About Sympatico

Sympatico Dog Training is the vision of certified professional dog trainer Kim O'Konis.

Founded on the philosophy of positive training, building a relationship with your dog, and scientific learning theory, Sympatico Dog Training embraces the premise that excellent communication coupled with loving interaction builds mutually happy relationships.

Meet Kim

Kim's passion for animals drives both her professional and personal life. A graduate of the Animal Behavior College and an insured member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), she is also the human half of a pet therapy team with her certified therapy dog, Benson.

Kim is also a volunteer with Handsome Dan's Rescue where she is the assistant trainer to head trainer, Heather Gutshall. She completed a 4 month intense internship program, shadowing Heather, a highly regarded dog trainer that also runs a Rhode Island based Pitbull type dog rescue. Since 2012, Kim has been assisting with teaching a weekly group PIT C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills), an educational program to promote training focused on the use of positive reinforcement and to strengthen relationships between humans and their canine companions. C.L.A.S.S. is a three-level evaluation for dog owners to demonstrate the real-life skills of their dogs, as well as a knowledge assessment of the owners’ understanding of basic dog handling and care. This class consists of mostly reactive dogs, with the majority being pitbull type dogs.

Kim is committed to ongoing education. She frequently attends lectures and workshops by animal behaviorists and trainers such as Karen Pryor, Carolyn Barney, Emma Parsons, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Kim earned her BA Degree from Central Connecticut State University and her MS from Simmons College in Boston.

Kim shares her home with her husband, two young sons, and four rescue dogs.


We are very happy to have found Kim! We've worked with Kim both in both private lessons and she has worked with our dogs in group lessons as well. Kim clearly loves dogs and is passionate about helping their development. She is a subject matter expert and generous in sharing her knowledge. In the private lessons, Kim took a detailed history, gave us many practical tips for working with our dogs, demonstrated techniques, and e-mailed a thorough recap of the lessons. We have been working with our dogs under Kim's guidance and have seen improvements. They are less anxious and have better focus skills. We trust Kim with both our dogs. They may even get more excited to see her than me! We will continue to highly recommend Kim to everyone we know.
--Heather C.

Kim is a great caregiver and has done wonders for our dog, Ginger. Ginger can be a nervous dog around other canine friends. Over the last four months of hikes with Kim, Ginger has made great strides socially. The pictures and videos that Kim sends me always bring a smile to my face. Knowing that Ginger is getting great exercise but also is growing with her interactions with a lot of different types of dogs is worth every penny! In addition, Kim's services are very reasonably priced; she picks up, drops off and hikes the dogs for a solid hour. Ginger loves Kim which is evident by how crazy she gets when she sees Kim come to the house; our family feels very lucky to have come upon her dog care services!
--Lana S.