For starters, let’s talk about who I am. I am a mother, dog trainer, and coffee addict. I have been training dogs for over 10 years. My journey started when I was 19 years old. With a mischievous German Shepherd named Wolfgang. The beginning of my journey was not easy. Wolfie and I had a rocky start. At that time I had no idea that this was the career path that I would take. However, learning how to work with Wolfie, wait, scratch that. Learning how to understand Wolfie lead me down an unbelievable journey. It wasn’t enough for me to learn how to train him. I wanted to understand him.
My dad always told me that Wolfie isn’t actually bad. He is just misunderstood. This is something he stuck by no matter what kind of trouble Wolfie got into. Even when he was deemed a dangerous dog. He wasn’t really. He was just misunderstood. Looking back at our journey together my dad was 100% correct. I believe there is no such thing as a bad dog. Just misunderstood. Once you take the time to understand what is going on with your dog, you can fix the underlying issues and have a best friend for life.
Fast forward a couple of years and Wolfie was an amazing dog. The biggest suck that you ever laid eyes on. Anyone who knew him loved him. It was hard not to love him. It took a bit of time, but we managed to work through his issues from his adolescent years. Unfortunately, Wolfie left us too soon as he lost his battle to cancer at 5 years old. But the lessons he taught me will live on forever.
About a year later I adopted a Border Collie/Shepherd/Lab X named Rosie. This was a completely different dog from Wolfgang. Where Wolfgang was mischievous, Rosie is hyperactive. Or at least she was when I adopted her at 1 year old. She was surrendered because she bit a man in the face. She was terrified of men. However, with some patience and time, she managed to overcome her fear of men. After all, her favorite human in the world is a man, my husband. Ironic isn’t it?
Whereas Wolfgang led me down a path to understanding dogs on a deeper level, Rosie led me down the path of dog sports. She was so full of energy she was more than happy to play any game I threw at her. We played Rally-O, Agility, and Flyball. We have even dappled a bit in Canine Freestyle. My journey with her has taken me into a new world of different training techniques and styles that help me become a more rounded dog trainer.
Now, I have 3 dogs and 2 kids. Family life with dogs brings on new challenges. I believe that the obstacles that I have faced in my life have made me a better trainer and dog owner. All the mistakes I have made, and I made A LOT of mistakes, have helped me to grow and adapt.
I am currently certified through Animal Behaviour College. I am also a Mentor trainer for people who want to be dog trainers.
Throughout my journey, I have worked with hundreds of dogs. I have experience working with most breeds. From Great Danes and Huskies to Yorkies and Chihuahuas. As well as everything in-between, including Pitbulls. I have worked with dog reactivity, separation anxiety as well as basic obedience cues. I started out working under a company in Saskatoon that offered doggy daycare and training. Started with only teaching basic obedience in the form of group classes. Then over time, I studied dog psychology, ethology, and learning theory. Studying how to work with dog aggression, separation anxiety, and dog sports.
Now, I no longer do dog sports however I still work with dog reactive situations and separation anxiety. Have done dog reactive group classes, helped people train their dogs to be therapy dogs as well as helped people understand how to get their dog to tolerate nail clippings.
Honestly, through all of my experience I have learned that once you understand why your dog is acting the way he/she is. We can then address that problem directly. By fixing the biggest issue head-on sometimes we can solve other issues along the way. Improving you dogs overall behavior and creating a deeper, stronger bond between dog and owner.