OUR TEAM

Life is short, so I say go out and live it, and do it with a dog (or a few) by your side. 

Katrina Kensington

Co Founder, Owner, and Head Trainer


Hey there, I’m Katrina Kensington and I love training dogs and the humans who own them. Training dogs isn’t just about teaching them to sit, place and come when called, to me it is so much more. It is about developing a relationship that will be valued and enjoyed life long with your furry friend. It is about being a leader, a coach, an advocate and a bestie for your dog. I want to teach you how to develop and work on all of these rotating roles.

Apart from training dogs I’m a travel and foodie enthusiast, vegan, nature lover, who loves to dance when a beat hits my soul. I grew up on family game nights so I’m always down for a good board game accompanied by a glass of Pinot Noir.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • Training Without Conflict Course
  • E Collar Training Certified with Tyler Muto
  • Working Spot at Pat Stuart, of Operant Canine, NePoPo Two Day Workshop
  • Mike Suttle Course on Marker Training, Detection, and Bite Development
  • NePoPo Seminar with Tobias Oleynik
  • Puppy Training & E Collar Training with Nino Drowaert
  • Working Spot at Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 
  • PTSD Service Dog Training Certified through This Able Veteran
  • IACP Member 

Phillip Kensington "PK"

Co Founder, KDP Operations Leader 


I didn’t grow up with dogs but I have always loved animals and found a unique connection with dogs more than people in many ways. I always found comfort in being around dogs and still do to this day. Katrina introduced me to canine training in 2014. We always believed in helping people and living life to the fullest so we started KeenDog to reflect those principles and passions. 

I grew up around martial arts and sports and started teaching when I was a teenager. I learned discipline, attention to detail, how to relate and find common ground with people from all walks of life and how to set and achieve goals. 

I love to hang with my wife, daughter and our dog crew. I run with our Golden and train at Crossfit. I absolutely love training our protection dogs and love the rush of a dog running at you at 30mph. 

Dogs have done so much for our lives; it is my goal to help as many dogs as possible and enhance the lives they lead with their owners.  KeenDog training is not like any other training because it’s a lifestyle for both dog and owner where they are eager to set an example for the canine-human bond through growth, learning and enjoying life in tandem.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • Mike Suttle Course on Marker Training, Detection, and Bite Development
  • Certified PSA Decoy
  • Awarded Top Decoy at 2021 California Trial
  • Tarheel Obedience Training Shadow Course
  • Sean Edward Decoy Development Seminar 

Rachel Williams

Regional Manager, Trainer


Hey, hey! Rachel Williams here, and let me just say…if you’re looking for a team of amazing individuals that all share the same fiery passion for training dogs, then look no further. I’m more proud to be a member of the KeenDog team than ever before. I started my training journey when I worked for a franchise dog daycare and boarding facility back in 2015. I loved spending my days surrounded by dogs, but I wanted to do more. I completed 2 certification courses and began taking on clients, only to realize that I was in over my head. Lots of behavior issues came through the door that I was not equipped to handle. I decided to look elsewhere and came across KeenDog. I interned for about 2 months and quickly fell in love with the message and lifestyle that we continue to spread to dog owners all over the greater Charlotte area, and even across the US.

One thing I’ve learned in this industry, is that having an open mind to training methods, ideas and techniques is key. Training isn’t one size fits all. Fast forward a bit, Katrina and I discovered the crazy world of working dogs and fell in love with that also. I have a house full of German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois and truly can’t imagine living any other way. Oh yeah, can’t forget my two cats! They are great assistants when it comes to distractions and impulse control. When I’m not training my lovely clients on how to be a better handler, you can find me hiking with my dogs, training with JASD PSA club, or hanging with my training family.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
  • Formerly Certified Through Behavior Buddies
  • Formerly Certified Through CCPDT
  • E Collar Training Certified with Tyler Muto
  • Herm Sprenger Knowledge Assessed
  • Working Spot at Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 
  • Attended "The Dog Training Workshop"  Tour Featuring Larry Krohn, Jay Jack, and Joel Silverman 
  • Attended the "Measurable Standards" Tour by Linda Kaim
  • Member of IACP
  • JASD PSA Club Member

Jenna Rabel

Trainer


Jenna started her training journey like most trainers. She added a dog to her family and wanted to set him up for success so she reached out to KeenDog for help. She did not grow up around dogs and wanted to ensure she was doing everything right to live life to the fullest with her canine companion. She ended up falling in love with dog training. A few years later she decided to leave her office job and began working for KeenDog as a full-time trainer.

Jenna’s specialty is working with puppies. Building bold, confident puppies is what we are all about and Jenna loves being a part of the puppy raising process with clients. Building a confident puppy right off the bat makes a huge impact on both the life of the dog and owners.

Cash, a beagle mix, is her OG dog. Since becoming a KeenDog trainer, she has added three more dogs to her family. Chili, a Belgian Malinois, and Basil and Pistachio, Australian Shepherds from Southern Soul Australian Shepherds. She has a big family of four dogs to go adventuring with! Hiking and romping around on the beach is the favorite among the fam. They all also love a good game with the ball.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
  • Training Without Conflict Course
  • Working Spot at Pat Stuart, of Operant Canine, NePoPo Two Day Workshop
  • Attended Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 

Lilly Staudt

Trainer
 

Lilly’s love for animals started at a very young age. When her family hired a professional dog trainer to come to their house weekly to train their puppy when she was 12, she ran with the information presented to her and started exercising her new found love for dog training. She began volunteering at rescues- fostering dogs, dog walking, and pet sitting. After receiving her BS in Exercise Science in 2016, she adopted her first dog, Seamus, an American Staffordshire Terrier Mix. He required more skill and training than she was originally equipped for, it was through overcoming this challenge that she renewed her passion for dog training.

