"DHARMA is the law that upholds, supports and maintains the order of the universe.  It is also our one true purpose in life."


Kelley McAtee, Owner

Master Dog Trainer, Behavior Specialist & Mentor


2002 Graduated from Creighton University, BA in Sociology, focusing my studies on animals in society.


  • Animal Assisted Therapy; benefits to humans

  • Animals' Roles in Society; zoos, pets, animal testing & research

  • Pet Overpopulation; locally and nationally

  • Independent Research Project on our local Council Bluffs Animal Shelter

2004 I became active in our local animal welfare community with rescue and shelters.


  • Founded a non-profit called Midwest Animal Welfare Society; focusing on humane education and animal rescue.  

  • Partnered with the Pottawattamie County Animal Shelter; coordinating their volunteer program & off-site adoptions.

  •  Started a grassroots campaign SWIA Humane Society that evolved into the Midlands Humane Society in Council Bluffs, IA.

  • Founded of Iowans Against Breed Specific Legislation; educating our citizens & law-makers on the negative affects of this legislation while promoting dangerous dog laws. 


2007 I started PAWfect Pet Services a successful dog walking and pet sitting company gaining 10k hours of leash handling.


  • President of the Omaha Pet Sitters Association for 3 years

  • Won the Dotty Shantz Scholarship from Pet Sitters International in 2009

  • Volunteered at Nebraska Humane Society walking dogs, and in their training classes

  • Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers, attended conference in Cincinatti, OH in 2012 

  • Intersnship w/ Lee Charles Kelley, New York author of PTSD in dogs in Psychology Today 

  • Studied Kevin Behan's Natural Dog Training Method 


2014 Founded Dharma Dog Training and brought balanced training to Omaha, NE and help dogs in need.


  • Member of International Association of Canine Professionals, connecting with trainers around the country

  • Completed "Conversational Leash Work & Dogmanship" Workshop with Tyler Muto, K9 Connection, Buffalo, NY

  • Completed "Leash Handling for Rehabilitation & Faith in Handler Workshop" with Jay Jack, Next Level Dogs, Auburn, ME

  • Attended "Horsemanship Clinic" with Buck Brannaman, star of "BUCK" (the movie), Sheridan, WY

  • Completed "Dealing with Difficult Dogs" and "Socializing" with Heather Beck, K9 Lifeline, Draper, UT

  • Attended "Large Field Socialization" Workshop with Jason Vasconi, Transform My Dog, Houston, TX

  • Attended "Pack to Basics" Workshop with Chad Mackin, Chicago, IL 


Thanks for taking the time to read about me, we look forward to working together to help your dogs on a journey toward a more peaceful and balanced life together!




Kelley McAtee,

aka @DharmaDogMother

Our Story

I have spent the last two decades of my life studying, living and bonding with my own dogs as well as my clients dogs to understand their needs.  And I will be the first one to  tell you, it was not all magical.   I have been through some serious struggle, frustration and heartache on my journey with dogs. But that has also been balanced out with some of the best, most joyful, loving, peaceful moments of my life .  


My passion for animals was sparked in college, and I focused my studies on animals in society.  After graduation I found it hard to find jobs working with aninmals, so I volunteered with local animal rescue groups and started my own non-profit and delved into the world of animal welfare.  During this time I also struggled with my own dogs serious behavior issues. I contacted trainers, rescues, and behaviorists to help, to no avial.  I was left feeling hopeless and frustrated and I feel as though those dogs were failed by a system and because I did not have the tools to help them. 


After 6 years of my pet sitting career I felt something was missing and wanted to help animals on a larger level. 

Because I was left feeling hopeless and frustrated when my own dogs and client's dogs did not fit into the majority training model,  I was determined to figure out how to deal with serious behavior issues that dogs were being euthanized every day for.  Such as human aggression,  dog aggresion, in-pack fighting, sibling rivalry, guarding issues, etc.  I was the first trainer to bring this style of training to the Omaha Metro area, and have made it my life's work to help others going through the same issues with their dogs, and who are at loss of what to do. 


If I had known then what I know now, I would  have been able to save my dogs lives.  But we do the best we can, with the knowledge we have at the time, and I can't change what happened, but what I can do is change the life of every dog I come into contact with for the rest of my life.   My dogs have been there for me through thick and thin. They have the amazing ability to be mirrors for us; sometimes we may not like what we see, but sometimes we might, regardless they help us see where we need to work in our lives, what needs attending to, adjusted and healed.  They have the ability to communicate things with us but also teach us so much and about ourselves if we are willing to listen.  That's why I have dedicated my life to these wonderful creatures we call dogs,


This is not just a job for me...this is my life and my Dharma.  

My Vision

My vision is that one day the status of dogs will change in our society. Everyday pets are relinquished in our country, re-homed and euthanized due to behavior issues.  My vision is that one day pets will not be given up on, dumped at shelters, and met with a tragic end.   Most behavior problems can be solved and we are here to tell you that there is help out there and we specialize in rehabilitating rescue dogs.  


I believe that  until every 8 seconds an animal is no longer euthanized and tossed into our nations landfills, adoption is the only option.  My hope for our future is that we put an end to the mass killings that are happening in our country, every day and behind closed doors.  I believe that we need stronger laws in our country to shut down puppy mills, pet stores, back yard breeders that make it way too easy to acquire an animal.  Animal abuse is directly linked to our pet overpopulation problem, and also linked to human abuse.


Yes, our dogs may come with baggage, but so do we, and our dogs can bring our issues to light so that we may just become better people for having the courage to work through those issues, and help ourselves while helping our dogs.  Until the end of my days, I plan to learn, teach and advocate for these animals around the world.


This is my vision for Dharma Dog Training.

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The Heartland's Dog Training & Behavior Specialists

"Our goal is to empower dog owners with the tools to help keep their dogs healthy,

happy and in their homes!"





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