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Embassy Animal Training is not a formula for franchising or a “Fix-it” menu handed down to a large staff of “technicians”. We absolutely love training animals and we’re passionate about it. There are three primary partners at Embassy Animal Training. You will be working directly with at least one of more of us. Read our bio’s below to find out more.
Ted is a nationally known animal behaviorist, giving animal training seminars and clinics around the world from Alaska to Australia. His passion for animals and wildlife conservation, combined with a keen interest in the science of animal learning and behavior modification, has helped him pioneer many breakthroughs in modern wildlife management and pet training.
His professional career began working with killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters and birds of prey for wildlife organizations such as SeaWorld and Ocean Embassy and he continues to consult for zoos and aquariums all over the world. He has trained a variety of species for shows, movies, television, guest interaction and research programs and he has published numerous articles on the subject of animal learning and training.
Ted’s family owned and operated one of the largest St. Bernard and Akita kennels in the U.S. producing over 13 AKC champions and 1 national champion at Castlewood Kennels in Ohio. This developed his diverse interest in dog and pet training and his clinics have included basic obedience, agility, service dog training, freestyle, sheep herding and utility training. Ted also conducts clinics and hands-on training for a wide variety of animal professionals including horse trainers, bird trainers, zoo professionals, students and veterinarians.
As past-President of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, he remains actively involved in promoting the application of sound techniques, especially for new trainers or those interested in advancing their own training skills. “So many animals can be helped in a variety of ways with an understanding of the basics of training. Helping young animals develop and people learn new skills are my greatest rewards.”
Mark grew up on a farm in Northern Virginia around animals such as horses, dogs, cats and cattle from a young age. While visiting SeaWorld of Florida in 1986, he became enthralled with marine mammals and shortly thereafter began a career in animal behavior working alongside dolphins, beluga whales, polar bears and killer whales.
In 1999, Mark joined the Keiko Reintroduction Project as the Director of Animal Husbandry. In that role, he designed and authored the behavioral rehabilitation strategy for the release of the adult male killer whale Keiko (of Free Willy notoriety). He led the Behavior Team onsite in Iceland, and among other successes, achieved the first killer whale ever trained to follow a boat on open ocean voyages.
In partnership with several colleagues, Simmons formed Ocean Embassy in 2005, a zoological consulting firm. Since that time, he has spent his career consulting for governments and private zoological institutions on animal behavior and management. Mark and his colleagues have provided instructional seminars on basic and advanced behavior for professional and amateur trainers alike.
Ever since learning the principles of behavioral modification in his early days at SeaWorld, Mark has had a passion for animal training. Over the last 24 years of his career, he has applied these very same principles in shaping the behavior of his own family pets and helping friends and family solve common problems.
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than watching an animal learn. Its a job that focuses your attention on the positive day-in and day-out…and I’ve had the added blessing of working with some of the most amazing animals and in the most amazing environments. I love the simplicity of behavior modification, once you understand the basic principles – your imagination is the only limit to what you can teach an animal.”
As a native Ohioan, Todd began his professional career in 1990 at SeaWorld Ohio and developed a comprehensive knowledge of applied behavior modification techniques and training by working with killer whales and dolphins. As his career expanded, he accepted positions at Sea Life Park Hawaii where he established the park’s dolphin interaction program and at Sea World of Orlando where he supervised a large staff of professional marine mammal trainers and produced some of their highest rated animal shows.