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Pia Silvani has been teaching for over 30 years starting with dance, track and field and swimming where her accomplishments and achievements were internationally recognized.  But she found her true calling in coaching and teaching dogs and even cats where she continues to receive international recognition and accolades in the many programs she has developed.

For 25 years, Pia was Vice President of Training and Behavior as well as Behavior Specialist at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ.  Pia developed numerous courses focused on positive, reward-based techniques, which are extremely effective in the enhancement of the bond and relationship of the dog with his/her human companion.   The result was an astounding 100+ classes per week, which included 8 levels of pet training classes, and specialty courses designed for dogs with extreme behavioral problems.   The very successful Feisty FidosTM curriculum which she developed while working at St. Hubert’s has gotten rave reviews around the world.  Pia is still teaching the course for St. Hubert’s at their campus in Madison, NJ.   Pia continues to train new trainers in the field and has written six training manuals, which are used nationally as a resource guide for other trainers.  She offers workshops around the world on enrichment, training, and behavior modification for the shelter dog and your pet dog or cat.

While at St. Hubert’s, Pia

  • was instrumental in developing a behavior department.
  • developed a canine coach program where volunteers and apprentice dog trainers work with shelter dogs to help them become more adoptable by achieving and maintaining good manners.
  • developed a private consultation department geared towards pet owners with aggressive or anxiety-related problems for dogs and cats.

Pia has spoken at various conferences and forums nationally (in 47 states) and internationally (including Belgium, Bermuda, England, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia).  She routinely gives guest appearances on television and radio and consultas with various shelters to assist them in improving and expanding their programs.

Charter member, American Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)
Subject Matter Expert, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
Animal Behavior Society

Pia’s accomplishments

  • Member of the American Humane Association Task Force for Humane Dog Training
  • Business Practice chairperson of the Delta Guidelines for Humane Dog Training
  • Past V.P. of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and charter member
  • Restructured the training curriculum for over 500 PETsMART stores in North America
  • Implemented a six-week training curriculum for the PETsMART Area Trainers and conducted the educational program, spear headed by Dr. Suzanne Hetts.  Team members consisted of Drs. Mary Lee Nitschke, Pamela Reid and Terry Ryan and Trish King.
  • Senior Staff instructor for the Dogs of Course Instructor Training courses Telecourse instructor for Animal Behavior Associates (
  • Past Board Advisor to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitter
  • Subject Matter Expert in the development of the first national certification program for dog trainers.
  • Past V.P. of the National Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and charter member
  • Advisory Committee member of the Animal Rescue League of Boston
  • Radio host of Teacher’s Pet on
  • Instructor for Petfinder’s national Adoption Option outreach program, sponsored by Petco Foundation
  • Nominated for 2008 Annual Writing Competition by The Dog Writers Association of America for excellence in the category of Magazine Series for the work “Canine Play”, APDT Chronicle of the Dog
  • Nominated for 2009 Annual Writing Competition by The Dog Writers Association of America for excellence in the category of Magazine: feature on training and/or behavior for the work “Reinforcing Fear:  Why the Debate?”, APDT Chronicle of the Dog
  • Bark Magazine, February/March 2010, Issue #58 – Chosen as one of Bark’s 100 picks of the best and brightest people that changed the world of dogs
  • Advisory Committee member for Premier Pet Products and Radio Systems Corporation
  • Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the APDT Foundation and charter member
  • Member of American Humane Association’s Independent Review Board (IRB) for the Animal Behavior Resources Institute website, ABRIonline.
  • Consultant for the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Team.  Deployments to various dog fighting raids for purposes of evaluating dogs
  • First Certified Professional Dog Trainer in the State of New Jersey

Contact Information:

Pia Silvani, CPDT-KA, CCBC

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