Katrina & Phillip Kensington:
KeenDog is a lead by husband and wife team Katrina & Phillip Kensington. For nearly 7 years this dynamic duo has worked side by side to create innovative training techniques for both their clients and their trainers, with a mindset that every day we can improve as a company. It is our belief that dog training should be a fun and interactive life experience for both owner and dog, coaching both equally on how to properly communicate between two species and live a happy life together.
Katrina and Phillip exude our training philosophy of active training – they run, hike, bike, swim and weight train all with their four dogs – Zoey, a rescue Chow-mix, Bullet, a Cooper’s Australian Shepherd, Carmella, a Season’s Gold Golden Retriever, and Opie, a Southern Soul Australian Shepherd. Advocates for animal rights (Katrina herself is a vegan), this love for animals shows in their dog training techniques as they believe that training a dog to understand our language should be done using a variety of methods that is fair and fun.
Katrina has an eye for training both dogs and people, and her ability to multi-task at a quick speed, allows KeenDog to constantly be evolving. Katrina has also appeared in a variety of commercials (Cosequin) and television appearances (Good Day Charlotte), and is a leader in the dog training world with her many YouTube tutorial videos.
Phillip brings 15+ years of leadership skills to our growing team and to all of our clients. Phill is a great motivator for customers who are struggling or frustrated with their dogs. It is his belief that if owners can commit just 10 minutes of their day solely for their dog, this can catapult a bond like no other. Looking to book an appointment for puppy training, click here to book today!
Is a KeenDog trainer that has had a passion for training since a young age. Having family dogs growing up, she enjoyed teaching tricks to her childhood dog, Jake. Ashley has always been an animal person, owning small animals to horses and everything in between. Not only did she train her dogs as a child, but she began training horses as well at the age of 10. That same love for animals carried over to her education. Ashley attended NC State and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Zoology. She went on to work at a zoo in Texas, and really enjoyed working with the exotic animals. Ashley moved on from there to work as a Wrangler for Swan Mountain Outfitters in Montana, guiding horseback tours through Glacier National Park.
When Ashley returned from her adventures after her College graduation, she re-pursued her love for dogs working at The Dog Salon. Ashley has had a close connection to Season’s Gold for quite a while and enjoys riding horses at the farm, while grooming dogs for their business on the side. All of this led Ashley back into her love for dog training in Charlotte.
Ashley owns a 2 year old Sable German Shepherd named Alces, whom she has owned since he was 8 weeks of age. Ashley has attended a few dog shows with Alces, winning a puppy class together. Ashley’s strong skills in dog training make it a natural process while working with puppy projects, two week immersions, and boarders in her home. In addition to training, Ashley loves spending leisure time with her own animals by taking them to Vineyards and Breweries. Some of her other interests include art walks, hiking, and watching science documentaries.
Growing up, Brittany always had a love for dogs. In her own words: “I was the friend that came over and said hi to the family dog before anyone else, and in turn I was the designated pet/dog sitter. I found my passion for dog training in college at UNC Wilmington, when I enrolled in a course called “Assistance Dogs”. This was a 4 course certification where you learn the fundamentals of service dogs and how to train them. By the 3rd semester you are given a dog and are responsible for their Public Access training; making sure they behave appropriately in public settings. My dog’s name was Ella and she went to a young boy named, Alex living with cerebral palsy. This was one, if not the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.
I quickly realized after getting a 9-5 office job, that that lifestyle was not for me. I found myself sitting at my desk thinking to myself, what I would give to train dogs as a living. As each day passed and the same thought came to my head, I decided to take action and work toward making this dream a reality.
The relationship between a dog and it’s owner(s) is so unique. Having the ability to help people build that bond and relationship is extremely rewarding, as dogs play such a big role in our lives. My passion drives from the idea that every dog has the potential to be a great dog. I am driven to help people reach their dog goals and build the lifestyle they dream of.
Of course, how can I talk about my passion for dogs and training without mentioning my very own K-9 companion Dexter. I rescued Dexter from the Mecklenburg Animal Shelter when he was 5 months old. Dexter was lucky enough to “attend” college and he was quite the ladies man, if I do say so myself. Dexter has always been a bit squidish, but since working with him and building his confidence with the KeenDog training techniques, I have see huge improvements. He is a perfect example that old dogs can learn new tricks.
I am honored to have this opportunity to work with KeenDog and can not wait to see what the future holds. The possibilities are endless.
Nina has been working with animals for the past several years. Most recently, Nina completed her bachelor’s of science in biology and conservation ecology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. During her time in Virginia, Nina worked with several different zoos and organizations focused on animal husbandry and conservation. She has worked with animals big and small, from rhinos to tigers and was one of the first to obtain a voluntary blood draw from a tiger’s tail through proper training.
She has been training exotic animals for many years, but excitedly switched her focus upon discovering KeenDog. She has been working with Phill and Katrina for a little over a year now while completing school and is very excited to finally be able to pursue her passion full time. She is truly a lover of all animals, but has found working with dogs to be her favorite way to connect with both people and their K9 companions. She loves to see the transformations dogs undergo when going through our program and knows just how big of a difference a well-trained dog can make for a family.
Nina’s companion dog is Honey, a recently rescued lab mix who was destined for un-happy ending after her owners in Florida could no longer have her. Nina and her fiancé Skylar rescued Honey, and have already begun to discover what an amazing dog she is. There is so much more this team will accomplish and impact the Charlotte community and beyond!