Meet Jill Marie O'Brien

Meet Jill Marie O'Brien


Jill Marie has been working with, training, and advocating for dogs since 1987. She spent fourteen years as Director of Behavior and Training Services for spcaLA. During her tenure with spcaLA, she supervised the creation and ongoing development of the agency's first Animal Behavior and Training Department since its inception in 1877, including:

-Kal-Kan Bite Prevention and Feral Dog Safety program; a program designed to educate inner-city youth on bite prevention and feral dog safety.
-Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC) program for at-risk youth.
-The Standards Program which included both a Canine Behavior Assessment (developed by Jill Marie) used for the evaluation of shelter dogs, as well as a comprehensive behavior rehabilitation and placement component.
-H.E.A.L. (Helping Enhance Animals Lives); Jill Marie designed this program as a volunteer training, staff safety, and canine enrichment program.

Over the years, she's gained extensive knowledge and experience through her participation in agility, tracking, Animal Assisted Therapy, family companion dog training, Schutzhund/IPO training, canine behavior assessments, canine behavior rehabilitation along with professional detection dog training and handling.

As Co-Founder of National Association of Canine Scent Work, LLC® (NACSW) she is involved in the competitive sport, activity, and instruction of K9 Nose Work®. Through the NACSW K9 Nose Work® Instructor Education and Certification program Jill Marie continues to dedicate the majority of her time to the development and growth of the K9 Nose Work® method of training and instruction.

Jill Marie created and continues to facilitate the K9 Nose Work® Shelter Project. This program aims to enhance the lives of shelter and special needs dogs around the world through the simple yet profound K9 Nose Work® training methodology as an inexpensive and powerful enrichment tool that any shelter can easily implement and sustain.

Jill Marie’s personal training philosophy is one of building strong working relationships and bonds between dogs and their handlers using positive, fun, and motivational techniques. She is a strong advocate of ongoing education and the development of evidence-based skills and programs. Not only has she attended many educational conferences and courses, but she has also organized and facilitated educational events featuring some of the most sought-after lecturers and behavior experts in the world. Jill Marie has been a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) since 1997 and she has been a Certified Professional Dog Training (CPDT-KA) through the CCPDT since 2008. In 2011, she was voted onto the APDT Board of Trustees. She held the offices of Secretary, Vice-Chair 2013, 2015 & 2016, and was selected as Chair of the Board for the 2014 term. In addition to her APDT Board service Jill Marie served as President of the APDT Foundation in 2013 & 2014.

Jill Marie and her dog Beckett (RIP), CGC, L1I, CLASS-MA were a nationally certified Narcotics Detection Team and took 1st place in the novice division at the Oxnard Police K9 Inaugural Trial, 2009. Jill Marie was a long-time agility enthusiast and competed and trained in agility starting 1989; her dogs have earned many and have competed at the USDAA's Grand Prix of Dog Agility in Del Mar, CA. Her other K9 partners, both Belgian Malinois, are Grip, ORT-BAC, NW3-Elite, L1I, L1V and Raven, ORT-BAC, NW1, L1I, CLASS-BA and ChihuahuaX Stella, ORT-BAC, NW1.

And most important are the two guys in her life, her son Aedan and husband Jim whom she thanks every day for their support in her doggy adventures and endeavors.


Below you will find the online courses, seminars, webinars, eBooks, video reviews and private video consultation services Jill offers through Scent Work University.

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