Mary Huntsberry

IMG_1766Mary Huntsberry is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist based in Montgomery County, MD. She started her consulting and training business, Helping Pets Behave, in 2011 after working as an animal behaviorist for the National Institutes of Health for five years. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the American University in Washington, DC. Following graduate school, she completed a one year research fellowship working with monkeys at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her course work in animal behavior started at James Madison University, where she majored in Psychology with a focus in behavior. 
Mary has always been passionate about animals, learning, and how the environment can be manipulated to modify behavior. As a child, the first trick she taught her dog was to close the door on cue. She was fascinated by breaking down what appeared to be a complex behavior into simple parts that her Scottish Terrier, Inky, could understand and easily learn. Her obsession, turned full blown addiction, resulted from training her Shih Tzu, Cricket, in Animal Assisted Therapy and obedience. At the time, he was one of the only Shih Tzus showing, exhibiting perfectly executed behaviors no one would expect from a toy breed with a funny face.
After learning the science behind animal learning and behavior in school, Mary honed her skills with the help of her mentor, Nancy Williams, and earned the prestigious ACAAB certification from the Animal Behavior Society. Since starting her business, Mary has developed her own style and brand that have exceeded her own high (and at times unrealistic) expectations. 
It goes without saying that nothing beats working with animals, but what Mary loves most about her job is teaching clients. There is something miraculous about changing how someone thinks and feels about their pet. Not only do they get to see their pet’s behavior change in an instant, they finally see their pet clearly for the first time without the baggage of misconceptions, confusion, and often resentment fogging the picture. It’s hard for anyone to live with an animal, human or non-human, that they don’t understand.
When not consulting or training cats, dogs, and the occasional pig, Mary enjoys jogging and playing Frisbee with her Sheltie, Scarlett, and snuggling up in blankets with her husband, Jeremy.
Visit Mary’s website,, for more information about her and the services she provides.