Marilisa Markey is the owner and main trainer for Doggywood. 

With over twenty years of experience, not only she has trained all sorts of exotic animals like hippos, giraffes, mandrills, camels, panthers, kangaroos, etc. at the San Diego Zoo, she is also a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy of Dog Trainers. Karen Pryor is one of the most acclaimed positive trainers in the world. Needless to say the program is highly respected within the “Dog Community of Trainers”. The certification is demanding and limited to only the best.

​While attending SDSU she was involved in an Eco-turism/Conservation program entitled “Therapy for a Dying Planet”. One of the founders of the program was Gary Priest from the San Diego Zoo. Gary encouraged Marilisa to apply to the Exotic Animal Training (EATM) program at Moorpark College. This was the start of her professional career as an animal trainer. She completed the two-year course in 1996. The lessons she learned and the hands-on work at the Zoo could never be found anywhere else. But most importantly the positive methods she developed from EATM have become the foundation of her philosophy for working with animals and people. This is where she first studied Karen Pryor’s book “Don’t Shoot the Dog.” Ms. Pryor’s theories and scientifically based proven methods are a staple for exotic and domestic trainers.

​Marilisa is a San Diego native and had always dreamed of working for the San Diego Zoo. She attained her goal and worked with the Animal Behavior Department, headed by Gary Priest. Marilisa loved working there and enjoyed every aspect of the years she spent at the zoo. She was primarily a husbandry trainer, consultant to zookeepers, an educator to guests as well as an enrichment expert. She worked zoo-wide with various species but primarily with primates. She has been quoted “If I can train a monkey, I can train just about anything.” She would have stayed longer but decided to stay home for a while and train some new primates, her sons Billy and Boe.

​She has worked as a freelance trainer in the Entertainment Industry. Training all sorts of animals for movie, TV and print production work. This has been in the LA and SD areas.

She has taught various Dog classes and has been an educator for wildlife and pet care at schools, public and private events.

​Needless to say, Marilisa has always had a bond with animals. She currently shares her home with 2 dogs, 2 cats, a pig, 6 chickens, a big African Tortoise and a couple of fish. Not to mention the Homo Sapiens (the hardest to train) her husband and kids. 

What to Expect

A friendly environment.

We want you and your dog to feel at home..


Genuine concern.

Every one of us is a pet-owner. We will treat your pet like it was our own.


Professional service.

Our board-certified staff will provide the expert care your family deserves.

A Word About Marilisa Markey

Dog Training Encinitas