About

Meet Our Dog Trainers & Team

Our History

Crystal Dunn started Leaps N’ Hounds as a small  private training operation in 2008.  Audrey Weir later joined to offer pet sitting services.  We approach dog training and pet sitting  with a kindness and professionalism that you and your pets will love.  Our company is built on a passion for pets, accountability, education, and a love for what we do.

Our Mission

To help our clients reach their training goals using kind training techniques that deepen the bonds between them and their dogs.


Bios

Crystal Dunn  -Founder / Training Director/Behavior Consultant

Specialties: Canine Behavior, Obedience, Therapy, Feline Behavior, Canine Nutrition

Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)
Professional Member APDT #74717
Canine Good Citizen Evaluator – CGC# 74158

1610822_10152891401714181_8502061309044333523_nCrystal is a unique breed in her field –  not just a dog person, but also a people person.  Her ability to relate to her clients, both canine and human, helps them navigate training with approaches that work for them, even if a little outside the box.  A well trained dog is great.  Helping her clients find the balance and bond that they seek with their dogs is ideal.

She started her dog life as a volunteer at shelters in Houston and quickly fell in love with training and behavior.  After six years in the software industry, she switched gears and went to the dogs in 2006. You can read more about Crystal’s transition to the dog world in this issue of Austin Woman.

Her patience and  drive to connect with the underdogs paved her way as a trainer and has guided her toward wonderful educators and mentors over the years, learning about numerous approaches to training and behavior modification.  As a no-kill advocate, Crystal served as lead adviser to The City of Conroe, working with the Chief of Police and Animal Control towards revamping their city shelter as a no-kill facility in 2009.  She helped put an end to breed restrictions, set up veterinary care, and educate staff on animal handling and safety protocol. She has also worked with The Healing Species of Tx as an instructor and therapy dog handler.  If practice makes a skilled dog trainer, Crystal has definitely put in the time, training thousands of dogs.   At one point in her career she instructed over 14 obedience classes per week, becoming one of North Houston’s most popular trainers.

In 2010 she relocated to Austin and proudly calls herself an Austinite.  She involves Leaps N’ Hounds in a number of non-profit and rescue endeavors in the city, working extensively with shelters and rescues.  She also leads the award winning Pit Crew: the  original all Pit Bull and Pit mix therapy dog team.

Crystal enjoys working with all types of dogs, from Great Danes to tiny Yorkies and every wonderful mutt in between.    She is a kind and joyful person that is truly passionate about her work, which translates to a fun and effective training experience for her clients.  One thing becomes abundantly clear when you work with Crystal – she cares deeply about her clients and their dogs and works hard to help them reach their goals.

From Left: Jack, Lyla, & Mo P. Bear (RIP 2015)

Crystal lives in North Austin with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and 2 cats.

For Leaps N’ Hounds  Crystal manages the training team, working closely with her co-trainers to offer expert training services to our clients.  She teaches obedience classes, behavior workshops, Canine Good Citizen testing, private training, and behavior counsulting.  You can find her at her North Austin office in Bentlley’s Biscuits & Bones and on location with her clients.  Classes are at Bentley’s, Lofty Dog, and the soon to open Yard Bar, which will house the Leaps N’ Hounds training center in Spring/Summer 2015.  Crystal holds a CPDT-KA with over nine years of professional training experience.

 

 

Audrey Weir ~ Pet Care Manager, Pet Sitter

Specialties: Canine Exercise Programs, Small Animal Care, Feline Care, Obedience, Puppy Cuddling!

Animal magnetism? Audrey has it -literally.  All creatures big and small seem to gravitate to her. She has a calming effect that has helped her gain a reputation

Audrey with the once timid and fearful, now quite comfortable, Dee Dee.

for bonding with even the toughest and most anti-social animals.   Audrey has a long history of volunteer work  and has worked directly in pet care since 2008. She has also instructed for Healing Species, an anti-violence and character outreach program that teaches compassion to children in the classroom with the assistance of rescued dogs.  Audrey is cross-trained in positive reinforcement based obedience techniques.  She is happy to help our furry clients maintain happy and healthy habits in things like potty training, avoiding destructive chewing, and encouraging polite jump-free greetings.

Audrey is the proud parent of Dee Dee, a Chihuahua, and Cody, a Husky/Cattle Dog mix – both rescues, and both completely perfect in every way (as she will tell you). Her favorite restaurants and Austin spots begin and end with a list of places she can hang out with her dogs. Why is Audrey in pet care? There’s nothing else she would rather do, of course!

For Leaps N’ Hounds Audrey manages most of our pet sitting endeavors.  Her keen eye for detail, gift with animals, compassion and dependability make her a truly gifted caregiver.   She is also experienced with more exotic small, scaly, &/or feathered clients.  She can be found taking some of our more energetic dog friends on hikes near Mount Bonnell and on long runs to burn some of that fun energy.

Check out our Pet Sitting Services or submit a service request to schedule a Free Meet & Greet!

