Fun Paw Care was founded by renowned Los Angeles dog trainer and behaviorist Russell Hartstein, a pet expert, ethologist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) with over 30 years of applied behavior analysis (ABA), dog behavior, training, and pet care experience. When veterinarians and celebrities from the entertainment, business, and fashion world think of dog training and behavior modification, they call expert dog trainer and behaviorist Russell Hartstein.
Russell’s work with the distinguished Dr. Jane Goodall, renowned primatologist, anthropologist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace to help homeless dogs with their training and behavior received accolades. Russell is the recipient of prestigious honors from Dr. Jane Goodall the city, mayor, and commissioners where he received a key to the city for his career in animal behavior and tireless help rescuing and training pets.
Russell has been a proponent of not only fear/force-free positive reinforcement dog training for over 30 years but has successfully lobbied the unregulated dog training industry to rid dog “trainers” from using any punitive devices (vibration collars, choke chains, and prong collars) and as a former Board of Director has successfully been part of a collision that has made those archaic aversive devices banned in jurisdictions.
Russell has not only pledged an ethical and moral oath, to the certification bodies that he is a fully certified member of but more importantly as a cornerstone and guiding light of his existence. Russell is a longtime vegan, animal advocate, environmentalist and Buddhist that believes in compassion to all sentient beings and non-harm before all else.
Russell’s methodologies (like any competent Certified Dog/Cat Behaviorist and Trainer) uses strict positive reinforcement dog training, combined with science/evidence-based learning for both the pet and parents.
Russell is a world-renowned authority on dog and cat behavior. His deep understanding of animal behavior has him featured in magazines, television, and newspapers from around the world. Russell is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), Utah State University, Certified in Applied Behavior Analysis, Living & Learning With Animals, The Science & Technology of Behavior Change ~ Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, and was a Board Member of the Disability Access Committee (D.A.C.) for over 10 years! Appointed by two consecutive Mayors for his service dog training and community leadership expertise.
Russell is also a Certified Fear Free Professional Trainer, a Professional Member of the Pet Professionals Guild (PPG), a Member of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS), has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of Recognition, by former Mayor Philip Levine, the Commissioners & the City of Miami Beach, a Certified Member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP), has been awarded Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and awarded STAR Puppy Evaluator by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Russell is an author for many dog, cat and nonhuman animal publications such as PetMD, Chewy, Dogster, etc. and regularly cited/interviewed/featured in and recognized as an industry leader by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NBC, CBS, Wikipedia, Reader’s Digest, Business Insider, MarketWatch, LIVESTRONG, Business News Daily, Popsugar, Elite Daily, Martha Stewart, NYmag The Strategist, How Stuff Works, Slate, Parade, PetMD, Chewy, PetSmart, VetStreet, American Kennel Club (AKC), Animal Wellness Magazine, Dogster, Catster, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Realtor.com, Travel & Leisure, Apartment Therapy, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Lifewire, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and countless other independent press, television, publications, journals and countless other media outlets.
Russell was the general partner and founding principal of a Hedge Fund, and a financier who traded in his many financial accreditations, accolades, and licenses on Wall Street (Series 7, 55, & 63) to help families, dogs and cats flourish together. Getting back to his roots and his passion for psychology, animal behavior, training, ethology, cognitive etiology, and optimal pet care where he finds an abundance of satisfaction and fulfillment helping families, their pets, and being surrounded by them.
Russ’s Dog Training Certifications, Professional Affiliations, and Achievements
- Binghamton University, B.A. With Honors
- Utah State University, Certified in Applied Behavior Analysis, Living & Learning With Animals, The Science & Technology of Behavior Change ~ Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
- Certified Dog Behavior Consultants (CDBCs) – one of fewer than 200 worldwide – certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Fun Paw Care is Los Angeles’s only members-only luxury dog boarding and dog daycare operated and run by a CDBC.
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).
- Dr. Jane Goodall (renowned primatologist, anthropologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace) chose to work with Russ to help with homeless dogs, training, and behavior.
- Awarded prestigious honors from Dr. Jane Goodall and Certificate of Recognition, by the Mayor and Commissioners.
- Board member of the Disability Access Committee (D.A.C.) appointed by two consecutive Mayors for dog and puppy training, behavior, and animal behavior leadership and expertise for over ten years.
- Nationally recognized dog bite and aggression expert witness
- Certified Fear Free Professional Trainer
- Professional member of the force-free, Pet Professional Guild (PPG)
- Professional member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP)
- Member of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS)
- Awarded Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Russ is an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) practitioner and meditator studying with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Medicine, Division of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, & Society
- Certified in CPR & First Aid for dogs (and cats)
- Accredited A+ Member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Russell is a proponent of animal rescue, defending the voiceless and volunteers his time training, fostering, and mentoring disenfranchised people. Russell supports responsible animal rescue groups/shelters by fostering homeless pets and offering dog training in Los Angeles California to pets in need and donating a percentage of our sales back to the responsible shelters/rescue organization where a pet came from.
Russell is proud to be a vegan, environmentally friendly, and conscious business. Russell was educated and received his B.A. from Binghamton University, graduated with honors, and de-educated through intensive Buddhist meditation practice. He has been honored to be the guardian for dozens of dogs, cats, and numerous other sentient beings in his life.
Russell is an experienced Vipassana Insight meditator, an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) practitioner studying with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Medicine, Division of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, & Society.