Kelly Moren Bio
My life has been filled with animals from day One. My parents were raising a litter of miniature poodles when I was born and two of the puppies, Squirt and Twerp, were instrumental in my upbringing. I was an only child and was lucky enough to have a father who was incapable of saying “no” to his daughter. So instead of siblings, I had pets. At one point I had 12 animals and we did not live on a farm! Far from it, we lived on an Air Force Base! When I began my undergraduate studies at UCSD, I was torn between the fine arts, psychology and biology. If UCSD had offered a major in ethology at the time, I would have jumped on it! Being so close to Sea World, where some of the best animal trainers in the world work, I was very tempted, but ultimately I chose film and photography with a minor in psychology.
I have always enjoyed learning, so I continued my education with a Master’s of Fine Arts at the California Institute of The Arts. After graduating, I spent 5 years in the entertainment industry working as a Visual Effects Supervisor for large format IMAX films. Since these films show on a screen over 50 feet tall, my attention to detail was a great asset. I excelled in the field and advanced to the head of my company’s digital department. I also started my own production company along with my partner, Debra Callabresi, called Swell Productions. We produced many different projects, most notably a short animated film, More, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Yes, we did get to go to the Academy Awards! It was really a once in a lifetime event that we thoroughly enjoyed, but I realized that the hours and stress of the never-ending deadline was going to put me in an early grave! Coincidentally at the same time I was planning to shift my career focus, I enrolled in a dog training course for my new puppy. I was blown away by the new philosophy of positive reinforcement! No more jerking a choke chain or yelling “No!” at my dog!
I got my very first dog when I was 8 years old. He was a Springer Spaniel named Wilbur. I remember taking him to the typical dog obedience class and being told that I must yank on my dog and yell at him. I wasn’t performing the drill quite right so the trainer took him from me and showed me the proper technique. The trainer was not a mean person, just a dog trainer skilled in the old style of dog training. Wilbur promptly cowered and peed, poor baby! I was young, but I knew there had to be another way. Someone gave me a clicker and while I didn’t use it perfectly, the concept made sense to me. Tell the dog when they are doing it right! Wilbur and I were inseparable until his untimely death of some rare tropical brain disease. So twenty years later, when I finally discovered this new style of dog training, it felt like an epiphany! I felt that I had to tell everyone who had a dog or knew someone who had a dog! I was so inspired, that it changed my life forever and for the last 10 years, I have been diligent about educating myself in all aspects of training; physiology, behavior, and animal sciences. I’ve been studying training methods that best speak to animals, and especially dogs, and incorporate this knowledge in my training style.
Currently, I share my home with two dogs and one cat. My oldest dog, Doc, went blind last year. Adapting our 100 lb. bumbling Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Swissy) pup River, our 4 year old daughter and ourselves to keeping him safe and happy has been an interesting learning experience. Dogs are amazing how they adapt to their circumstance. Every time he finds the bone or his sound enabled toys you can see the eternal puppy shine though. Dogs enrich our lives in so many ways, I can’t imagine living or working without them.