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Doug Duncan is the owner of Doggy Business, a canine playgroup and training facility in NE Portland. He is also a Certification Instructor for dog*tec Dog Walking Academy in Portland, and a dog*tec business consultant.

Duncan credits many of his values to his childhood experience of moving from a racially and culturallyDoug Duncan divided North Carolina to the Northwest. His fascination with human interactions led him to complete a Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology, but it was a  job as a dog walker for a small Seattle company in 2001 that really set him in on his path in canine behavior. “I loved it right away...I loved the interplay between American culture and dog behavior. I’m still fascinated by that interplay and how it impacts both human lives and the lives of dogs in our culture.”

Education is key to Duncan’s work - both for himself and for his clients. He describes himself as a “rabid student of animal behavior.” He attended the Academy for Dog Trainers with Janis Bradley and Jean Donaldson. Every year, he attends seminars and conferences, and was recently involved in the first Advanced Trainer Seminar at Wolf Park in Indiana. He is one of fewer than five males that are CPDT-KA certified in Oregon, and was the first Oregonian to achieve the CBCC-KA certification.

Duncan’s desire to educate himself is grounded in the belief that “the better we understand dogs — who and what they are and why they behave the way they do — the better we become and helping them live in our lives.” His role as an educator includes not only being a dog trainer, but serving on education committee the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, vetting questions for the CPDT-KA and CBCC-KA exams, and working as dog*tec business consultant and Dog Walking Academy instructor.

Before his career working with dogs, Doug and his wife Meredith adopted their first dog Jack from a humane society in Arizona. While chasing a rabbit, Jack was hit by a car and had to be hospitalized overnight at the emergency clinic - they didn’t know if he would make it.

Doug 
 Doug and Jack

“As a dog owner, I had failed terribly. I put Jack into a situation that was very unsafe and he’d paid the price.” Thankfully, Jack wasn’t seriously injured and was able to come home and live a normal life. A bright side of this traumatizing event was that Jack, a previously very independent dog, became much more attached to Doug and Meredith because of the extra attention he received during his recovery.  “He went on to live a full life with us until he past at 16 years old! He was the best dog I’ve ever had!”

In his work, Duncan is particularly interested in how we can help dogs “win” in society, and what changes we can make to better accommodate them. As a part of this, he consults with many local rescue groups - including Multnomah County Animal Services - to help assess behavior and use training to change behaviors related to discomfort.

Outside of work, Duncan enjoys outdoor activities, like running and hiking, which help him remain balanced and remind him the world is full of interesting things worth looking at. “I think I’d be quite content hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for months at a time, or biking across the country. I like getting to know new things.”

When asked how his work connects with the mission of Animal Community Talks, Duncan shared: “I Doug Featurethink that change starts with understanding and understanding comes from opportunities to learn about how the world works. ACT is working to provide opportunity for people to learn more about animals and how best to interact with and care for them. The conditions for learning need to be set up so that people feel comfortable, and the information being shared must come from reliable sources. I think that ACT is a great outlet for this!”