Lindsay Parenti is an Associate Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (ACABC), who has been training dogs for nearly 10 years. She earned her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from West Virginia University and is currently working toward completion of a Ph.D. in Human-Animal Interactions at WVU. Her expertise in service dog training has been sought out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, where Lindsay serves as a consultant for Project ROVER, a research program designed to assess the service dog needs of veterans with PTSD. Lindsay developed and currently teaches three courses in West Virginia University’s Animal Sciences department that focus on assistance animals. Lindsay has experience teaching puppy kindergarten and adult dog group obedience classes as well as providing private behavioral consultations to owners whose pets are experiencing a wide range of behavior problems.
In August 2010, Lindsay received her Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from West Virginia University's Department of Psychology. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Human-Animal Interactions in WVU's Agricultural Sciences Department. During her education, Lindsay has received extensive training in the design and implementation of behavioral treatments that reduce behavior problems and enhance skill acquisition in pets. She has worked with parents, teachers, researchers, and community members to implement behavior-analytic strategies designed to teach both typically-developing children, children diagnosed with developmental or intellectual disabilities, pet dogs, cats, and birds, and assistance dogs. Before earning her Master's degree, Lindsay received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from West Virginia University in May 2006. For many years, Lindsay had been interested in pet behavior, how psychology could be used to treat pet behavior problems and improve the welfare of pets, and human-animal interactions. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant with Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists Dr. Kennon A. Lattal and Megan E. Maxwell. In this research, Lindsay examined the role of delays to reinforcement on canine learning and behavior. Her research experiences, combined with her ongoing work with dogs outside of academic settings, convinced her to pursue a career in animal behavior.
Pet Training/Experiential Background
After completing her bachelor's degree, Lindsay received her certifications as a Service Dog Instructor and as a High School Assistance Dog Instructor from California's Assistance Dog Institute (now known as The Bergin University for Canine Studies). She returned to teach classes in WVU's Animal and Veterinary Sciences program. In these classes, for which Lindsay designed all curricula and wrote instruction manuals, undergraduate students learn how to apply the strategies of behavior analysis (e.g., positive reinforcement, extinction, shaping) to the training of assistance dogs. Lindsay currently serves as Director of Program Development for a local, nonprofit assistance dog training organization. She is responsible for the behavioral wellness of several assistance dogs in training and teaches service dog training courses at WVU. Lindsay has extensive experience working directly with families whose pets exhibit a wide range of behavior problems. She also has taught puppy kindergarten classes and group obedience classes at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital and the Animal Medical Center in Morgantown, WV.Lindsay is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluator, certified to administer the Canine Good Citizen, AKC Community Canine (an advanced level of CGC), and Urban Canine Good Citizen evaluations. For more information about the Canine Good Citizen program, visit www.akc.org.Lindsay is also an Associate Certified Animal Behavior Consultant in the Dog Division through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.