Starmark Academy Training Directors and Instructors have been successful in many aspects of dog training: companion obedience, competitive obedience, agility, retriever training, search and rescue, and assistance dogs. Academy Instructors have instructed others at many levels of dog training and competition. Academy Directors and Instructors are active trainers and competitors and can be seen training young prospects and seasoned champions daily.

Keith Benson

Keith is a certified professional dog trainer and animal behavior specialist with over 20 years of experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with continuing education in Animal Behavior. He is the President/COO of Starmark Animal Behavior Center, Inc, which is one of the largest, most comprehensive training and behavior centers for dogs in the world. As President and Academy Director for Starmark’s school for Professional Dog Trainers, Keith oversees the school’s international curriculum and growth. The school attracts students from around the world seeking to learn the art and science behind a career as a professional dog trainer. Using client and behavioral research from these two corporations Keith helped found Starmark Pet Products, Inc., which designs award-winning training and behavior tools that are distributed in over 40 countries around the world. In addition to his executive role in these companies, Keith frequently provides media commentary and consulting for companies throughout the pet industry.

Catherine Lund

Catherine started her professional canine career in the United States Air Force as a military working dog handler to narcotics and explosive detection patrol canines. As a military working dog handler, she trained the MWDs on all aspects of odor detection, controlled aggression, building searching and obedience. After honorably separating, she worked as a narcotics handler for a contracting company, where she conducted canine sweeps of over one hundred educational facilities to reduce the presence of drugs, alcoholic beverages, medications, and weapons. When she wasn’t working, she started helping pet owners have clear comminucation with their furry family members and taking in behavior modification cases. After several years of working with pets, Catherine went back into training dual purpose dogs for police departments, contractors, and protection dogs for clients. She trained green working dogs on bitework, tracking, and odor detection for explosive, narcotics, accelerant, and weapons. She instructed handler’s courses, dog trainer courses, and decoy courses for LEO and clients. After finding a passion for training canine trainers, she officially left the working dog world and joined Starmark as the Lead Instructor to teach future dog trainers on how to become the best trainer that they can be.

Erica Fernandez

Erica’s love and passion for dogs started at young age. As a teenager, she participated in several internships with local dog training facilities and began to study for education and experience. She officially started her small business when she at 16 years old and won awards and community nominations for her services and dedication to the community rescue efforts. She graduated from Starmark Academy for Professional Dog Trainers in 2020 as a Canine Training and Behavior Specialist. Upon program completion Erica was a trainer with Starmark Animal Behavior Center where she also became certified in K9 1st Aide and is an AKC Evaluator. During her time as a trainer, Erica discovered her passion for working with Behavior Modification cases. Erica works alongside her Demo Dog Raven, a 5-year-old Doberman pincher who assists in the training process.  Erica’s goal here at Starmark is to teach students how to bring pet owners and their dogs closer together through a balanced relationship-based training experience.