CPDT-KA, Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed
Chris Bach Certified Third Way trainer
Walks’N’Wags Pet First Aid Certified
Member of Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
Professional member of Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainer (CAPPD)
Master’s degree in Visual Communication/ Philosophy of Art, Minor in Psychology. University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.
Mentor Trainer for ABC/ Animal Behavior College
Passionate about Dogs and their People. Equally passionate about Photography, and over-the-top in love with hiking (with dogs and camera!) in our spectacular Rocky Mountain surroundings. Love dog training; not only working with other people and their dogs, but really enjoy training my own dogs, too. I’m competitive at heart and do enjoy competing with my dogs – not to “win” as much as to have a training goal to strive toward. Adore all animals; have had the joy of sharing my life with everything from pet rats and fancy mice to cats, dogs, bunny rabbits, birds. A night-owl by natural rhythm – the best creative moments definitely happen late at night…I don’t particularly like getting up early, therefore: bold morning coffee really is a must. Quite crafty and artsy – enjoy working hands-on doing things like drawing, sewing, pottery, and making crafts with my kids. Wife and a Mother of three amazing teens. This….Pretty well sums up Annette in a paragraph.
Annette’s teaching approach is driven by positive reinforcement, motivational and humane techniques and interactive play. The goal in working with people and their dogs is to strengthen relationships through clear communication and dog friendly training methods. Annette believes that training and learning should be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved!
Being a true Learner at heart; Annette continually furthers her education by attending conferences and seminars, devouring any industry-driven literature and videos on dog behavior and training, and through applying new concepts to her own dogs’ training. Annette strives to stay current with up-to-date training methods and science in the field of dog behavior and training.
Annette’s journey toward dog training unknowingly started when living in New Brunswick in the early 2000s. Annette was a mompreneur juggling household, three kids and a small photography business – and decided to adopt a shelter dog. It was a sadly mis-matched adoption for a busy family with toddlers and very young kids. Difficulties with the mixed breed dog went from bad to worse, with Annette turning to local trainer Catherine Thomas for help.
While the adoption story ended a year later in problematic dynamics that called for re-homing the dog, Annette had ultimately discovered the start of a new career and a new learning journey. She learned valuable life experience and met a great friend who provided support, inspiration and a much needed ear to “talk dog” whenever the opportunity arose.
Over the years, Catherine became Annette’s mentor, a valuable resource for problem solving and a pillar of support. In 2006, Annette and family moved to Alberta and adopted a Flat-Coated Retriever named Maggio. Maggio was a wonderful family dog and a fixture at Annette’s side as a training partner. Together, Annette and Maggio competed and trialed in Rally and obedience; doing very well taking home multiple placements and High in Trials. Maggio was lost at age 9 to cancer.
Since the move from Eastern Canada, Annette apprenticed for Tammy Brooks at Calgary’s Sit Happens! and become a certified Third Way Trainer, working with Chris Bach. In the fall 2010, Annette took the CPDT-KA exam (Certification Examination for Professional Dog Trainers- Knowledge Assessed) and became (then) one of 98 dog trainers in all of Canada, who have passed an exam by the Certification Council for Certified Professional Dog Trainers, and so far, the only CPDT-KA in the Bow Valley area.
Annette first launched her career in the Canadian Rocky Mountains by teaching classes at the newly opened Bow Valley SPCA. She also dedicated countless hours as a volunteer on the SPCA’s behavior committee.
Besides teaching dog training classes and offering private consultations and in-home training sessions, Annette has also put on many popular dog training seminars and events – bringing in highly sought after, world-renowned speakers and leaders in the field of dog behaviour: Sue Sternberg, Suzanne Clothier, Trish King and John Rogerson.
Current dogs are Pinot, a sheltie (born in 2009) and Ronja (born in 2016), mini american shepherd. Pinot and Annette have shared many amazing and fun moments in the agility ring. A new hobby since the addition of Ronja is urban mushing in all its various forms – canicross for hiking, kicksledding in winter and bike-jouring. The fun just never ends 🙂
Photography was a first career, working as freelance photographer for a daily newspaper right after university and photography has always been near and dear in Annette’s life. It only makes sense that the two huge passions in life are combined under one umbrella: Wags unlimited. Welcome! Hope you enjoy having a look around…