Meet the Trainers

Kimberly Gracner, Professional Dog Trainer St. Charles MO

Kimberly Gracner, Dog Trainer St. Charles MO & St Louis MOKimberly, owner and professional dog trainer of Positive Paws Pet Training, has actively been involved with dogs her entire life. She presently has two four legged family members of her own, a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever.

Her education includes a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling. Previously, she worked in the human counseling field assisting individuals with their needs and challenges. However, her love for dogs took over! After realizing that many dogs are needlessly surrendered due to correctable behavioral problems, she recognized that she could help save dogs’ lives. At this point, she began to take courses, study with talented individuals in the dog training field, and teach group and private classes. Kimberly continues to expand her knowledge by attending training seminars, workshops, and classes by world-renowned professional dog trainers and behaviorists.


Additional Qualifications
  • Extensive dog training experience, successfully educating over 3000 dogs of all breeds and ages.
  • Attained professional development diploma in completing the Companion Animal Behavioral Counseling Program with the American Institute for Animal Science.
  • Certified Canine Behavioral Counselor through the Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors.
  • Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers.
  • Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
  • Certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator.
  • Former area trainer for national pet organization.
  • Accredited business with the Better Business Bureau.


“My goal is to help individuals and their pets to better understand each other through more compassionate training methods. Better communication can teach dogs more positive behaviors and reduce the number of pets unnecessarily abandoned to shelters.”
— Kimberly Gracner



Jennifer Maurer, Professional Dog Trainer

Jennifer has always had a love of animals.  She began training with her own dog Simone, a 10 year old sheltie mix. After graduating Simone from puppy, intermediate and advanced courses using positive reinforcement training methods, Jennifer decided to take her to the next level.  She then trained her to become a touch-therapy dog. For seven years, Simone visited patients at St. Elizabeth hospital in the rehabilitation unit and mental health wards.  Jennifer was able to see firsthand how positive reinforcement training creates a true bond between dogs and humans while making a difference in their lives.


It was then Jennifer decided to become a professional dog trainer sharing her knowledge with other humans and their canine companions.  She worked full-time as an accredited dog trainer at a major pet retail chain training over 300 dogs through puppy, intermediate, advance and trick classes all using positive reinforcement methods.  She is passionate about training dogs to have excellent manners and a strong bond with their human.  Jennifer is currently enrolled in the Greater St. Louis Training Club’s assistant dog trainer course.  She has earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluators certification.


Jennifer loves spending her time with Simone dining out in their Central West End neighborhood, visiting parks and other dog events.




Alyssa Duren, Professional Dog Trainer

duren_website2-2Alyssa has grown up around dogs her whole life. She has always had a love for all animals, but dogs are her favorite.  She got her love for training from her father.  Although he is not a professional trainer, he has a skill with working with dogs.  When Alyssa was young, she enjoyed watching her father train her Labradors to hunt.

In 2013, Alyssa began working as a professional dog trainer at a national pet organization. While learning the techniques of positive reinforcement, she quickly understood that these methods created successful results.  Alyssa realized the difference that she could make in pet parents lives by helping them build the bond with their dogs.  After receiving her accreditation, she trained for three years.  Alyssa worked with hundreds of individuals and their dogs to create happier homes in both group and private lessons.

Alyssa joined Positive Paws Pet Training in May of 2016. She is a certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club.  Alyssa loves to watch relationships blossom between the dogs and owners as she trains.  “Nothing brings me more joy than seeing the look on the owners’ faces when their dogs do what they thought was impossible.”