We are very excited to welcome Animal Trainer Marilisa Markey to the Carlsbad Art Farm staff for the coming summer camp season. Marilisa, owner of Doggywood Dog Training and Animal Actors in Encinitas, is a highly experienced dog and exotic animal trainer. She will be introducing students to the art of training animals to do tricks. Students will learn technique for clicker training baby chicks, chickens, alpaca, Picasso our mini-mule, our brand new (yet to be named) spotted Mediterranean donkey (see previous post), Nigerian dwarf goats, and more. Art Farm donates many of its farm raised chickens to Art Farm student families at the end of the camp season each August, so if all goes well families may be taking home some very entertaining chickens this year.
Marilisa’s Animal Training Background
Marilisa is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy of Dog Trainers. Pryor is one of the most acclaimed positive trainers in the world and her program is highly respected within the Dog Trainers Community. The certification is demanding, time consuming and only a limited number of trainers graduate each year.
While attending San Diego State University, Marilisa was involved in an Eco-tourism/Conservation program entitled “Therapy for a Dying Planet”. One of the program founders, Gary Priest, head of the San Diego Zoo Animal Behavior Department, encouraged Marilisa to apply to the Exotic Animal Training (EATM) program at Moorpark College. This was the start of her professional career as an animal trainer. She completed the two-year course in 1996. The lessons she learned and the hands-on work at the Zoo could never be found anywhere else. But most importantly the positive methods she developed from EATM have become the foundation of her philosophy for working with animals and people. This is where she first studied Karen Pryor’s book “Don’t Shoot the Dog.” Pryor’s theories and scientifically based proven methods are today the standard for exotic and domestic trainers.
A San Diego native, Marilisa had always dreamed of working for the San Diego Zoo, a goal she attained when she went to work in the SD Zoo Animal Behavior Department with Gary Priest. “I loved working there and enjoyed every aspect of the years I spent at the zoo,” Marilisa said. She was primarily a husbandry trainer, consultant to zookeepers, an educator to guests as well as an enrichment expert. She worked zoo-wide with various species but primarily with primates. Her work with primates has prompted her to note: “If I can train a monkey, I can train just about anything.” She would have stayed longer but decided to stay home for a while “and train some new primates, my sons Billy and Boe.”
Since her zoo days, Marilisa has worked as a freelance trainer in the entertainment industry, training all sorts of animals for movie, TV and print production work in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. She has also taught various dog classes and worked as an educator for wildlife and pet care at schools, public and private events
Needless to say, Marilisa has always had a bond with animals and we look forward to sharing her enthusiasm and experience with Art Farm summer campers. Marilisa currently shares her home with her husband, two sons, 2 dogs, a cat, a pig, 4 chickens, a big African Tortoise, 2 rats, a frog and a couple of fish.
Summer Camp Enrollment
Carlsbad Art Farm summer camps are one week, Monday-Friday, 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Students must be entering Grades 2-8 in fall 2012 to attend. Camps start June 11 and continue through mid-August. Art Farm is located in north coastal San Diego County near the Village of Carlsbad. We continue enrolling throughout summer on a space-available basis. For camp information, rates, dates, and more, visit our registration page today. You may also email director Perrin Weston Coman for information and questions. See you this summer!