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There are an incredible amount of Vancouver dog trainers available, but picking a high quality one isn’t always easy. As many of you know from personal experience, or from reading our blog, we at GoFetch consider dogs to be full members of the family. As such, they require, and deserve, love & attention, and like everyone else, benefit greatly from a well rounded education! Now, you can’t send your furry friend into any regular school, so that’s where Dog Trainers come into play. Like a school, each trainer offers their own methods of training, and each have their individual experiences to draw from. For your peace of mind, we have made sure to put together of list of well-qualified, experienced, and kind trainers for your pup – we feel they are Vancouver’s best dog trainers!
How to Choose Your Dog Trainer
- Education – Having a strong base of knowledge in canine behaviour is a great starting point. Frequently, this comes from going through some kind of a certification program. If you are choosing a dog trainer be sure to ask them about their education and how its relevant to the work they do today.
- Experience – Education is great but there is no substitute for real world practical experience. Reading in a text book is one thing but its critical that you have hands on experience with dogs. Be sure to ask if your trainer has experience training your breed of dog since each breed can be quite unique :)….
- Compassion – GoFetch believes in compassionate training methods that emphasize positive reinforcement. Make sure any trainer you choose is compassionate toward animals and doesn’t use punishment as a training technique.
- Energy – Most high quality trainers bring an incredibly positive energy too their craft. They love dogs and it shows when you meet them. You’ll want to find a trainer who loves what they do and has the energy to tackle the challenges involved in training your dog.
- Match – Some dog trainers may be incredible at what they do but not the right match for you and your dog. Additionally, you’ll find that some dog trainers specialize in particular breeds and you may want to consider a breed specialist when finding the perfect trainer for your dog.
Vancouver Dog Trainers – The Top 5
We looked and found 5 awesome Vancouver dog trainers who may interest you. They all bring an incredible energy and love of dogs to their craft but have slightly different approaches. If your pups needs a trainer give them a call for a consultation.
1) Fido Fit – Canine Fitness Trainer
Meet Jordana “Jo” Lopez – a highly highly experienced, positive reinforcement dog training. As a certified Canine Fitness Trainer through the University of Tennessee and a FitPAWS Master Trainer, Jo has always been passionate about dogs. Canine fitness training is still a new concept, so a little context: With proper strength training, you can help prevent injuries and reduce the effects of aging. It is a far more effective way to burn energy than playing fetch or wrestling with other dogs. Akin to your own training at the gym, Jo is able to specify specific routines for your pup! Bellatrix, Jo’s Border Collie mix and Jo’s partner in crime, currently competes in Agility at the Masters level, and together, are always coming up with fun, creative things to teach their fellow doggy friends! Bellatrix, a rescue from just 5 weeks of age, has grown into an intelligent and active dog, who is eager to learn something new everyday. She is an intense worker, but loves to curl on the couch after a job well done, just like many of you.
Fido Fit specializes in canine physical fitness and good behavior/life skills, offering them on an individual, or group, classes. Most people only have time to exercise our dogs on the weekends, but this “weekend warrior” pattern can be potentially detrimental to your pup’s physical well-being. You can count on Jo to make sure your dog is out and about, focusing on mobility, strength, and becoming a healthy, active member of the family. Fido Fit believes in training the whole dog, so behavior training is also offered. Using positive training methods, you and your dog can overcome any challenge. Participating in skill development through games and interactive play, training ends up being a fun time for all!
2) Off Track – Dog Trainer
Established in 2011, Saffrina became a dog trainer the same reason she became a Zoologist – she loves scientific studies, behavioral observations, problem solving, and continuous learning. Mixing that desire to help people, Saffrina spends her time helping to create a better environment for all of us, two legged and four. Specializing in Animal Behavior & Psychology at the University of Nottingham, Saffrina also conducted research studying family dynamics within a captive wolf pack. She went back to school become a dog trainer, gaining certification through the Dog Stars Training Academy, and is an active member of the Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers, and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Her accolades and certifications keep on going on, so I will stop there for now!
Off Track is, a compassion based company, whose aim is simple: provide outstanding services, ongoing family support and community based education, and to help improve the connection, and love, between you and your dog. Offering private training, group classes, as well as a puppy package, Off Track is committed to being compassion based in all their methods. Saffrina shares her full life with her dog Jasper, and what he lacks in height, Jasper makes up for with a sparking personality.