She had been studying to go to grad school, but put those plans on hold once her real calling became clear. She began shadowing other dog trainers in the Charlotte area, learning through webinars, participating in seminars, and listening to podcasts to further her education. Fast forward 5 years, Lilly became an intern for KeenDog. It’s her goal to make strong relationships with her clients to effectively coach them and their dog. Lilly treats every dog with the same love and care as she does her own Seamus and takes pride in seeing every one of her “students” succeed!

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
  • Working Spot at Pat Stuart, of Operant Canine, NePoPo Two Day Workshop
  • Attended "The Dog Training Workshop"  Tour Featuring Larry Krohn, Jay Jack, and Joel Silverman 

Kat Minerva

Trainer
 

Hi! My name is Kat and I like dogs!

I’ve worked with dogs for almost 10 years and am still amazed I can make a career out of something I love so much! I got my start in the dog world in 2012 while I was still in college. I dabbled in dog training while working for a boarding/training facility but I wasn’t too keen (see what I did there) on the methods used. So, I decided to see what else was out there within the industry. Since then, I worked with rescues/shelters, low cost clinics, a full service veterinary hospital and a few kennels in between. Through all these outlets, there was a common denominator that continued to frustrate me: lack of proper training. This can not only create behavior problems for a dog, but additionally, prohibits owners from living their best life with their dog(s). I wanted to coach owners so they could not only have a well behaved dog, but also have stronger relationships with their furry companions. 

When I acquired my second dog, Mako, I invested a lot more time getting out to train and rediscovered how much I love training dogs. Through Mako’s original owner, Rachel, I discovered KeenDog and fell in love with their style of training. When the opportunity came, I jumped at the chance to participate in their internship and learn so much more. And here I am now. I have the opportunity to make my passion a career and surround myself with a team that helps me grow everyday! Mako and my older dog, Anne, enjoy the lifestyle as much as I do. As for my cat, Mae, she tolerates the canine visitors and helps out with impulse control and neutrality during training. When we aren’t out training (or hanging) with the team, we enjoy hiking, camping, and getting out on the water. When I have some free time away from the dogs, I get back out on the field hockey field to relive my glory days! 

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • Working Spot at Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 

Griffin Cox

Trainer


My name is Griffin and I have been involved in the dog industry for going on eight years now. Growing up I always had a love for animals and, to my parents surprise, this included letting all the neighborhood dogs into the house on multiple occasions. I have been working professionally as a trainer for the past two years, continuing to learn and grow through seminars and hands-on experience. KeenDog has such an amazing group of trainers who really put their hearts into every dog that comes through. 

I currently have three Labradors (Ellis, Hootie, and Spice) and a golden (Sophie). I participate in a variety of sports with my dogs from conformation to dock diving to rally. Once I got my first lab Ellis, I knew it was the breed for me.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
  • Attended Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 
  • Attended "The Dog Training Workshop"  Tour Featuring Larry Krohn, Jay Jack, and Joel Silverman 
  • Member of the Charlotte Dog Training Club
  • Member of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Piedmont

Nicole Sudol

Trainer


Hi there! My name is Nicole and my story started like many other trainers. I remember feeling a little bored when I was sitting in my college orientation and, with my love for knowledge, I knew something was up and I wasn’t on the right path. I decided to take on my dream of working with animals, dogs in particular (of course!), and join an online program to become a trainer.

Then came Sage, my staffy mix I rescued from very poor conditions, and I learned very quickly that I would need more guidance to help her through her issues. We went through a couple professionals with many different methods and I learned a lot about what training your dog should FEEL like and how to truly communicate with her! Aerie was next and he is the dog that truly sparked my professional journey into training dogs. 

Flash forward to today, and I take pride in being the bridge that helps connect owners to their dogs in a fun and effective way. Most of my background is in behavior modification, working with dogs that have learned poor communication skills and have very little trust with people, so relationship building is very important to me in my training. When I’m not training dogs, you’ll usually find me in the gym training for my next Olympic weightlifting competition, or hanging with my three cats reading a new fantasy book. 

Emily Harris

Office Manager
 

Like many dog trainers, Emily discovered her love of training after adopting a difficult rescue dog and winding up in over her head. She employed the help of KeenDog trainer, Rachel, to set her rottweiler bully mix, Samson, up for success, and quickly fell head over heels in love with training. Craving more, Emily decided to leave the corporate world behind and join our team as a trainer in 2020.

Along the way, Emily added a malinois, Xena, to her pack and found a passion for dog sports. Her dogs have trained in scent detection, tracking, barn hunt, and dock diving. 

Now based out of Denver, CO, Emily works remotely as our office manager while caring for her toddler son, Ivey.

When not working, Emily, Ivey, and the dogs can be found in the mountains, hiking, camping, or backpacking.

CERTIFICATIONS & CONTINUED EDUCATION

  • Working Spot at Dave Kroyer's American Schutzund Scent Detection Seminar
  • Working Spot at Jay Jack's "Play is the Way" Seminar 
  • Carolina Training Center Tracking Course
  • Member of NADD
  • Member of BHA
  • Member of GRC