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

A behavioral neuroscientist by training, Marsha spent 25 years in the academic world, 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. She is a certified training partner (CTP) through the Karen Pryor Academy, and the Certification Council for Profession Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Marsha is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) where she currently serves on the Education Committee. She is also a Certified Fear Free Professional and an evaluator for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen certification.

Marsha adheres to the Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive (LIMA) standard of care. You can read more about these standards of care here. She 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.  

Not sure how to choose a trainer that is right for you? The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has an easy to use handout to help you choose, which you can find 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).