Dawn Gilkison

Dawn Gilkison

Dog Trainer

Positive Solutions Dog Training


My road in life took a while to figure out.
First, I was born on the day that a dog, Laika, was launched into space on Sputnik II.
Then I grew up with dogs in the family and preferring stuffed animals to dolls.
Then I got interested in science, especially biology and ecology.
Then I studied biology in college, taking a class in animal behavior which led to my thesis.
Then I went to graduate school where I continued to study animal behavior.
Then I got a teaching certificate and became a high school science teacher.
School district ran out of money, my job became awful, I quit.
Then I went to the Karen Pryor Academy to get a dog trainer certification.
Keep following my journey


Dog Trainer

I work with dogs and their owners to create attentive companions and focused performance dogs.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

I work one-on-one with clients and their dogs at their homes or in their neighborhood. Using positive reinforcement, I teach clients how to train their dogs and achieve their goals for their pet or performance dog.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Study animal behavior and the psychology of animal learning.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You should keep your job, you will never be successful in your own business"

Challenges I Overcame