We want to help people and their dogs have the best relationship possible.

We provide training that makes sense to humans so they can enjoy their relationship with their pet.

Understanding Your Dog's mission is simple: coach owners with their dogs for stability and the best possible relationship. Theresa Pitner, a professional and certified dog trainer for Understanding Your Dog, LLC, accomplishes this by providing training that makes sense to handlers so they can lead a steady and balanced household with their pet.

About Theresa

Theresa has worked with people and their beloved canines since her family moved to Salisbury, North Carolina, in 2001. Thirty years of experience as a social worker has given her a unique perspective on how important it is to connect to the one holding the dog leash. 95% of dog training teaches the human, which is the first step to improving the relationship with the family dog.

Theresa likes to call herself a Balanced dog trainer. Reward all good behavior first and change the inappropriate behavior to more desirable ones. When you reward your dog for doing things correctly, they are more likely to repeat those good behaviors because dogs aim to please. Find the least aversive way to teach dog cues without the nagging. Instead of tugging on the leash because of pulling, change direction so it does not start. Firm but fair. She makes sure the owners are comfortable with the aids that are recommended.

Theresa sought out volunteer opportunities with area rescues and brought numerous foster dogs into her home to address issues preventing their adoption. This resulted in wide-ranging experience with different breeds, personalities, and challenging behavioral problems. These experiences also led to other ways to solve a problem because dog training is not one size fits all.

Theresa implemented the Comforting Dogs Program of Hospice of Cabarrus County. This program provides a comforting presence for terminally ill patients at the Tucker Hospice House in Kannapolis. She is the president of DogPAWs, Inc., a non-profit group to help build"Pitner Park," Salisbury's off-leash dog park located at 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. South.
​Theresa received her professional dog training certificate through Animal Behavior College in January 2016. She became an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in May 2017. In September 2018, she became a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). She follows their code of ethics to act ethically and professionally for clients and their dogs.
In the Fall of 2018, Theresa received her Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). This certification will ensure that Theresa will be up-to-date on skills and knowledge and reflects her commitment to stay current in this position. In January 2019, she became a member of The Professional Guild, the association for force-free pet professionals. In August 2019, Understanding Your Dog became an LLC, and Theresa became a Licensed Family Paws Educator, specializing in promoting safety for families with dogs.

In the Fall of 2020, Theresa opened the Understanding Your Dog, LLC Training Center at 110 E. Council St. in Salisbury, offering Socialization/Distraction Classes, One-on-One Private Sessions, Workshops, and Discussion Groups.