Meet The Team
Yana and Dan had the name "Walk A Pup" picked out years before they professionally walked their first dog. With a lot on their plate and a small Salem apartment, a dog of their own was simply out of the question, thus they relentlessly jumped on any opportunity to help out friends by caring for their pets. As lifelong animal lovers, they dreamt about leaving their hectic work and school schedules behind and perusing a passion they were both certain was destined to be embraced. Encouraged by the success of a trial run, Walk A Pup the dream, became a reality!! Before they could think twice, and with a little help from word-of-mouth, Walk A Pup quickly established itself as a valuable asset in the pet care community.
Since 2008, Yana and Dan have been building on their dream, constantly growing their knowledge of canine behavior and training, and learning the invaluable lessons each and every pup they see has to offer! A dog-less apartment in Salem has turned into a loving, animal filled home in Middleton, happily occupied by their beautiful 5 year old Weimaraner, Nesta, the boss of the house kitty, Roaw and two year old son, pack-leader-in-training, Ezra.
Walk A Pup is Bonded and Insured through the Business Insurers of the Carolinas. All their staff is Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR. Although the main focus is to keep all pups happy and healthy with proper exercise and discipline, Walk A Pup is eager and excited to provide genuinely kind, highest quality care for animals of all ages, personalities and needs. Being proud pet owners, Yana and Dan realize that every parent wants the best, specialized care for their loved one. Walk A Pup is more than happy to work individually with their furry friends and parents to meet any special needs and adhere to all different circumstances.
Qualifications and Memberships:
- Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers- Knowledge Assessed
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers- Professional Member (APDT)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
- The Association of Force Free Pet Professionals
- Pet Sitters International
- DogGone Safe
Dan Carlson is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed ( CPDT-KA), a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a Resident Trainer at the New England Dog Training Club in Cambridge, MA.
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Dan grew up in the North Shore of Massachusetts, in a house filled with dogs, cats,guinea pigs, snakes, and once even had a flying squirrel as a family pet!! Many family road trips as a child inspired a love of travel, so after finishing school, Dan set out to explore the country which brought him to reside in parts of California, Arizona and the Mid West. Although he worked mainly in the music industry during that time, Dan was always the one friends turned to when they needed help with their pets. Life's journey soon brought Dan homebound back to the East Coast, where he began to explore and expand his knowledge of animal behavior and dog training. Through reading and studying, research and hands on volunteer work, Dan had began what was a life long dream of a career with animals! With years of seminars, workshops, classes, internships and countless hours of hands on work with pups from all walks of life, Dan continues to learn and grow his knowledge of canine behavior modification and perfect his handling skills. Dan is determined and passionate about spreading the understanding of positive relationship building between dog and owner. His dedication, consistency, calm demeanor and strong leadership skills allow him to connect with each dog and owner on an individual basis!! In his spare time Dan can be found trail running with his Weimaraner, Nesta, perfecting his Jeet Kune-Do with his Sifu, and playing on the jungle gyms at the local playground with his son- 'little' Ezra!
Yana was born in St. Petersburg Russia, and was fortunate to grow up surrounded by a large loving family, none of which unfortunately included any pets. In 1990, her family had moved across an ocean to Melrose MA, where Yana spent the next ten years of her life. Read More »
After High School, Yana went on to pursue a degree in Economics and Anthropology from UMass Boston. During her time there, she developed a very strong travel bug and a fascination with the art of foreign culture. After a bit of worldly travel, Yana settled down in Salem, MA with her new found partner Dan Carlson and began a "right out of college" career in the corporate world. Two years later, Yana found herself a bit empty on the inside because little of her days were devoted to something she was truly passionate about. She decided to put the travel bug on hold for a while and along with her partner in life and love, Dan Carlson, went on to pursue an even greater passion- working with animals! Since then, she has been learning from each and every animal she has the pleasure to work with! Yana has had the amazing opportunity to intern under some of the greatest trainers and behaviorists Boston has to offer, at the New England Dog Training Club. She assists Dan in the private lesson settings and also helps run their local obedience classes. Although her professional background keeps her busy managing the "business side" of Walk-A-Pup, Yana also spends a great deal of time broadening her knowledge of canine behavior and human/animal relationships. Along with Dan, she attends seminars, workshops, and continuing education courses, and is currently in the process of logging hours to obtain her CPTD-KA status. In her downtime, Yana's favorite activities include trips to Singing Beach with their Weimaraner Nesta and toddler boy Ezra, Yoga and cooking delicious, "real-food" meals for her family!!
"Before Nesta, before Ezra, my first baby was Walk A Pup! A wise man once said- 'Do what you love and never work a day in your life'. "
Josh As an ex-ski racer, I instinctively understand the value of positively re-enforced discipline. Plus I'm a super affectionate dog-lover, so I've found being one of the Walk A Pup pack-leaders to be really rewarding and tons of fun. I love getting to know the personalities, strengths and quirks of each dog!! I also enjoy finding new ways to maximize my time with each pup and to get them so tired out and happy that they won't even dream of mis-behaving while their owners are at work!
Amanda grew up in Peabody, surrounded by several family pets. As an adult, she knew working with dogs would be the most fulfilling career for her. In 2011, Amanda received a degree from NSCC as an Animal Care Specialist. Soon after, she joined the Walk A Pup team, and has been excited and eager to continuously expand her knowledge and passion for canine behavior and training. Amanda currently resides in Salem, MA with her husband Todd, and two dogs Tia and Sawyer.
