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Clarissa Black

Animal trainer Clarissa Black

Animal trainer, CLARISSA BLACK, has loved interacting with animals since she was a child. She was fortunate to have grown up surrounded by a variety of animals. At an early age she taught family pets fun behaviors to show off to her friends; a tell tale sign that this little girl would grow up to be a professional animal trainer! That same love and interest in the animal world eventually drew her to Cornell University where she studied Animal Science, thinking she might like to become a veterinarian. While at Cornell, she discovered a particular passion with a certain animal – the elephant. She spent time training and taking care of elephants at a sanctuary in Arkansas. She also spent a summer as an intern in Hawaii training and working with dolphins. These experiences eventually led her to realize she wanted to develop relationships with the animals for which she cared. After graduating from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, she returned to Hawaii when she was offered a job as a dolphin trainer. With the dolphins, Clarissa learned advanced animal training principles and applied them to husbandry, veterinary, research and program training. While working with these unique mammals in the water, she decided to further her work and experience training animals on land and began working as a professional dog trainer. Her love and skill for training animals made her the perfect dog obedience consultant. She relocated to California and continued working with private clientele. She has been successful developing personalized training and behavior plans, as well as teaching dog obedience. Her training repertoire includes dogs with behavioral issues, basic and advanced obedience behaviors and novel behaviors directed toward relationship building. Her motto is “set both the owner and the dog up for success”. Moving to the Los Angeles area and being at the center of the entertainment industry has added to her list of animal training experiences with a whole new genre; working with domestic animal actors. Clarissa works with both dogs and cats specifically trained for work in television, film, print and commercials; teaching these talented pets and their owners to do things such as hit marks the same as a human actor would on set, and perform behaviors from distances and in the distraction of a busy film set. Her latest endeavor is developing the Pets for Vets program. During her experience working with therapy dogs in the company of America’s veterans and wounded soldiers, she saw firsthand how important animals can be in recovery. This led her to develop a charitable organization dedicated to rescuing shelter animals training them and pairing them with American veterans with a desire to have a companion. Her love, dedication and compassion for the well-being and proper training of wild and domestic animals alike contribute to making Clarissa Black a successful animal trainer in the entertainment industry and in the animal world.

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