Hearts and Paws
Together for Life
Get to know us a bit more...

We have a very awesome, well experienced team dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your canine companion.

Diana Smith, CPDT-KA

Founder of Hearts and Paws, Canine Behaviorist and Trainer

Diana Smith has over 25 years of training experience and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She has over 2,000 hours of study with some of the world's leading dog behaviorists including Dr. Ian Dunbar, John Fisher, and John Rogerson. These course studies focused on treatment programs for separation anxiety, phobias, aggression issues (over ten types), obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as genetic and medical influences on these problems. As a charter member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest international body of dog trainers, she has also provided an additional venue for continuing education and professional support.

In addition, Diana has worked with local animal shelters and rescue groups to train volunteers on temperament testing and behavior management. Most notable of these is the Austin Humane Society’s Behavior Rehoming Adoption Training Team (BRATT) which is still being used today. Diana is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and holds classes and tests for this program several times a year. Diana has also shown dogs competitively in obedience, agility, rally, conformation, field trials, and working trials and holds several titles. Fourteen years ago, Diana developed Club Pup--the largest and longest running kids with dogs camp nationwide and Austin's favorite summer program for children and teenagers with their dogs.

Karin Liebrand, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, CGC Evaluator

Trainer

​Gentle, fun and effective are words that describe Karin’s approach to dog training. She uses rewards-based training to jumpstart positive communication between pet parents and their four-legged best friends, giving them a valuable skillset that fosters a spirit of teamwork, collaboration and trust.

She is a graduate of the highly respected Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior, a rigorous program that focuses on positive-reinforcement training methods, learning theory and hands-on dog training. She obtained her CPDT-KA title in the spring of 2017, and is also a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. In addition to training, she has expertise in canine body language and basic behavior modification.

In 2000, she first witnessed the power of training while working with a trainer to address her own dog’s behavior issues. She quickly became a training enthusiast, attending Obedience, Tricks, Agility and Rally classes with her dogs and joining a canine drill team that performed at dog shows, nursing homes and parades. She also started volunteering at the Austin Animal Center – which is now the largest no-kill shelter in the country.   

A desire to become a professional trainer began growing in Karin, and after much soul-searching, she decided to follow her heart and pursue a new career goal. Before entering the pet services field, Karin worked as a magazine writer and editor, a technical writer and a corporate trainer after earning a Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Karin lives in Austin, Texas. Her pet family includes training superstar Squiggy (a skateboarding Border Collie mix who was adopted from the Austin Animal Center), Tillie (a lovable Lab who is a reformed leash lunger) and shy Brooklyn, a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix.

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