Meet the owners!
Co-owner, Pack Leader, and Lead Trainer
While my professional experience in the area of pet care began over 10 years ago, my love for animals and passion for caring for them developed long before that. Growing up with pets of all kinds, I always knew that I was destined for a career caring for animals. Originally my plan was to go to vet school, and so in 10th grade I began working my first job at a vet clinic as an animal care attendant. I remained in this position for 6 years, through my high school graduation as well as while I attended the University of Guelph in the Animal Biology undergraduate program. It was during my undergraduate degree that I had my first experience volunteering at a dog daycare and training facility, and this is where my life and career goals changed forever. I quickly realized that my passion lay more with helping dogs mentally through training rather than physically through veterinary medicine. As such, I began working as a part time daycare attendant, and after graduating with Honours from the University of Guelph, this position became full time.
Three years ago, I took my dog training journey one step further by travelling to California with my then three month old frenchie puppy Sprout to train with Cesar Millan at his world renowned Dog Psychology Centre. Following my training in California, I was promoted to Puppy Trainer and began teaching puppy classes (with the help of my assistant Sprout). 2 years and 8 group classes later, my passion for helping puppies and their humans still remains. I get so much joy out of helping new puppy parents start their puppy's life off on the right foot, and watching as they see the difference calm, structured training can make!
2020 was an especially exciting year for me as my pack grew by one! Sullivan the Bernese mountain dog has been such a wonderful addition to my family, and he is growing into a very big, very well behaved young man!
Co-owner, Pack Leader, and General Manager
While my dog training journey started later in life, my passion for dogs and making their lives better has always been strong. Growing up I was surrounded by dogs of all shapes and sizes, and was always the first to bug my parents for 'just one more'! When I moved out, the very first thing I did was get a dog of my own. Stumper the beagle was well loved, but I'll be the first to tell you he was not the most well behaved. It was this experience that led me down the dog training path I am on today. After the passing of my beloved boy Stumper, I made a commitment to myself and to my new beagle puppy Oakley that this time around I was going to take training seriously from the start.
I threw myself head first into training Oakley, sending him to daycare and attending every training class, walk, and seminar I could. It was through my commitment to Oakley's training that I realized I wasn't just passionate about helping my own dog be the best he could be, but I also wanted to help other people do the same. It was then that I made the decision to quit my customer service job of 14 years and begin working at a dog daycare and training facility. Funny enough, it was here that I first met Claire! In my daycare attendant position, my passion for helping dogs and their owners only grew. Soon I was assisting Claire in her puppy classes, and was then promoted to a larger leadership role within the daycare.
In 2019 my pack grew from one pup to two when I welcomed home my sweet morkie Maple! Being used to raising working breeds like beagles, Maple's sensitive nature brought new and different training challenges. But I will be forever grateful for this, because it taught me how much I enjoyed working with dogs of all sizes, energies, and pack positions!
Meet our Pack Leaders!
Leah has been with us since October 2021!
Meet Leah and her sweet boys Chance the Australian shepherd and Petey the shih tzu! Leah also just recently adopted a very handsome mixed breed boy named Harrison. Leah comes from a background filled with tons of experience with pets of all kinds. From managing a dog daycare and training facility to managing a pet store, Leah is full of useful knowledge that will not just help us grow as a team, but will also help you and your dogs!
Junior Pack Leader
Morgan has been with us since May 2022!
Meet Morgan and her handsome golden retriever Murphy! Morgan has dreamed of working with dogs for a very long time, and we couldn't be more excited to have her journey into a career with dogs begin with us. Having been an EA at an elementary school for a few years prior to joining our team, Morgan is no stranger to setting expectations and maintaining rules in a classroom. The big difference now is that her students are covered in fur and have four paws!
Meet our Office Administrator!
Paula has been with us since February 2022!
Meet Paula and her three sweet pups Wyatt, Bandit, and Athena (pictured left to right). Paula has always had a love for dogs and people, which makes her the perfect person to have behind our front desk in Kitchener greeting clients and welcoming everyone into our new space. We are SO excited to have her and her pups as part of our pack, and we cannot wait for all of you to meet her!
Meet your Canine Consultants!
Claire's French Bulldog
Sprout is a frenchie who believes her mission in life is to defy every bulldog stereotype. Not your typical bulldog couch potato, she is a high energy, agile, confident little girl who loves to adventure. Her biggest adventure came at just 3 months of age when she traveled with her mom to Cesar Millan's Dog Psychology Centre in California to learn from the best of the best. When she's not helping her mom in training sessions, Sprout can be found out for a hike, playing with her other canine friends, or looking for someone to give her some attention!
Likes: chin scritches and being in charge
Dislikes: being ignored
Favourite food: bananas
Nicknames: Sproutie, Potato, Spud
Your typical Beagle, Oakley follows his nose whenever and wherever he can. Although his nose usually leads him to the closest person he can cuddle with, rather than to food. As a high energy working breed, Oakley was quite the handful when Melissa first brought him home in 2017. Since then though, this sweet boy has matured into the most social, well behaved beagle you could ever want to meet! Nowadays, while he loves a good adventure with his friends, he'd be just as happy curled up under a blanket on his bed.
Likes: sun tanning and blankets
Dislikes: being cold
Favourite food: anything and everything
Nicknames: Oakie dokes, Monkey, Little Man
Claire's Bernese Mountain Dog
Sullivan joined Claire's pack back in September of 2020, and what a wonderful addition he has been! Raised by Sprout just as much as Claire, he has essentially grown into a giant, fuzzy frenchie. But that just makes us love him even more! This gentle giant loves to adventure with his mom and sister, but gets especially excited about cool tile floors and the snow. His absolute favourite thing about being a Packlife Canine Consultant is all the new friends (both canine and human) he has made - this guy really is a social butterfly!
Likes: the winter and playing with his sister
Favourite food: watermelon
Nicknames: Sully, Big Man, Bub
Melissa's Morkie (maltese x yorkie)
Maple may be small, but she sure is mighty! This little adventure pup loves nothing more than being out on a hike with her pack, climbing over rocks and branches to show the big kids what she's really made of. Like her big brother Oakley, Maple was raised around dogs of all shapes and sizes. Some of her best friends are 4-5 times her size! Don't even think about trying to put this little lady into your purse, she would never tolerate such a thing! She knows she was born to have her feet on the ground and her nose in the air, sniffing out new friends and new adventures.
Likes: giving kisses and adventures
Dislikes: sitting still
Favourite food: watermelon
Nicknames: Mapelina, Little, Mapes