Lorian has been a devoted animal lover since forever. Since she was old enough to coax the stray neighborhood cats and dogs off the South Austin streets and help return them home (or adopt them!).
She got involved with dog training and behavior modification early in middle school with a rescued stray dog named Loki. The rescue itself was an event: a scraggly, terrified dog showed up in front of the house in the rain. She had clearly been wandering the streets and was hungry but untrusting. Lorian made camp on the front porch, tossing kibble to lure the dog closer and gain trust. As the dog eventually got closer with each bite, she would get spooked and run back away from the house. After several hours of this dance, the scared, wet dog mustered the courage to cross the threshold of the porch and literally leapt into Lorian’s lap, exhausted, cold, and finally home. TRAINER’S NOTE: Looking back, middle-school-me was unknowingly engaging in a training game called Treat And Retreat. Today, we use this method as a valid and humane way to create trust and safety for a scared dog. This was my first experience helping a dog learn to trust me, and I now have a deep love and appreciation for all sensitive dogs trying their hardest to be brave in a scary world.
Their bond was instantly strong, but Loki was a complicated soul with unknown trauma from her past experiences. During group obedience class, Loki and Lorian built an understanding that would become the foundation for their whole relationship. Lorian’s future commitment to working with the tricky, misjudged dogs was born from this development of partnership. During the following years, Lorian would spend hours reading, researching, and practicing training methods. Eventually she became a certified Petco dog trainer, utilizing positive reinforcement methods and teaching private and group dog training classes.
The Next Generation
After Loki’s reign came Bentley, the devoted yet complicated dog who dropped into Lorian’s life with a mixture of generalized anxiety, separation issues, and leash reactivity. Through their 11 years together, Bentley taught Lorian about patience and deep, intuitive connection. He helped shape her to grow into the compassionate dog-lover she is today.
In 2015, Lorian joined the ranks of volunteers at Austin Animal Center, the local city shelter. She fell in love with the chaos of rescue and the no-kill commitment. She also solidified her passion for helping sensitive, misunderstood dogs and guiding the people supporting them.
At the shelter, Lorian was hired as the Group Volunteer Coordinator in August of 2016. She then took on the role of Adult Dog Foster Coordinator in January 2017. She taught rescues and shelters from all over the country about creating and managing successful dog foster programs during her tenure in the Dog Foster Program Apprenticeship and Maddie’s Lifesaving Academy.
At the beginning of 2020, the first day of the year, Lorian said farewell to her soul-dog, Bentley. Several months later, at the very beginning of Austin’s quarantine due to COVID-19, on the first day of closures, Lorian picked up a new foster dog from Austin Animal Center.
Biski (f.k.a. Biscuit) expertly and adorably wedged herself into the dog-shaped hole that Bentley had left. She was made a permanent member of the family shortly after being fostered. Today, Biski and Lorian help teach other dogs and their humans about positive-based training, how to handle reactive melt-downs, how to bring joy back to neighborhood walks, and together they hope to make a difference and improve the lives of walking partners everywhere.
Lately, Lorian has been working the wonderful, Austin-based, non-profit training group, Every Dog Behavior & Training. She also achieved her CPDT-KA certification, has been teaching group training classes and working with private clients, and loving her constantly growing mission of helping pups and parents through new ventures!
Thanks to the following folks who have supported and loved me into the launching of this great new adventure!
- Celeste Epstein – web development
- Sarah Throop – photography
- The Logo Review Team (Bridget, Jenny, Sam, Kat & Lizzy)
- Denise Fischer – patronage & long walks
- Marcia Rosenberger – mentorship & spiritual leadings
- All the dogs who teach me!