Lucy McKnight, CPDT-KA, FFCP


My introduction to force-free training was through work with exotic animals. After a couple of years working with alligators and exotic mammals, I began working at an open-admission shelter in Southern California in a variety of roles: adoptions, animal care, and behavior and training. For the last several years, I’ve sent adopted dogs off to their new homes after supporting them in the shelter. I’ve now transitioned to supporting them once they find their new families and I couldn’t be happier to be training at Peaceable Paws. I’m focused on helping dogs (from new baby dogs to adopted seniors) succeed with their people by learning new things and working through their big feelings using humane, science-based techniques. My teaching and training style is enthusiastic, pragmatic, and supportive, placing an emphasis on strengthening the relationship between dogs and their humans while reaching their training goals.

My main behavior interests include working with reactive and high-arousal dogs, new dog parents, and cooperative care. I’ve trained and worked with a wide variety of animals, and seen how force-free training works for all living things. My fondest training memories are of teaching chickens how to play the xylophone, helping fearful dog friends through every step of the shelter process, and having a flying squirrel named Rocket opt-in to cooperative nail trims for the first time. I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, a FearFree Certified Professional trainer and am constantly learning and continuing my education in the field of science-based training. I’m planning to take my canine behavior consultant certification exam in fall of 2024 through the CCPDT.

Somehow, I’m a dog trainer and former shelter worker who doesn’t own a dog. Instead, you’ll find me sharing pictures and stories of my incredible little cat Maki, who I adopted in San Diego several years ago.