3) Canine Connection – Dog Trainers
Founded by Annika, the owner and head trainer, Canine Connection is a Vancouver, New Westminster & Squamish based dog training company that specializes in force-free, positive reinforcement dog training. While Canine is results driven, both Annika and Nicole (the lead trainer) understand that fun & ethical ways of training dogs is not only effective for pups of all ages, breeds & sizes, but also deems lasting results. Their main goal is to help shape your canine companion into one that you have always dreamed of – a well mannered, trusted, and all around happy dog!
Annika is a triple certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant, and Nicole is a certified Professional Dog Trainer, with over 6 years of experience as a dental hygienist & daycare/dog handler. Akin to Saffrina above, both of these individuals have many more credentials and qualifications, so make sure to visit their website to learn more! Canine Connection believes that dog training is so much more than just having a dog that listens to you. It is about working together and developing the training tools necessary to create a solid relationship with your companion. Canine offers consultations for adults and puppies, conducts group classes, as well as puppy integration into their new homes.
4) Alpha Dog – Training Company
Nina, from Alpha Dog, is a Canine Behavior Specialist and has been a Professional Dog Trainer since 2001. She graduated from the International College of Canine Behavioral Sciences, and continued her education with Intermediate/Advanced Obedience & Agility Training, Behavior Modification & Rehabilitation, Recreational Tracking, as well as Defensive Personal Protection. Working with Alpha Dog, Nina focuses entirely on positive reinforcement training & techniques, without food incentives, gimmicks, fear, force, punch or shock collars. Alpha Dog loves our furry friends, but believes that it is essential for the dogs to live with us under our terms and conditions, so it is essential to properly train and socialize them to the urban environment. Positive reinforcement training works by using praise with positive actions as rewards. Rewarding good behavior makes such behavior more likely to occur in the future.
Nina has a strong personal investment in Alpha Dog, as her primary interest is the welfare of animals, and dogs in particular, as they are such an integral part of our lives. Now more than ever people have a dog in their family (and sometimes instead of a family) so its important to understand what it means to have a dog in one’s life and what that responsibility entails. From Nina’s experience, dogs are so much happier and confident if they have a routine and a job to do. Most breeds (with a few exceptions) are working dogs, and although they are now just companions, they still have the drive and desire to have a job. Skilled, challenging, yet fun training can help provide that task – starting with basic commands and manners, your dog will gradually build to higher levels of training as they succeed. For Nina, watching the dogs progress through the weekly classes is extremely rewarding, and it is a large part of what motivates her to keep on working hard, every day.
5) Obediently Yours – Dog Trainer
Lori, from Obediently Yours, is a Certified Master Dog Trainer, having graduated from Canada West Canine Centre. On a daily basis, Lori works with a variety of breeds teaching all levels of obedience, puppy kindergarten, agility, distraction, behavior adjustment, and more. Lori offers both group classes, as well as private lessons in your home, at the shop, or outdoors! Speaking of Group Classes, sessions are capped at 4 to 5 dog and owner pairs, enabling a more tailored experience to suit your companion’s needs and personalities. Whether in a fun class with others, or in a private lesson, you and your dog will receive the help and attention needed to help build communication, respect, and confidence in one another.
In addition to dog training, Lori is the coordinator of the Roxy Relief program. This program feeds homeless people’s pets in the downtown east side. Food, jackets, leashes, collars and vet care are all provided at no cost to the owners who are unable to support their pets in this manner. Lori is continuously updating her skills and knowledge by attending conferences, workshops, seminars, as well as trade shows. In addition to being a professional dog trainer, Lori is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Owners, Dog First Aid certified, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation.
Hopefully this collection of Vancouver dog trainers has given you a good starting point when looking for some professional education! Remember, dog training is not a highly regulated business, so please, do your own research, & ask questions! Qualifications and experience are number one – don’t let a flashy website fool you. We at GoFetch want the best for your pups, and we know you do too. The list of Vancouver’s best dog trainers all use positive reinforcement training, and we encourage to train your dogs this way. Force, fear, and pain are very detrimental ways of education; you wouldn’t want that for yourself, so the same should apply to your furry companion. Best of luck, we hope you enjoyed our list of Vancouver’s best dog trainers and be sure to check out two of our most popular posts on Top 5 Dog Names in Canada & Canadian Dog Photographers.
-The GoFetch Team