Eileen Koval, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, MSc
I am a behavior consultant and proponent of a relationship-based approach to training -- building a deep personal bond with your dog by learning to communicate clearly and positively with your dog, understand their rich communication, and fully understand and meet their needs as an individual. My husband and I have Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes that we enjoy training and occasionally competing in dog sports, including agility, conformation, and scent work. I am a fully certified dog behavior consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). This prized credential requires hundreds of hours of education, thousands of hours of experience working with dogs, behavior case studies on varieties of difficult behavior issues, colleague and veterinarian recommendations, and a rigorous application process in order to obtain it. I am also a certified behavior consultant canine (CBCC-KA) and certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) after passing their rigorous exams and meeting veterinarian recommendation and experience requirements. All these credentials require continuing education credits to ensure that I am using the best techniques and scientific knowledge available in the field. I am constantly pursuing education from veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers as well as providing it to others through courses and presentations as a credentialed expert in my field.
I am referred to for behavior and training expertise by dozens of veterinary clinics throughout Las Vegas and Henderson, including Centennial Hills Animal Hospital, the Las Vegas Specialty Center, Green Valley Animal Hospital, Aloha Animal Hospital, VCA Blue Cross, Mountain Vista, Henderson, VCA Nellis, Aliante, Seven Hills, Southern Hills, West Cheyenne, Tropicana, West Russell, Grand Montecito, and others. In the year 2020, I created the Rattlesnake Avoidance through Positive Reinforcement course, which is now used by trainers and owners throughout North America, Australia, Africa, and Europe and has been game-changing for teaching dogs to independently avoid venomous snakes. Recent Media Appearances: interviewed by Bob Wells (Nomadland) for a two part series "Rattlesnake Dog Training with Confident Canines", interviewed on the Pooch Parenting podcast, interviewed by clinical psychologist Dr. Holly Tett for "Fluff Dog Turned Guard Dog?" for the Naughty Dogs Masterclass, interviewed on Top Gun Dog Training's Puppy Talk Podcast, interviewed and featured in Is It Normal? by Chewy.com, interviewed for Las Vegas Weekly magazine, presented at the International Dog Trainer's Winter Summit, interviewed by international ethologist Dr. Karolina Westlund and presented specialized techniques for a case study in Dr. Westlund's ethology course Resolving Challenging Behaviour, delivered a presentation in Sep 2021 at the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Annual Conference, was interviewed on the Backyard Pet Talk Podcast, and interviewed on the Pod to the Rescue podcast.
I have a Master's of Science degree from the University of Arkansas's College of Engineering, and a Bachelor's of Arts from Northern Kentucky University Department of History and Geography. I am continuously enrolled in courses on ethology, behavior, health, and other dog behavior training with internationally renown behavior consultants and veterinary behaviorists to further my expertise in this field. I also successfully completed Michael Shikashio's Aggression in Dogs Master Course.
The Humane Hierarchy is the gold standard in human and animal behavior modification and it guides my professional decision making when conducting training and behavior modification. The Humane Hierarchy shown below was created by University of Utah psychology professor and animal behaviorist Dr. Susan Friedman, PhD.
I am a current member of the Association Française du Kooikerhondje (French National Kooikerhondje Breed Club) and Verenging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (Dutch Kooikerhondje Club). Previously, I taught agility classes at Doggrrrcise Agility, LLC. I previously served on the IAABC Ethics Committee and other IAABC initiatives. I also served as a board member and Membership Outreach Committee Chair for the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Club of the USA (AKC parent club), assisted A Path 4 Paws rescue group as a trainer/consultant, and volunteered at the Nevada SPCA and with various dog rescue groups in the Florida panhandle.
Many years before working full-time with dogs, I worked as an intelligence analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and US Air Force Central Command (USAFCENT) for several years. Some may consider leaving such a career field to be a "downgrade", but I felt like I finally found where I could make the strongest positive impact in the world while pursuing my true passion.
Eileen Koval (right) and then-CIA Director Porter Goss at her graduation from the CIA Intelligence schoolhouse in 2006
I became interested in advanced dog training and behavioral work many years ago when one of our dogs began to suffer from severe fear issues, including extreme noise phobias. We were lucky to find a wonderful animal behavior consultant -- Debbie Revell, CDBC -- who helped us address these issues. This experience piqued my interest in understanding applied animal behavior and completely opened my world. Behavioral issues like these were common reasons why people surrender their dogs to shelters, but these issues can often be successfully addressed. I continue to take classes and network with other respected behavior consultants and veterinary behaviorists to maintain working knowledge of the newest techniques and ideas on psychology and learning, particularly applied to animal behavior.
I help clients communicate more effectively with their dogs to solve issues, whether it is motivating and training a new puppy in the basics of obedience; working with aggressive dogs; destructive or problem behaviors in the home; or helping an agility team smooth out communication on the course to reach that next level of achievement.