About

Bios

Our History

Crystal Dunn started Leaps N’ Hounds as a small one-woman private training operation in 2008.  Since then we added our fantastic training team and our Pet Sitting and Dog Walking services with the help of Audrey Weir, Pet Care Manager and her team of pet sitters.   We continue to expand our services and team to serve the city, however we pride ourselves on being a small company that fosters close professional relationships with our clients.  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 us and our dogs.


Bios

Crystal Dunn CPDT-KA ~ Founder / Training Director/Behavior Consultant

Specialties: Canine Behavior, Obedience, Feline Behavior, Canine Nutrition, Learning Theory

Crystal with her dog, Jack as featured in      Austin Woman Magazine’s Article: This Time Around

Crystal is first a dog’s human, and second a human’s human.  Driven to rescue and help from a young age, she started her training career as a volunteer at shelters and quickly fell in love with teaching both humans and canines.  After six years in the software industry, she switched gears and went to the dogs in 2006.

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.  She involves Leaps N’ Hounds in a number of non-profit endeavors to give back to the community –  offering free obedience class spaces through rescue partners, and teaching the amazing Pit Crew Therapy Dog Program.

Having taught show dogs, agility dogs, therapy dogs, and every breed imaginable, Crystal enjoys working with all types of dogs from all walks of life.   Often referred to as a local Pit Bull expert, she has developed a bond with the underdogs of this breed that fuels her to showcase their soft, gentle, intelligent and trainable side.

As a no-kill advocate, Crystal has served as Lead Trainer and 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.  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 instructor, working with therapy dogs in schools and detention centers in Houston.  In Austin she works extensively with Love-A-Bull as teacher for their their Pit Crew therapy dog program.  Crystal also offers Canine Good Citizen testing, private training and behavior counsulting, and phone consults.

Check out the latest article on Crystal in the 2013 January Addition of Austin Woman Magazine.

From Left: Jack, Lyla, & Mo P. Bear

Crystal lives in North Austin with her husband, daughter, 3 dogs and 2 cats.  

For Leaps N’ Hounds Crystal does training, behavior consulting,  writing, and manages the Leaps N’ Hounds team and back end operations.

 

 

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!

 

 

Erin Hartiens-Santiago ~ Dog Trainer

Specialties: Canine Behavior, Obedience Training, 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.