Patrick Since his childhood in Saratoga, NY, Patricks family has always included a variety of pets which fostered a love for all animals. In high school, he volunteered at a shelter and prepared for veterinary school until an internship proved he didn't have the heart required for the bad news. He followed his second love, cooking into a successful 4-star kitchen leadership position, which he retired to find something more conducive to family planning. He continues cooking as a hobby, and spends weekends geocaching with his wife and Corgi.
Matt grew up in Westport, MA with the family beagle, and has spent the last 6 years working as a paramedic along the east coast and overseas. Medic work has taken him from the local ambulance and fire department to Boston, then to Dublin Ireland, and beyond. Now living in Marlbehead, he found Walk a Pup and started working with dogs in the spring of 2013. With his background in emergency medical care, Matt and his dog Vauxel hope to become a search and rescue team in the future. His weekends are spent running around in the woods with Vaux or out photographing a race team on an adventure. "It's such a great job to make pups happy all day!!" -Matt
Aaron grew up in Marlborough, MA in a home that always had animals in it- from dogs, to birds to reptile to rodents. His parents could tell you some hilarious stories for sure!! Currently, he spends his days with his wife Jennifer and their rescue rat terrier dog Bingsley. When away from Salem, you can find Aaron hiking, backpacking or camping. Aaron has been a touring musician for over 20 years now, and that has taken him all over the world. Being a vegan for over 20 years, he has always had a love for all animals, and this is what drew him to Walk-A-Pup. Aaron has been learning so much and loving all of his time spent with the animals of the Walk -A-Pup family.
Shannon As a mother and a dog owner Shannon knows that love, affection, discipline, exercise and a great attitude go a long way! When she is not with her family, Shannon is excited to be working with all of the dogs at Walk-A-Pup. Growing up she always had pets in the home which has instilled a love for all animals, but especially a personal passion for dogs. Shannon is an active person that enjoys being outdoors and exercising with the dogs. She finds each dog is unique and loves getting to know their different personalities! "I am thrilled to be in such a rewarding job with such an amazing team."- Shannon
Rene N. With over 15 years experience as a caretaker for children, pets, special needs students and senior citizens, Walk a Pup just seemed to be the perfect fit for me. First off, I love dogs! My favorite is probably a big wet nose kiss, but it might be scratching that favorite spot above the tail, but mostly it's that look of satisfaction and contentment. Dogs are our gifts and I try to be around them as much as possible. When I am not walking dogs I enjoy sailing, tennis, reading and sharing meals with friends.
Renee Gannon was born and raised in Beverly, MA and after living everywhere from NH to LA, Renee is happy to call Beverly home again. Renee has a Bachelors of Science degree in Zoology with a minor in Animal Behavior. She has loved animals for as long as she can remember and currently is a slave to three rescued fat, lazy tabby cats and a goldfish that she won at the Topsfield Fair. In addition to being one of the newest members of the Walk a Pup team, Renee also owns a paint and sip studio in downtown Beverly called Wicked Art Bar. In her "spare time" Renee enjoys cooking, surfing, riding her scooter and watching bad TV.
Jessica grew up in and around the north shore surrounded by animals. She had cats growing up as far back as she can remember, and her parents got their first dog, Sneakers, at the age of 10. After years of working in the corporate world with no pets in the home, Jessica finally convinced her husband to adopt a dog into the family. Sookie, the little white Sato mutt with the Brendle eye patch was their first rescue. 6 years later, Sookie now has a middle sister Ginger, (another Sato), and Kaya, (a permanent foster dog). Sookie's story sparked a new calling for Jessica. She began volunteering for the Sato Project, a rescue organization dedicated to saving Puerto Rican street dogs, helping with Last Hope K9, another rescue that focusses on dogs from southern U.S. and after moving on from her medical administrative career, she found herself at Walk a Pup! She has been thrilled to spend her days getting to know all her new furry pals and making a positive difference in peoples lives!
Megan is currently a student at North Shore Community College and will be graduating next year with an associates degree as an Animal Care Specialist. She grew up in Beverly and has always been surrounded by family pets. Her favorite times have been walking the beach with her dogs as well as spending summers up at the lake with their family! Her family pets had a big impact in the decision to go into the animal care field. As well as recently adopting her dog Oaklynn. "What better way to fulfill this career path than a job with Walk A Pup! With happy pups to greet you daily! I'm very excited to gain as much knowledge possible so I can help in educating others" - Megan
Mary is originally from Dublin Ireland but now resides in Salem with her husband and daughter Leila. She worked as a pastry chef in Boston for a number of years! She decided to give up the long hours and weekends to be closer to home and spend more time with her family.
They own 3 Bouvier de Flanders - Mack, Banshee and Babolina. "They give us so much love and happiness, our house would not be the same without them." Mary and her husband have bred a few litters of Bouviers. They love to see pictures and stories from all the new owners, with updates on how well the dogs are doing and how loved they are!!
"Dogs bring joy to my life and I can't help but smile and be happy when around them. Whether I am doing a 6 mile run with one of my dogs or taking dogs out for exercise with Walk A Pu,p it's a wonderful feeling to bring them home tired and happy."- Mary
Together, our team owns 16 dogs and 6 cats
In 2013, we have gone on over 20,000 walks!!
When a dog feels generally positive about someone/thing their tails wag more to the right side of their rear-ends, and when they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.