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Instructor Information

Christina O'Brien

Christina O’Brien teaches both the “Mental Fun & Games For Your Dog” and “How To Help Your Barking/Lunging Dog” classes. Why, you might ask? Two border collies, who need both mental and physical exercise, and one of whom is a difficult dog. Chris is neither a dog trainer nor an animal behaviorist, but long experience has led her to many great local and online resources that help in both situations. Her background is in environmental education, teaching kindergartners through senior citizens, and wildlife rehabilitation. Now retired, she and her husband remain active volunteering, hiking, and improving wildlife habitat in their Boise back yard when not out with their dogs.


Chris has found it impossible to tire out border collies with physical exercise; the more she works them, the fitter they become, and the harder it is to wear them out. So she added mental exercise, and finds that it not only tires them out, it strengthens her bond with them, keeps their brain cells firing, builds confidence, and is just plain fun.


Her dearly departed border collie Habi led her on an in-depth journey through behavioral modification and management techniques as Habi grew from a barking/lunging nightmare to a go-almost-anywhere/do-almost-anything companion. The “Barking/Lunging Dogs” class is Chris’ compilation of what she wishes she had known at the start of Habi’s saga. She is now applying all that to life with new difficult-dog Rowan.


Kristina Grimes 20 years ago, Kristina Grimes lived in an apartment with a terrier who was getting long walks morning, noon and night, but the neighbors reported he was barking while she was at work. When increasing the exercise didn't work, a trainer turned her onto dog toys. Over the years, Kristina has collected a large variety of toys and learned more about mental stimulation, and the importance of simple things such as letting dogs sniff while on walks. Today, she shares a home with a (different) aging terrier and a lively Humane Society foster-fail poodle mix.