Holly Byrd, B.S.

Pet Behavior Consultant | Pet Behavior Change
Orlando, FL

Holly earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from West Virginia University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a research assistant with Dr. Megan Maxwell and assisted with data collection in a series of research projects examining the effects of delayed reinforcement on responding in dogs. She also completed her undergraduate Honor’s thesis in the animal learning laboratory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Andy Lattal.

After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Holly has worked as an animal trainer at top accredited aquariums. In her 10 years of experience, she has trained a wide range of animals including dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, walruses, otters, and exotic birds. Holly originally joined Pet Behavior Change two years ago while she was living in Boston and assisted clients with a range of both canine and feline behavior problems including separation anxiety, aggression, and fear. While in Boston she also taught dog obedience classes at the Massachusetts SPCA. Holly is now back in Orlando and is excited to bring Pet Behavior Change to the Orlando community!

Holly and her husband share their home with their two adopted dogs Katie (a Boxer), and Kai (a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix).

What is Holly’s educational background?

In 2005, Holly received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from West Virginia University and was the recipient of the Psychology Department’s Quinn Curtis Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Psychology Student. Holly’s passion for animal training in both exotic and domestic animals had already led her to focus her coursework in behavior analysis, behavior modification, and animal learning. 

During her undergraduate work, Holly was a research assistant in the Psychology Department at WVU under the tutelage of Dr. Andy Lattal. It was there that she first met and worked as a research assistant for Dr. Megan Maxwell. Holly also completed an independent honors thesis, titled “Building Complex Response Sequences,” in which she trained pigeons to complete a series of complex behaviors and then assessed whether they could complete these responses in a novel configuration. She presented her thesis research at the national Animal Behavior Management Alliance conference in 2005. 

Holly has completed the following coursework relevant to her work as a pet behavior consultant:

  • Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Behavior Principles
  • Learning and Behavior Theory
  • Behavior Modification
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Biology 
  • Introductory Physiology 

What is Holly’s pet training/experiential background?

Holly has 10 years of animal training experience with domestic and exotic animals including killer whales, sea lions, walruses, otters, birds of prey, small mammals, and birds. Holly joined the Pet Behavior Change team in 2012 and has assisted clients with a range of both canine and feline behavior problems, including separation anxiety, aggression, and fear. She also has experience providing basic obedience instruction both to individual dog owners in private lessons and to groups of dog owners in a classroom format.