meet the trainer
Heather Zurisko is passionate about the incredible bond we humans share with our beloved dogs. She finds great joy and inspiration in helping owners understand their dog's behavior and biological needs so that each may unlock the full potential of a harmonious human-canine relationship. Heather's greatest devotion as a trainer lies in ensuring dogs are trained in ways that allow them to flourish as well-adjusted family pets with forever homes.
Heather is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), awarded by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, as well as a CATCH Certified Dog Trainer (CCDT) and graduate of the CATCH Canine Trainer's Academy. Driven by her life-long love for animals and tireless curiosity to understand the way dogs think and learn, Heather's pursuit of dog training education is never-ending. She regularly attends dog training workshops and webinars, and is always in search of the next great training book to add to her library. When she's not working with Caninekind clients, Heather enjoys lending her support to local rescue organizations, Animal Friends and the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh.
A former marketing communications professional, Heather holds a master's degree in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a bachelor's degree in corporate communications from Lycoming College. She spent over five years serving clients in the pet industry, working on community education and awareness campaigns for everything from anti-pit bull discrimination and service dogs to dental health and infectious disease. Her past clients include the National Canine Research Council, Banfield Pet Hospital, Canine Assistants, Animal Farm Foundation, and Milk-Bone. One of the personal highlights of her career was meeting and working with the renowned trainer and star of Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog," Victoria Stilwell.
Heather grew up on a small farm in Lancaster, Pa., where she helped care for her family's horses and hunting dogs. There, she was a competitive horseback rider and lacrosse player, as well as a member of the 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America (FFA). She relocated to Pittsburgh in 2016 and now resides in the Fox Chapel area with her husband, Nate and their beloved rescue pup, Jules.