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Our Founder, Kathleen O’Connell James

Kathleen O’Connell James has been training dogs and teaching canine behavior to their owners for two decades. Kathleen’s success as a dog trainer stems from her profound respect of every canine she meets and her innate ability to immediately connect and communicate with them. Her passion for working with dogs comes from the perspective of motivating them to learn, not forcing them into specific behaviors.

Kathleen’s unique ability to read and feel the energy of dogs, coupled with her expertise in teaching owners to communicate clearly with their dogs to get the behaviors they desire, enables us at Atlantic K9 to provide our clients a personal training experience like no other.

In the early years of Kathleen’s career, she sought out world-renowned German trainer, Gottfried Dildei, to learn specific skills and training approaches to help her clients interact and communicate on a deeper level with their canine companions. Through Gottfried’s mentorship, Kathleen established groundbreaking and proven dog training techniques and effective training tools to address any kind of behavioral challenge.

Kathleen continues to implement Gottfried’s training methods by utilizing and passing on the methods he uses in his Schutzhund training (a dog sport that consists of tracking, obedience, and protection) to her own clients to help work with and understand their dogs better.

Our Philosophy

At Atlantic K9 we take a holistic approach to dog training that enables us to address the underlying root cause of what drives a dog’s behavior. Our scientifically sound training methods foster a balanced approach where we focus on both the personality and temperament of the dog as well as the dynamics within the family, immediately setting the stage for success. We do this by creating customized training programs based on realistic goals and expectations that are in alignment with the spirit of every dog, and fully commit to educating all of our dog owners on this integrated approach.

As a dog training school, we truly appreciate the characteristics of each one of our canine friends. We take pride in our experienced dog trainers’ ability to read body language, manage the energy within our dog training groups, and de-escalate tough situations if they arise, allowing us to create training groups that align with each dog’s personality and provide them with the best environment to drive behavior change.

Learn more about our approach and the various training services we have available.