Our Training Philosophy
We do dog training differently.
Training is a life-long adventure. Dogs do not come equipped with the knowledge or skills to understand our crazy human world – it’s our job to teach them skills to help them succeed, guide them through challenges, advocate for them, and meet their instinctual needs.
Our programs focus less on traditional obedience and more on communicating with your dog, relationship building, and learning practical life skills.
We believe dog behaviour problems are a symptom of issues in the environment, imbalances in the canine-human relationship, or the dog’s needs not being met. We’ll help you understand the root cause of your dog’s problem behaviours and develop a plan for long-term change.
Our training methods are positive-reinforcement and evidence-based. We believe strongly in continuing education and are always learning and striving to be better at what we do. This is why you’ll find our trainers have some of the highest credentials in the industry!
We love dogs and we love helping people build fulfilling relationships with their canine companions. We are here to bridge the gap between what you want and what your dog needs so you can learn to be someone your dog can really “hang their hat on”.
Our Training Team
Sarah Dixon, CDBC
Owner, Director of Behaviour & Training
Sarah has been in the training and behaviour industry for over 20 years. She has trained thousands of dogs and worked with some of the most complex cases of behaviour issues. She also spent 3.5 years in Manhattan working as a full time trainer and behaviour consultant – talk about a challenging environment!
Sarah holds many respected certifications including Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant (IAABC), Certified Family Dog Mediator, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, Certified Trick Dog Instructor, and Certificare of Canine Behaviour Science and Technology (CASI).
Sarah is a publish author in dog training publications such as the IAABC Journal, the APDT Chronicle of the Dog, Better Together: An Anthology of Modern Dog Trainers, Clickertraining.com, and the IACP Safe Hands Journal. She gives seminars and speaks at conferences throughout North America and regularly offers webinars through platfroms like Raising Canine and Consider the Dog.
Nicole Courson, CDBC
Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant
Nicole had always enjoyed living and helping with animals. After years of dedicated volunteering handling dogs and working through problem behaviours she decided to pursue a career in dog training and behaviour consulting, followed by the opportunity to apprentice under Sarah Dixon in 2016.
Nicole is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant (IAABC), a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and a Certified Family Dog Mediator. She strives to build a well-rounded understanding of behavioural sciences and their application in animal training and care.
Nicole handles our in-home Behaviour Consultations and Lessons in Nelson, Castlegar, Salmo and Fruitvale.
Certified Dog Trainer
Ashley is a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner and the instructor of our Puppy Smart Start: Preschool classes.
Ashley is a kind and encouraging teacher for dogs and humans! She also does private in-home lessons for puppy training and basic manners in the Trail area.
Certified Dog Trainer
Jessica is a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner and the instructor of our Team Builders 1: Life Skills and Manners class. Jessica is also the assistant trainer for Team Builders 2: Public Manners.
Jessica is a thoughtful trainer who is always willing to learn something new! She handles all of the training for the puppies in the Puppy Play & Learn Daycare and Train progam.
Emily is new to our team but brings a lot of experience working with dogs in multiple capacities including training. Emily will be apprenticing under Sarah while she works towards a dog trainer certification.