Big dogs with behavior problems make up most of the final 10% of animals needlessly euthanized in Austin, Texas. Marian stands at about 5′ even, but is able to wrangle even the strongest and most stubborn of canines into well behaved, more adoptable pets.

Marian started out in the service industry wrangling naughty customers, until 2011 when she decided to attend an Austin dog training academy and immediately began her career as a dog trainer in the private sector upon completion of her coursework. In August 2012 she fell in love with the community and mission that make up Austin Pets Alive!, a shelter that focuses on the less-easy-to-adopt animals in the largest no-kill city in the United States. Since her background was in behavior training, she took particular interest in the Behavior Program and joined Mike Kaviani as a Behavior Program Assistant in the following spring.

In the spring of 2013, Best Friends Animal Society and Austin Pets Alive! teamed up to form a pilot program that runs large homeless dogs through the initial readiness phase of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen obedience training. This gives potential adopters the confidence that any available CGC-ready dog will be easy to handle (with continued training and practice, of course!) in the home environment. CGC training became a key element of the Dog Behavior Program, and Mike Kaviani offered the reigns to none other than Miss Cannell, which she enthusiastically accepted!

The program is one of the many innovative and creative solutions to targeting the population of large hyper dogs that are difficult to place. She has passionately contributed her time and muscle to the program and continues to advocate for the effectiveness of the CGC program in increasing adoption rates. In the short period of time that the program has been a part of APA!’s success story, more than 30 dogs have passed their canine readiness test, with many more in cue and even more who have been affected by the program in one way or another.


Marian will be presenting on the benefits of implementing a CGC Program at the 2014 American Pets Alive No-Kill Conference! Don’t have your tickets yet? That’s OK! Visit for tickets and more information!

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