Meet the Staff

Kylee

  • Trainer
  • Puppy Preschool Instructor
  • Puppy Residency Coordinator

Kylee has been a dog trainer at Kasten’s since early 2019 and in early 2020 took over our puppy preschool and residency training programs. Before coming to Kasten’s, Kylee worked at a doggie daycare facility.

The highlight of each day for Kylee is watching a dog get excited when praised for doing a command correctly. She also enjoys watching dogs progress and transform through a KDT training program.

When Kylee isn’t training dogs and working with puppies you can find her hiking, kayaking, camping, or attending concerts. She also enjoys working her own dog, Shenzi, and being with Armani, her fox. When asked, “What is the best advice you have ever received?” Kylee answered, “My mom always told me to make good choices while I was growing up and her words have been on my mind even as an adult.” If Kylee were given the chance to trade places with anyone or anything for just one day she should trade places with one of her pets because “They live such an easy life and are so spoiled!”

Kylee says, “You should have your dog trained at KDT so I can play with them! Honestly though, because everyone at Kasten’s does their best to help owners and pets achieve their training goals.”

Jake

  • Trainer
  • Group Lesson Instructor

Growing up Jake wanted to be a teacher, instead Jake found himself teaching dogs and their owners. Jake has been a dog trainer at Kasten’s Dog Training since July 2018. He became invested after adopting a senior dog, Sawyer, who had an unknown past but had bonding issues and other behavioral difficulties. Jake wanted to improve Sawyer’s life and give him the ability to feel love and companionship. “The best part of training dogs at Kasten’s is watching a shy, timid, or fearful dog gain confidence and come out of their shell,” says Jake.

When Jake isn’t training dogs at Kasten’s he adventures. He enjoys hiking and can’t wait to take his son on his first hike. Jake’s most memorable adventure was swimming in a volcano in Costa Rica, “Don’t worry” he said, “It was dormant!” Jake also enjoys listening to podcasts and ready books like “The Expanse” series, “Guns of August”, and “The Things They Carried”.

River

  • Trainer

River’s favorite quote: “An animal’s eyes have the power to speak great language” (Martin Buber), speaks volumes about her connection with each dog she trains at Kasten’s Dog Training. “The best part about working at KDT is getting to know and bonding with the dogs who come in,” says River. Through her past experience as a humane officer in Elkhart County and her passion for the care and welfare of animals she has been able to learn dog body language resulting in the ability to communicate with dogs on their level. River is able to use their body language to better understand the dog’s training and can help owners understand their dog on a deeper level.

Outside of Kasten’s, River enjoys spending time with family, especially her nieces and nephews, cooking, and being creative. Her recent trip to Jamaica with family was one of her most memorable adventures and even while on vacation she made friends with dogs (check out her photo!). She loves listing to podcasts like American Hysteria and The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week.

When asked, “Why should someone have their dog trained with Kasten’s?” River replied, “All the trainers are passionate about your pet.”

Holly

  • Trainer

When Holly was growing up she loved animals and wanted to be a pet groomer. After graduation, she worked for the Humane Society for 4 years prior to coming to Kasten’s in June 2017. While working for the Humane Society she became interested in dog behaviors and at Kasten’s she enjoys working with dogs to overcome their behavioral issues. She also enjoys working with puppies to establish communication and instill confidence that will have a lifelong impact. Holly’s life quote, “I don’t need easy, I just need possible” (Bethany Hamilton) describes what dog training is all about. Holly says, “Training dogs isn’t always easy, and it often requires tons of patience; however, training is possible, and every dog can benefit from obedience training.”

When Holly isn’t training dogs she enjoys ready the Harry Potter series and other J.K. Rowling books, playing video games, and relaxing with family. When asked, “If given a chance, who would you trade places with for a day?” Holly said, “Myself, back in high school, just so I could do theater class again.”

When looking for a dog trainer Holly said, “Choose Kasten’s because we strive to find a balance for every owner and every dog. We help dog owners with all behavioral issues no matter how difficult.”

Kaelyn

  • Trainer in training

Kaelyn has filled various roles at Kasten’s Dog Training since August 2018. You will find her working the front desk and checking dogs in and out, caring for your dogs in the kennel, loving on your pet when they do their walks or activities, and most recently Kaelyn has moved into a full time dog training role. Kaelyn said, “One of the best parts about working here is seeing all the different breeds and personality types. Each dog is its own unique character and I enjoy discovering what they are all about.” The values that drive Kaelyn are honesty, dependability, and commitment and this is evident in ther work ethic at Kasten’s. She is passionate about caring for the dogs who come here and is always looking for better ways to care for them. “I am committed to the wellbeing of each of your pets that you place in my care,” says Kaelyn.

When Kaelyn isn’t caring for your dogs she enjoys reading books like “Running with Scissors” and “Shatter Me”. Her favorite author is Ellen Hopkins. She also enjoys writing and playing with her own pup, Paisley, a rescued Shar Pei mix pictured with Kaelyn. Kaelyn also volunteers her time at Pet Refuge in Mishawaka. When asked, “You can only have 3 apps on your phone, which 3 do you choose?” Kaelyn replied, “Music, YouTube, and Audiobooks, I have to have music and reading in my life!”

Cami

  • Office Coordinator

Cami joined the Kasten’s Dog Training team in 2019 as the Front Office Coordinator.  She schedules dog training, dog boarding, appointments for dogs and humans, answers all your questions regarding what KDT does and how we can help you.  In addition to helping dog owners, Cami also schedules the KDT employees, keeps track of bookkeeping, and all other the behind the scene, day-to-day tasks that keeps KDT running smoothly.  Cami’s favorite parts of her role is organizing anything and everything, talking to people about training their dog, and helping people understand what we do at KDT.

Cami’s favorite quote, “Don’t follow the path.  Go where there is not a path and begin the trail” (Ruby Bridges), nicely sums up what she enjoys outside of KDT.  Cami loves adventures, traveling, and experiencing new cultures.  Her most memorable adventures are each of her trips to the BWCA where 7 days of pure self-reliance and seclusion are just what the doctor ordered.  As a child, Cami wanted to be an astronaut and said, “I would still go into space if given the opportunity!  I would love to see Mars or Jupiter in person.  I would be all about spending years in space for the moment of discovery.”  Cami also enjoys escaping in a good book and her favorite authors are John Grisham, Cliver Cussler, and George R.R. Martin.

Cami says, “You should have your dog trained at Kasten’s because all dogs need mental stimulation in their life, and we can teach you how to provide that.  Your dog would be happier and healthier, and you would have a better-behaved dog!”