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Wag & Train Kari Bastyr with Birdie

Meet Birdie

Born in March of 2021, Birdie is a Chocolate Lab whom you will meet on Zoom I’m sure- she loves to make an appearance!  She is pure joy in a fuzz-filled package. She and I are working towards becoming a finished service dog team. I have severe Celiac Disease, and she will be my gluten detection dog. Fingers and paws crossed! We train with Willow Service Dogs. Follow us on Instagram @glutensniffingbirdie.

Wag & Train Birdie Gluten Detection Dog 2

Kari Bastyr – Founder, Wag & Train


Hello! My name is Kari Bastyr, MS, CDBC, VSPDT and I am the founder of Wag & Train Animal Behavior Specialists. I specialize in animal behavior and dogs with severe behavioral problems. I am certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a licensed VSPDT trainer with Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training, a member of the Animal Behavior Society, and a member of the Pet Professional Guild.  I am a certified Pet Nutrition Specialist, have completed a Masters Class in Canine Nutrition, currently studying for an additional nutrition certification through Feed Real Institute, and am currently working on my Fear Free Certification

In 1993, I received a B.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, and earned a Masters Degree in Animal Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis in 1995, both from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN.  While completing my coursework in St. Cloud, I began working with Dr. R.K. Anderson and Ruth Foster, co-inventors of the Gentle Leader, through Alpha Academy in Minneapolis. In 2001, I moved to Denver, Colorado and created Wag & Train because there were no reward-based trainers there at the time. I was the staff behaviorist at Alameda East in the mid-2000s, which was the home of Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets”. In 2018, I expanded Wag & Train to Minneapolis after I moved back… I wanted to be near lots of water again!  I continue to volunteer my time with Big Dogs Huge Paws and Safe Harbor Lab Rescue in Denver, and I work with several rescues in the Twin Cities.

In 2019, I started working on my nutrition certification, and completed my coursework and testing from two different schools. Currently, I am working on a third because I am a lifelong student and enjoy constantly expanding my expertise. What a dog eats directly affects his or her behavior, so being able to add to my knowledge of diet, nutrition, supplements, and improving gut health to change behavior is essential for me. I treat the ‘whole dog’, including emotions, behavior, and how they are affected by the gut-brain axis. 


  • 1995: Masters Degree in Animal Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis

  • 1993: Bachelors Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

  • Certified & Licensed Dog Trainer with Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training

  • Member of the Pet Professional Guild

  • Member of the Animal Behavior Society

  • Certified Pet Nutrition Specialist

  • Certified Canine Nutrition Master Course

  • In Progress: Professional Canine Nutrition Certification from Feed Real Institute

  • In Progress: Fear Free Certification from Fear Free Pets

  • Currently interning with Willow Service Dogs for gluten detection

I provide dog parents positive training, guidance, and support.

I provide dog parents tools and training through positive behavior modification that build an unbreakable human-dog bond. I have 30+ years of experience working with anxious, fearful, and aggressive dogs, and am very proud to say I don’t use any choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars. I use my knowledge from my Animal Behavior degrees, my experience working with thousands of stressed dogs, and my passion for creating a safe space for both dogs and humans to help change emotions and behavior. Click for some of my Client Reviews!

Wag & Train Kari Bastyr
Wag & Train - Paisley

Sadly, my perfect, beloved Chocolate Lab, Paisley, died in January 2021. She was 11, and her loss has left a huge hole in my life. Paisley was my ride-or-die for 11 years, and I learned how to be a better human and trainer because of her joy, spunkiness, intelligence, fairness, and forgiveness. She is still in all of my pictures on the website, and I will keep her there so others can see her beautiful smile. I will always refer to her as my “Dessert Dog” and I hope everyone gets to be loved by a dog like her in their lifetime.

Paisley, my love, and the teacher of the teacher

Dogs Naturally Pet Food Nutrition Specialist - Wag & Train
Vicotria Stillwell Positively Traininig Certified Dog Trainer - Wag & Train
The Science Dog Nutrition Masters - Wag & Train
Pet Professional Guild - Wag & Train
Animal Behavior Spciety - Wag & Train
raw Pet Food Nutrition  Specialist - Wag  & Train
IAABC - Wag & Train
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