Dynamic trainer Christine Reisor fuses physical activity and passion.
By Mariah C. Harper, Photo by Larry Reisor.
Christine Reisor, dog trainer extraordinaire, always knew the “desk-job life” wasn’t for her, but it took a stray puppy named Rex to show her the path she would follow for the rest of her life.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, 71-year-old Reisor left for Hawaii at the age of 18. After exploring the island of Oahu, Reisor made the city of Kauai her home. There she met her husband Larry and together they started a well-loved local diner. Though she grew up around dogs, Reisor ignited her passion for training on Kauai. This passion came in the form of Rex, whom she found hiding behind her dryer. Reisor promptly adopted Rex and dedicated hours to his training and socialization. The upbeat, involved process fascinated her, and Reisor continued to train dogs on the island. In 2003, after 36 years in Hawaii, Reisor and Larry sold their restaurant and moved to Texas.
In Austin, Reisor pursued professional dog training talents at the Highland Lakes SPCA, making her way from volunteer to kennel manager. Next, she worked at the Bee Cave PetSmart and helped revitalize the location’s training program. She brought in unprecedented clients and revenue with her spunky personality, no-nonsense training style and quotable tips like, “your dog is only as good as you are.”
Today, entrepreneur Reisor has trained more than 1000 dogs and certified 600-plus for the American Kennel Club’s Good Canine Citizen Certificate. After leaving PetSmart, she created an in-home dog-training program called Everybody and Their Dog, Training with Christine. She is wholly devoted to her furry patrons, teaching four to five 90-minute classes a day. Constantly on the go, she races from one session to the next and walks 17 to 20 miles a week with her canine clientele. It’s a lot of work, but Reisor enjoys the high energy and active nature of her job. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s how this dog communicator gets in her daily steps.
“I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and walk about a mile and a half with my dog Dusty. I make sure everyone gets fed, including our three rescue kittens and Dusty. Later, I prepare for my classes. I cut treats, organize paperwork and stuff packets for new clients. I shower and leave for my first class around 11:30!”
“It’s a lot of work moving from house to house all day! I carry my office with me: files, handouts, my luggage carrier filled with leashes and treats, and my shoulder bag. In the actual sessions I’m constantly moving with lures [for the dog], walking around the room or getting down on my knees and back up again. I try to get as much done as possible in each session and I don’t think I’m still for the entire hour and a half! It also takes a lot of mental strength; I have to focus so the dog can focus.”
“I drink green smoothies with kale, spinach, fruit and apple cider vinegar. I’m paleo and allergic to dairy, so I watch for that. I also try to avoid too many carbs, which is hard because I grew up Italian with lots of bread and pasta! During the day I don’t have much time to stop for lunch; Larry typically packs me a protein shake, grilled chicken or pork tenderloin and fruit. Maybe also some cassava chips and cherry tomatoes.”
“My favorite harness is Walk Your Dog with Love! It’s easy to put on and buckles under the dog’s legs. My go-to leash is Sadie’s 8-in-1 Adjustable Security Leash. It has loops all the way down so you can easily hold the lead from any spot. It was a birthday gift from a former student!”
“I love seeing the communication finally click between a dog and their human. Of course, it’s fun to train the dog, but the excitement humans show when their [canine]does what they want is priceless!”
“I have the best job in the world…it doesn’t feel like work. I love a challenge and I’m constantly provided that. Dogs are the most amazing [thing]. When Larry had colon cancer a few years back, I told the hospital if you let me bring Dusty, he will get better. They allowed it and, although Larry wasn’t fully conscious during Dusty’s visits, Dusty’s energy helped him. He got better.”
“I usually have two classes at night. After, I come home, Larry cooks dinner, and then I drop!”