My Story: Dogs have been a central focus in my life for as long as I can remember, and I have always wanted to work closely with them. I remember a job in my 20's where we had to wear t-shirts at Christmas time that had a five year goal written on it. Each and every year, I wrote that I wanted to be a Dog Trainer. While it took me a few more than five years to get to it, I eventually found my way to realizing this dream!
I've identified as a 'seeker' throughout my life, and dogs have provided a constant reflection for my learning and growth, alongside the great refuge and comfort offered simply through their presence. I see dogs as the greatest truth tellers around. They have taught me so much about who I am and who I am not, and even more about unconditional love. Dogs to me, offer a wellspring of spiritual connection, where I can connect to a deeper experience of life through their example and relationship.
I am a no bullsh*t kind of person. I think this is why I connect with dogs, because they have a superior radar for BS and can sniff out people who aren’t authentic in an instant. What I appreciate about dogs is that they will let you know that they know. You can’t hide who you are from a dog. I respect that kind of honesty, and I aspire to live my life like that. Truth, integrity and kindness are core values in my work, and the willingness to be honest and say what needs to be said creates a transformative process for people and their dogs.
Growing up, we always had family dogs, and I was also devoted to weekly walks with my Uncle’s rescue dogs, who became like my own over the years. I volunteered at the SPCA, walking all kinds of surrendered dogs with all kinds of issues. This was my first crack at navigating the complexity of K9’s, seeing the myriad behavioural issues and temperament variation in each dog. Even though it took me some time to circle back to embark on dog training as a career, I realize it was then that I really felt compelled to live as an advocate for dogs in some way.
In 2021, I began an apprenticeship with renowned Trainer, Monique Anstee and The Naughty Dogge. Not only were my own dogs transformed by this experience, but I was transformed as well. I came into the apprenticeship with a reactive dog, Bodhi, and through our consistent work together, he quickly evolved into a happy, calm and well adjusted dog in the world. He has been my greatest teacher and a great mentor for many dogs that have come through my care and training. He’s the best assistant I could ask for!
I continue to deepen my learning with Monique today, teaching weekly group classes and 'day school' at her facility. I also train my younger pupper, Zenya, in competition obedience. The bond that has grown from training together in this way is remarkable and fulfilling in an immeasurable way! Between the lessons of my reactive boy, and the meticulous training with my girl in CO, I am certainly kept humble and always learning.
Since the commencement of my apprenticeship, my life has become an immersive daily dog experience: studying K9 behaviour, practicing training methods, developing husbandry skills and working directly with dogs of all breeds, temperaments, and backgrounds. I am fascinated by the connection that dogs and humans have and the seemingly telepathic way dogs can know what’s happening inside of our minds and hearts (whether we want them to or not!). Being able to ‘feel’ a dog is the super sauce that supports my work as a trainer, and it grows with every interaction I have. I truly love to help other people find that for themselves and in relationship to their doggo.
I am heavily influenced by a (somewhat obsessive) academic background in Psychology alongside a twenty year career in fitness, martial arts, yoga, therapeutics and coaching. My mission is to help raise the level of self awareness in each person I meet, and empower them to take fierce personal responsibility for their lives. In K9 education, I get to help people do this with their most prized relationships, the one they have with themselves and of course, the one they have with their dog. My gift is helping people recognize sticky behaviour patterns that don’t serve them (or their dogs) and support them in fostering sustainable change. In my work, there is a tenderness and a sensitivity born of compassion and lived experience, while simultaneously offering a steadiness in telling the truth of what I see in a way that people can hear, understand and work with. If you are looking for a trainer who will clearly see you AND your dog, alongside the dynamic that exists between you, while providing an opportunity for you both to grow, heal and transform, then we are likely a good fit to work together.