Marsha Penner, Ph.D., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA (she/her/hers)

A behavioral neuroscientist by training, Marsha spent 25 years in academia, where she published her work in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and was honored with awards for excellence in teaching and public service. She turned her love of learning, behavior, and teaching into a full time career as a professional dog trainer after graduating from the the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior in 2015.



Marsha continues to pursue education in humane, science-based training methods. The following is a list of some of Marsha’s credentials (click on the underlined text to learn more about each organization):


Training Methods

Marsha uses positive reinforcement to train new behaviors and is committed to making both her human and canine learners love the process of learning to dog together.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), one of the leading organizations dedicated to animal behavior, recommends using reward-based training. “Based on current scientific evidence, AVSAB recommends that only reward-based training methods are used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems.”. You can find their complete position statement here.

“Training is about teaching animals to live in our world successfully” -Ken Ramirez


Providing professional force-free, positive reinforcement training, including puppy school, private puppy training, puppy classes, dog training, canine good citizen, and more in Durham, and surrounding areas including Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Morrisville, Bahama, Northwest Raleigh. Our puppy classes are held in our training studio in central Durham (902 Cleveland Street).