Mallory Robinson ~ Dog Trainer & Behavior Specialist

Specialties: Obedience, Tracking, Hunting, Scent Detection, Behavior Modification

Pet Professional Guild Certified Trainer (#7038197)
Member of NESDCA
Certified IBBMA K9 Handler

MalloryWhen she isn’t teaching horsemanship and riding skills to equestrian enthusiasts, Mallory loves being a part of Leaps N’ Hounds!  A Texan native who has called Austin home for the past decade, her enthusiasm for working with dogs and their people is unparalleled and her excitement for dog training is easily exchanged with her pupils.  Mallory’s background starts from childhood where she started as Junior Handler showing her grandmother’s champion Boxers in AKC conformation classes.  From there, her love for helping the disadvantaged directed her to working within the shelter and rescue networks.  Volunteering as a teen with PAWS of Kyle started her on a lifelong journey of studying behavior and modification using positive, science-based methods.  After PAWS, Mallory went on as Senior Adoption Counselor for the Austin Humane Society and continued connecting pets with lasting homes. She then branched out across both worlds of dogs and horses and found a pattern emergent from two wholly different species.  Where heavy handed and archaic styles once reined supreme, there is now irrefutable evidence supporting the benefits of positive reinforcement and precision-tuned marker timing.  Utilizing a program she learned in successfully teaching horseback riders to master a balanced seat, Mallory has developed a training system for canines that is both tried and proven.

Working with hundreds of dogs from start to finish has shown Mallory that “out with the old, in with the new” has been the best philosophy when transitioning away from a world built on pain and punishment.  Her years selecting, training, and rehabilitating dogs for Central Texas SPCA‘s adoption program provided her with a plethora of experience in supporting adopters and homeless pups, which she continues today.  Mallory has guided dogs through multiple disciplines including: obedience & house manners, tracking, retrieving, hunting and scent detection, while also addressing major vice issues such as aggression & reactivity, impulsivity, and rehabilitating fear.  In competition and career work, Mallory has earned multiple hunting titles in NAVHDA and AKC as well as oversaw the K9 Detection teams for ABC Home & Commercial Services throughout Austin and San Antonio.  It is Mallory’s guiding light in life to provide a communicative bridge between human and animal in order to build the most cooperative learning opportunity for all involved.  Mallory is dedicated to her work and is absolutely thrilled to bring her own style of training to the dogs of Leaps N’ Hounds!

For Leaps N’ Hounds Mallory offers private training on location (behavior modification, obedience, and sport), classes, and board & train services.

 

Chad Hubbard ~ Dog Trainer

Specialties: Obedience, Behavior Modification, Scent Work, Detection, IPO (Protection), Sports, Group/Pack Dynamics

Certified Dog Trainer – Starmark Academy (previously Triple Crown)
IPO Title 1

Chad has been working with dogs for more than 20 years. As a certified trainer and canine behavior specialist, he has helped improve the lives of hundreds of dogs and their owners. His passion for dogs shines throughout his training and interactions with his clients. His main goal is always to improve the relationship between the dog and his/her handler. He has done everything from puppy imprinting, “Canine Good Citizen” classes, basic to advanced obedience, behavior modification, scent work, protection and sport work. Chad loves to train and compete with his German Shepherd, Witch, in IPO. IPO is a three phase dog sport consisting of tracking, obedience and protection.

For Leaps N’ Hounds Chad offers private training on location (behavior modification, obedience, and sport), classes, and board & train services.

Erin Hartiens-Santiago ~ Dog Trainer

Specialties: Obedience Training, Behavior Modification, Rescue & Rehabilitation

Erin & her dogs

Erin & her pack.

Erin has a lifetime of experience with animals. She grew up on a working farm in rural Texas and often rescued stray or injured animals that wandered up to their home. At a young age, she thought she might become a veterinarian, but instead, choose a career in the healthcare industry as a nurse.

After 15 years in the medical field, Erin was ready to get back to her roots. In 2009, she began volunteering and fostering for a local rescue group. During her time with the rescue, Erin helped to evaluate and place hundreds of dogs into foster and adoptive homes. Her own foster dogs were often adopted within just a few weeks of coming into her home! Quickly realizing that she had a special connection with these pups, she followed this path through various training internships to expand her abilities.

Since 2009, Erin has fostered, trained, and rehabilitated dogs from all walks of life. She has helped dogs overcome anxiety, fearfulness, leash reactive behavior, and learn to be a part of the family. Most recently, her rescued Pit Bull, Ellie B. became a certified therapy dog with the Pit Crew Therapy Dog Team, and an honorary mascot for her children’s sports teams.

Erin’s experience over the years has helped her connect with other dogs owners and guide them through many types of problematic behavior.  She prides herself on being honest, patient and down-to-earth – an approach that works wonders for most dogs and owners!

Currently, Erin volunteers with Love-a-bull.org, Pit Crew Therapy Training, and donates her time by fostering for several rescue groups. Erin teaches our basic and advanced obedience classes and offers Nose work and Leash Reactivity seminars through Austin Pup Culture. In her spare time, you’ll find her hiking at Walnut Creek with her four adopted dogs (Jake, Finn, Nero and Ellie B) or lounging at home with her rescue kitty, Zen. She also spends a lot of time sweeping up dog/cat hair. She lives in the North Austin area with her amazing husband and two beautiful children.

 

Jason Dunn ~ Computer Guru & Puppy Snuggler

Jason & Mo hiking around Pedernales Falls

From vacuuming the fuzz off the fan of our computers, to keeping our website and phone apps afloat – Jason is the great and powerful Oz behind the curtain.   Keeping us ahead of the curve and organized in the pet care industry is key to our success and the safety of the pets we love and care for.  Oh, and did we mention he gives a great dog massage?   Mo thinks he is the best.