We put high demands on our dogs in today’s modern society. We ask them to be our friends, guardians, playmates, exercise buddies and social extensions in the community as a whole. We want them to be patient, obedient, and loving. Be comforting to us when we feel blue, leave us alone when we are busy, take new experiences in stride and always be ready to engage on our terms at the time and place we choose. It is quite a tall order. Many dogs do this just beautifully, but just like people, some struggle at times with stress, anxiety, fear and a hard time adjusting to new environments and overall demands put on them. Sometimes it is due to who they are as individuals, but it can also be due to past experiences or lack thereof. We are fortunate that our canine companions are generally very adaptable. Still, some dogs do need some extra help. The good news is all dogs can improve with professional guidance, and this is where Positive Dog Solutions comes in.
Positive Dog Solutions has a great advantage in that while we collectively have decades of experience in the field of dog behavior, we are also skilled communicators and human coaches. We build strong bridges in all levels of human and dog-human relationships. Curiosity, communication, support and empowerment are cornerstones for how we work with dogs and people alike. We will work with you to create a tailored plan to address the challenges you face.
Jackie Maffucci, Ph.D.
Owner, Coach, Behavior Consultant
Jackie brings 15+ years of experience to our team. She holds a B.S. from Cornell University in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Austin. During her graduate career, Jackie took particular interest understanding the interaction of the brain, hormones and behavior, an understanding that she brings to every client she works with as a behavior consultant. She is also a former educator.
Jackie began her behavior career as a shelter volunteer, training rescues in basic obedience and quickly moving to a deeper focus on developing and implementing behavior modification protocols. In 2009, Jackie moved to Northern Virginia and began working with Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, where she continued her focus on supporting dogs with behavioral needs.
Jackie is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also a graduate of Susan Friedman's Living and Learning with Animals Course and Ken Ramirez’s Animal Training Seminar. Throughout her career, Jackie has focused on supporting fearful and reactive dogs and their families.
Jackie resides in Alexandria, VA In 2020, she adopted her current rescue dog, Bingo.
Vivian Levén, M.S., CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA
Owner, Coach, Behavior Consultant
In 2003, Vivian earned a master's degree in conflict resolution from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Since then she has worked in the field of animal welfare policy and research at the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington, D.C. and during that time also volunteered in her spare time with rehabilitating dogs with problem behaviors in the canine rescue community.
In 2010 she took on a full-time position to develop and manage the training department at Fur-Get Me Not in Arlington, VA, it included creating all the behavior specialty classes, she held this position for 8 years. Vivian has extensive knowledge in the field of animal behavior and learning theory. She has been a dog behavior consultant for 18 years.
Vivian places a strong emphasis on furthering her education in the field of behavior science with emphasis on dogs. This interest extends to people. She mediates custody cases at the Multi-Door dispute resolution division at DC Courts and is a volunteer mediator with Community Mediation DC. She is also a CTI trained life coach. This training provides her a unique skill set to relate to the human side in addition to the dog. Other credentials and memberships:
Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) through the Certification of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
Fear Free Certified Professional through Fear Free Pets
Certified Family Paws Parent Educator through Family Paws
Holds the status of TAGteach Primary through TAGteach International
Professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
Professional Member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).
Associate Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
Currently serves on the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers Examination Committee as subcommittee member for the KSA exam.
Vivian shares a home with her daughter and rescue Lab/Shepherd mix Karma.