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"Shirley Catalina is our "go-to" person for dogs that come in to Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue with "issues". Her advice to us, and her hands-on work with those dogs - some of which seemed like lost causes - has helped them become respectful, loving family member in their adoptive homes. She has donated countless hours of her time to Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue volunteers, fosters, and adopters, and I don't know what we did without her! The results of her calm, sensible methods of behavior modification prove that she has a remarkable knowledge and insight into dog psychology. We cannot overstate our recommendation of Shirley as a training resource for people wanting the best for their dogs and their families. We appreciate you, Shirley, and wish you the best in your new endeavor!"

Brenda Bass
Director, Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue
Brentwood, TN

Brenda Bass Walking Dog

Working with MTBR volunteers...helping them understand how dogs think and what they need from their human....rewarding day...Fonzi was adopted!

"I've said over and over again...Training with Shirley has been the best thing for ALL of us. Even as a young puppy, we were able to teach Bear some basic manners that made puppyhood much more manageable and even enjoyable. We quickly figured out that the human members of the family needed as much training as our puppy did. 

Shirley has a real gift for empowering the owner in the training of your own dog. It's an ongoing work in progress and Shirley has helped us grow with Bear, giving us applicable tools at different stages along the way. Our goal with training has been to nurture an obedient, happy and healthy dog that we can enjoy in our home as part of our family for years to come. Shirley has played such an important role in making this happen. 

We also love that Shirley boards our dog for us. I never have to worry about his well-being when we're away. I know that he is safe, played with, exercised, loved and has continuity in all the training we have done...and then some. Bear loves going to "camp Shirley". She's awesome!


-Keri Cochran, Bear's owner

Teach Your K9 Bear

"I adopted Roxy in 2012 at an adoption event planned as a service project by one of the Seniors at the high school I work at. Roxy had been bounced around a bunch, I'm her 4th home, including her time in a shelter and her last family that "didn't have time for her." No shocker she suffered from separation anxiety, was not house or kennel trained and even ate her way out of a wire crate when I got her. I made a commitment to her that this would be her last home--no matter what it took.Two years later, with a lot of hard work, patience, love, and most importantly with Shirley Catalina's amazing training and support, she is behind all those things and is the near perfect dog. She loves to snuggle with her fur brother, a 10 year old rescue boxer from Philly, long walks, playing ball, and food--of any kind!! Thanks again for MTBR rescue!"

-Laura D.

Teach Your K9 Roxy

"Shirley has an excellent ability to read and understand our canine friends. She has a deep passion not only for dogs, but also for dog owners. She is driven to help owners better understand their canine companions. She is especially skilled at helping owners brainstorm creative solutions for addressing problem behaviors in their canine friends. If you need help addressing the needs of your furry friend and are in the TN area, I highly recommend Shirley Catalina of Teach Your K9!"


-Paige Rushing of Canine Companions, MS

Teach Your K9 Paige Rushing

"I cannot say enough great things about my experience working with Shirley! I got a Chihuahua puppy (Gracie) my senior year of college and very quickly realized I was in over my head. I was overwhelmed with the difficulties surrounding crate training, potty training, leash walking, and just about everything else. 


Shirley began working with me shortly after I got Gracie. She showed me that I needed just as much (if not more) training than little Gracie. Shirley was patient and kind. She answered all my questions and worked with me until I was comfortable with each new behavior. Shirley taught me how to understand Gracie’s behavior. Because of Shirley, I have a well-balanced, calm, loving, obedient, happy, and friendly Chihuahua. 


Shirley really went above and beyond. As a senior in college, I did not own a car. On more than one occasion, Shirley drove me to the vet, so that I could be sure Gracie got all necessary care.


Shirley also boarded Gracie for me whenever I was out of town. I never worried about Gracie while I was away—I knew she was in fantastic hands. Gracie and I absolutely loved working with Shirley and her adorable dog Booray. While I no longer live in Tennessee, I continue to watch Shirley’s training videos for guidance on the best way to work my dogs. I have loved working with Shirley and would absolutely recommend her." 


-Angela Ramano

Teach Your K9 Gracie

"With four dogs that live on a farm, which all got along, who would ever envision that I would one day need a “dog trainer?” Fast forward six years, one passes away, my alpha female by the way. Almost two years goes by before we decide to add to our family again. Stella, a petite, spotted, white female (deaf) boxer. Same breed, same gender as our previous angel JoJo, but not the same dog. All was good the first six months. She developed this split personality. Suddenly she would go into “stare mode” and then attack whichever dog was her target. Pretty soon she was even attacking my alpha male dog. A few months later a friend shared Shirley’s number with me. By this time I had already tried some other trainers. Clearly not the ones I needed.


Shirley was quite different. She started assessing my pack, while driving by. That day she stayed for three hours. She taught me how a pack should behave! Shirley’s a behaviorist, not a trainer. She will show you how to have a well-behaved, stable pack at home!


I have spent many hours with Shirley since that day and know that Shirley is truly about the dog and their best interest. She has given me the “tools” to work with my pack at home and knowledge to assess better the dogs that come into our rescue program. We now have volunteers and fosters using her techniques. Our dogs are learning how we want them to act in the home, allowing for a successful adoption.


Shirley is an amazing person who I highly recommend!"


Thank you Shirley!

- Kerry Turner Arnold

“Shirley has an incredible ability, not only to understand dogs, but to work with both dogs and their owners to find the best solutions. I’ve seen her work with many different breeds, addressing the individual needs of each dog. She certainly worked magic with mine!”


-Radney Foster

Teach Your K9 Radney Foster

“We love Shirley!  It really eases our minds to know that Rudy is having so much fun with his friends when we are away.”


-Robbie Brooks Moore

Teach Your K9 Rudy

"Shirley fostered Robbie from Middle Tennessee Boxer Rescue after being told he was aggressive and was about to be euthanized. After 2 months of teaching Robbie, I adopted him and I can't be more thrilled to have my best friend. Shirley is amazing at what she does." ​

-Jessica Rae, Robbie's owner

Teach Your K9 Robbie
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