Our Team

The team here at Cultured Canines is the heart of our business. Our amazing trainers have gone through over 100 hours of hands on and classroom training so they are able to tailor their support for each individual dog and owner. Every instructor has their own approach and their own training experience to bring to the table.

This is not just a job for our instructors. All of our team members are here because they loved the relationship they were able to build with their dogs as Cultured Canines clients before they became trainers. They are passionate about sharing their knowledge and helping you achieve your goals with your dog.

 

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Beth O’Connor

Founder & Owner

Team member since 2011

Jake & Leia

Before I became a dog trainer, my first dog, Jett and I were at the off leash park when he saw another dog across the street. Jett ran after it, and was hit by an SUV and died shortly after in my arms. This was, without a doubt, the worst day of my life. My family and I were convinced that Jett’s behaviour was “good enough” so we never did a proper training class with him. We just used treats to bribe him to listen.

After this horrible incident, I got a new puppy, Jake! I was determined to do everything right with him. I took a course through Pawsitive Dawgs with Jake when he was four months old, and we loved every minute of it. I saw that the training organization that Pawsitive Dawgs was a part of was offering a course in Calgary to become a trainer, so I jumped at the opportunity (the course was usually only taught in Kelowna). After a year of hard work and dedication, I received my training certification.

I became a dog trainer so that I could help show dog owners that having a dog that is “good enough” is not enough. I don’t want anyone to have to endure what my family and I went through with Jett. The single biggest killer of pets is not disease; it is behavioural problems.

I want to help you have the best possible relationship with your dee-oh-gee! The relationships I have been able to build with my two dogs, Jake and Leia, has shown me just how amazing and complex the relationship between dogs and humans can and should be. I love helping people have this level of understanding with their own dogs. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the bond between a dog and their owners grow and blossom.

 

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Michelle Willson

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2013

Cedric & Charlie

I have been exposed to dogs and dog training since I was a child as my dad was a dog handler and later the senior trainer with the RCMP Police Dog Service.  Seeing the relationship between a handler and a working dog is inspiring and it was his influence that developed my passion for dogs and led me to pursue a career with animals.   I am a Registered Veterinary Technician and working in the field has exposed me to all the possible varieties of dog training out there. When I got my first dog as a young adult, I wanted to make sure I was on the right track to building a relationship with my dog and not just having a “trained” dog.  I did research on many types of training and had tried treat training in the past. I saw the relationship that developed between the dog and the cookie rather than between the dog and the owner.  Cultured Canine’s treat free philosophy was immediately appealing.

Cultured Canines teaches a style of dog ownership that I am 100% committed to and am proud to share with other people!   I love to be able to bring my dogs with me ANYWHERE and have them handle themselves with composure and be respectful canine members of society.

 

Jessica Reimer

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Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2013

Harlem, Cassius & Willy

 

For as long as I can remember, animals, and in particular, dogs, have been a huge part of my life. I knew I was meant to work with and around dogs someday.

I am a huge advocate for treating all dogs equally no matter what their breed, size, or age. I want to change the worlds view about the Pitbull breed which is why in 2011 I got a bluenose Pitbull, Harlem, who is a perfect ambassador for the breed.

My love and passion for dogs led me to help out by fostering for AARCS. After about six months of fostering Willy, I realized I needed some extra help with his training. He had some behavioral issues that I was just not equipped to deal with, which is what led me to Beth and Cultured Canines. I initially tried a positive only trainer but had minimal success, so I contacted Beth to see if she could be of help. Within a few classes I saw improvements with Willy and quickly realized not only how beneficial “no treat” training was, but also how beneficial the outdoor group classes were. It was a no brainer to me that this was the type of dog training I strongly supported and needed to be a part of!

I am proud to be able to assist individuals and their dogs with any and all behavioral problems, and more so witness the same amazing relationship between dog and owner develop, that I share with my three dogs!!

 

Ashley Drozdowski

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Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2015

Finley

 

Larissa Goldhart

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2014

Theia

 

Melissa Stewart

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2014

Casey and Sera

 

Laura McCowan

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2015

Penny

 

Michelle Laing

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2015

Cedar and Kato

 

Holly Magnus

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2016

Duke

 

Katie Schroeder

Assistant Instructor

Team member since 2016

Scout