Dog learning how to shake

Meet the Trainers

Oregon Humane Society’s trainers are Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) or working towards their certification.

We believe in building a strong, healthy bond between pets and people through positive reinforcement.


Abby Karth, CPDT-KA

Abby, CPDT-KA, has experience training dogs, both for clients as well as in shelters. She has worked in day cares and boarding facilities before coming to OHS.

 She is a native Oregonian and shares her home with a poodle mix dog and a calico cat. She loves to garden and do various crafts.

Courtney Bayer, CPDT-KA

Courtney Bayer, CPDT-KA, is a CCS-Pro graduate from Northwest School of Canine Studies in Seattle and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Courtney has over a decade of experience working with animal rescue organizations and shelters in the D.C. area and in New Orleans, where she focused on the rehabilitation of fearful and reactive dogs and taught classes on basic manners, agility, and puppy socialization. Her passion is coaching adolescent dogs and their owners, showing them that a training lifestyle can and should be lots of fun!

In her free time, Courtney likes to take her Boxer mix, Fiona, on long “sniffaris,” road trips, and to trick training or nose work classes. When Fiona wants a day off, Courtney and her husband enjoy baseball games, brew pubs and talking about having a cat again someday!

Jennifer Shirley, CPDT-KA

Jennifer Shirley, CPDT-KA, joined the Oregon Humane Society’s Training and Behavior Department in 2007. Prior to that, she was a volunteer and joined OHSTAR (Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue) after her life-altering experience in New Orleans post hurricane Katrina (and during hurricane Rita).

She usually has a newly-arrived, terrified Chihuahua or Terrier with her at her desk and does her best to help Behavior Helpline callers resolve their animals’ issues.

She shares her home with her husband, Bruce, and their Shiba Inu/Husky mix Emi, an alumna from OHS.

Jenn Fiendish, VTS(B), CPDT-KA

Jenn Fiendish, CVT, VTS (Behavior), CPDT-KA, CTDI, FFCP-E, FFCT has been in the animal care profession for 30 years, with the past 12 focusing on animal behavior and training.  She is the owner of Happy Power Behavior and Training in Portland, OR. In addition to her work here at OHS, she also helps with patient care and management at Synergy Veterinary Behavior.

In her free time, Jenn enjoys equestrian sports, reading, and is an avid crocheter. She shares her home with hairless dogs, geese, a snake, and one very patient husband.

Krista, OHS trainer
Krista Maxwell, CPDT-KA

Krista, CPDT-KA, worked at several animal rescues and shelters in the Los Angeles area before coming to OHS. Striking out on her own and founding her own business— which provided contact training services to pet stores, doggy daycares, and shelters—she honed her expertise in various aspects of dog training including agility. Krista’s instructional repertoire includes both cats and dogs, with a particular affinity for shy, reactive, and dogs with breed specific needs.

Krista’s passion for training extends beyond the basics, emphasizing the well-being and confidence of every student and helping build a long-lasting pet and owner relationship.

In her free time, Krista enjoys hiking with her dogs, reading, crafting, photography, and exploring the Portland area.

Lea-Ann Yakabe, CPDT-KA

Lea-Ann Yakabe, CPDT-KA, came to dog training relatively late in life. Her life changed after adopting her very first dog from OHS in 2003. She was taken completely by surprise by the depth of her love for this dog and her fascination with learning how to better communicate with her. This started her on the path of dog training.

The part of dog training that Lea-Ann enjoys most is working with the dog-human team and helping them discover how fun and rewarding training together can be. She finds it so fulfilling to see how it enhances and strengthens their bond with each other.

Lea-Ann firmly believes that having dogs in her life makes her a much better human being than she would be without them.

Nick Tahran

Nick Tahran teaches classes with his wife, Paulina. They’ve been involved with OHS for several years as dog walkers, foster parents, Dog Trainer Prep students, and now instructors themselves! They enjoy sharing what they’ve learned with their enthusiastic students. Nick believes dog training is largely physical, like learning to play a sport or musical instrument, so they teach dynamic classes with plenty of time for students to practice and learn by doing.

OHS Trainer Paulina Tehran posing with her dogs
Paulina Tahran, CPDT-KA

Paulina Tahran, CPDT-KA, started as a volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society. After a few years of volunteering at the shelter, fostering dogs with special behavioral needs, working at daycares and as an on-call trainer, she became a staff trainer working with staff, volunteers and members of the public through group classes and private consultations.

Right now, Paulina and her husband, Nick, share their house with two rescue Akitas: klutzy Ronin and his best friend, even klutzier, Billy.

As a dog trainer, she views every dog as an opportunity to broaden her dog training skills and she particularly likes working with adolescent and overstimulated dogs.

Paulina is inspired by those trainers and scientists who approach dog behavior and training with insight, patience and also humor, such as Jean Donaldson, Chiraq Patel, Sindhoor Pangal and Simone Mueller . She is a force free trainer who follows LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) methodology.  

OHS trainer Teresa with dog at the beach
Teresa Spittler, CPDT-KA

Teresa Spittler, CPDT-KA, is a certified professional dog trainer and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. As a fun-loving, active and hard-working individual, Teresa found dog training to be the perfect complement to her lifestyle. Prior to becoming a trainer, Teresa spent years working in the dog daycare and pet sitting industry, giving her plenty of hands-on experience and a strong foundation in dog body language.
Teresa thrives on a challenge and loves watching the dogs she works with transform into happy, healthy pets. In her free time, Teresa loves spending time outside in nature with her dogs. She enjoys running, hiking, nose work, and teaching her canine and feline companions new tricks.

More Training Help

Have questions about our training facilities or classes? Need more help for your pet? Check out our frequently-asked questions, use our interactive resource tool, sign up for a training class, or book a private training to find solutions.