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Tips from the Trainer
577642_621339317893449_1935429240_n.jpgResident Trainer Profile: Karen Owens

Trainer, Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control

Owner, Clever Canine Dog Training

Chief Trainer
paws4peopleTM foundation North Carolina

Chief Trainer 
Federal Prison Camp Alderson, Alderson, VW

Chief Trainer​
Federal Prison Camp Jesup, Jesup, GA

Karen graduated from Miami University (OH) in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education. From 1998-2007, she was a first grade and special education teacher in North Carolina. In 2002, she completed her Masters Degree in Special Education from Xavier University. Karen’s dog training experience ranges in several fields, including search and rescue, agility, obedience, herding, pet dog training, and assistance dogs. Her search and rescue experience includes live air scent, land and water cadaver, tracking and trailing, and scent articles. She has extensive experience in temperament testing and evaluation. 

From 1997-2006 Karen was a member of search and rescue teams in Ohio and North Carolina. Karen has been a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 2003, a member of the Carolina Trainers Forum also since 2003, and a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator since 2007. In addition to her work with paws4people, Karen has volunteered as a trainer for the Cabarrus (NC) County Humane Society and the Charlotte Mecklenburg (NC) Animal Care and Control. Karen has run her own dog training business, Clever Canine Dog Training, since 2004; specializing in private lessons and day training; teaching basic obedience, good manners, puppy classes and behavior problem solving.  In 2009, Karen completed the Service Dog Seminar at the Bergin University of Canine Studies.

Karen joined paws4peopleTM foundation in 2006, and currently serves as a Board Member. Karen’s role with paws4people is extensive. She is the Chief Trainer of two paws4prisons programs, one in Alderson, WV and one in Jesup, GA. She also evaluates all privately owned dogs seeking certification throughout southern WV, NC, SC, and GA. She runs the handler training and dog re-certification semiannually in these states, as well. Additionally, Karen is responsible for providing the final stages of public access training and client transfer training to many Assistance Dogs nearing graduation.

Karen started her position as trainer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control on February 1, 2011.   Karen’s position is funded by a grant from The Foundation and implements Sue Sternberg’s Train to Adopt program. 


Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers 

Certified Assistance Dog Trainer, Bergin University of Canine Studies

Certified Assistance Dog Trainer, pKTI (paws4people K-9 Training Institute)

Certified Assistance Dog Handler, pKTI (paws4people K-9 Training Institute)