top of page

Meet the Trainer

Maran O'Neill


It all started with a lab rat named Jupiter. 

I studied at Hollins University from 2011-2014 and received a BS in Psychology. During that time, I worked with lab rats to understand animal behavior and learning theory. At the end of my studies, I took my lab rat, Jupiter, home with me. We spent several semesters learning from each other. She ignited my passion to learn from animals and hopefully teach them a thing or two along the way.


After college and with Jupiter still in tow, I took my first job at a kennel training facility. I became an assistant trainer and worked in dog and cat boarding, individual dog training, and puppy classes. I gained experience under an amazing positive-reinforcement trainer. She taught me how to listen to dogs and how to be patient. She also helped me grow my own confidence as I nurtured confidence in the dogs I trained. 

Eventually, I moved away from my  assistant trainer role and began a career in mental health, working with children, teens, and adults in various settings. Throughout that time, I continued to work with animals. I volunteered at local humane societies, a seeing eye dog training facility, and a mental health therapy dog group. 


With the current shift in human-animal culture moving away from pet "ownership" and toward pet parenting, I realized that I no longer had to juggle my professional roles between human mental health and pet training. I can use my people skills and my animals skills to help build strong, healthy relationships between you and your pet.

Continuing my own education is important to me. I've attended seminars with trainers including Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, and Karen Pryor. I've also completed courses on dog emotion and cognition. I have experience facilitating pet loss support groups through our local hospice company. I am a Certified Family Dog Mediator.

I live in Winston-Salem with my partner, our cats Monroe and Mischief, a spider named Lilith, and our blue heeler named Willow. Feel free to contact me here with any questions. I'd love to meet you! 

bottom of page