Muzzle Up! started when Maureen Backman, a dog trainer and business owner in San Francisco CA, wanted to change the stigma trainers and dog owners face when they put a muzzle on their dog.

Through partnering with local businesses, rescues and trainers, not only in San Francisco but across the globe, Muzzle Up! aims to educate the public about dog behavior, safety, and why we don’t need to fear muzzles.

About the Founding Director

Bio pictureMaureen Backman, MS, CTC, PCT-A is the owner of Mutt About Town, which offers private dog training services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maureen’s particular strength is combining her knowledge of counseling along with her studies in animal learning and behavior to help humans understand how to communicate and work with their dogs. She is strongly committed to using only force-free training methods.

Maureen is the founding director of The Muzzle Up! Project. Through partnering with local businesses, rescues and trainers, not only in San Francisco but across the world, Muzzle Up! aims to educate the public about dog behavior, safety, and why we don’t need to fear muzzles.

Maureen teaches classes at the San Francisco SPCA and is a Mentor Trainer with CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. She is an instructor for DogTec’s Dog Walking Academies in San Francisco and Marin. She also blogs for Positively.com.

She graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, is certified in training by the Pet Professional Guild, and has a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As of June 2019, Maureen is no longer taking new clients as she has returned to graduate school to continue to pursue her dreams.

Michael Shikashio CDBC

Maureen graciously and generously handed off the torch of The Muzzle Up! Project to Mike in July of 2019. Along with a wonderful team of volunteers, he will be continuing to promote and advocate for the benefits of muzzles!

A bit more about Mike:
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Michael Shikashio, CDBC, is the past president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and provides private consultations working exclusively with dog aggression cases through his business Complete Canines LLC. Michael is fully certified through the IAABC and is a full member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).

He is sought after for his expert opinion by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, New York Post, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, SiriusXM Radio, The Chronicle of the Dog, and Steve Dale’s Pet World.

Michael is a featured speaker at conferences, universities, and seminars around the world, and offers a variety of workshops, webinars, and online courses on the topic of canine aggression.