently, Pilla lives in the southwest Houston area and has three dogs: a Great Dane named Remy, a mixed-breed hound named Ricky, and a Yorkshire Terrier named Ruby. Each member of this little home pack presents their own set of rewards and challenges when it comes to training, and when Pilla is not working with her clients, she is preparing for AKC conformation shows or obedience trials. Pilla is very enthusiastic about competing with her dogs, a passion that started in 2004 when her Great Dane won third place in an obedience trial in Estonia. Pilla has competed in various AKC conformation events in and around Texas, and recently her Great Dane, Remy, was awarded the AKC Canine Good Citizen title.
While in Estonia, Pilla attended the Estonian University of Life Sciences, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in natural science resources and conservation. When Pilla moved to the U.S., she started her own dog training business, Pilla’s Pet Services, and began studying to become a professional dog trainer. Finally, in 2016 she received her certificate from the Animal Behavior College. Through the Animal Behavior College dog trainer program, she also had the pleasure of working with her mentor trainer, Marcia Long, by leading some of Marcia’s training classes. Since Pilla’s initial certification, she has also taken additional education courses in other areas of interest, such as, pet CPR and first aid, the art of teaching private lessons, cat training, and training shelter dogs. Pilla has a passion for education, and she strives to continually learn more about animal training, care, and biology.
As a result of working in an animal shelter for many years and owning a rescue dog herself, Pilla has a special interest in helping those who are having difficulty living in harmony with the dogs they have rescued. Saving the life of a shelter animal is a very noble act of kindness, but often times this commitment comes with many situation-specific challenges that dog owners don’t expect to face. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a dog trainer is watching each owner build and foster the bond they have with their dog. And it is with this goal in mind that Pilla approaches each training case that she works on.
One of Pilla’s most inspirational dog trainer idols is Victoria Stilwell, a passionate advocate for positive reinforcement dog training methods. Training with your dog should be a bonding experience; breaking through the interspecies communication barrier and allowing the dog and handler team to reach its full potential. Working with our dogs in a fun, positive manner creates the most effective and long-lasting connection. Ultimately, a well-trained dog is not only a fun companion, but also a happy, well-adjusted member of the family.