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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 very close to becoming a finished service dog team.  I have severe Celiac Disease, and she is my gluten detection dog. She has an amazing nose and imprinted to the gluten odor when she was a neonate.  She loves fetch, food (shocker), snuggling, and people watching at the airport when we travel.  She makes people smile all the time! 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, CPCN, and I am the founder of Wag & Train Animal Behavior Specialists. I love studying animal behavior and working with dogs who have severe behavior problems. I am certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a Certified Professional Canine Nutritionist from the Feed Real Institute, 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 also a certified Pet Nutrition Specialist, and have completed a Masters Class in Canine Nutrition

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 2014, due to health issues, I started down the rabbit whole of wellness and nutrition in my own life, and it bled over into my professional life. While I've always known there was a correlation between food & behavior when working with dogs, it wasn't until I really started learning about Leaky Gut and the gut-brain axis that my obsession peaked. In 2019, I started working on my nutrition certification, and completed my coursework and testing from three different schools. 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 Professional Canine Nutritionist from the Feed Real Institute

  • 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

  • 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 beautiful, 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 was named after a sacred place: Paisley Park. I have a tattoo of her name on my wrist so I can have her with me forever. 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. She literally was THE perfect dog.

Paisley: my heart dog, 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
IAABC - Wag & Train
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