Sherry Antonishen, CPDT-KA, BA (Honours in Communication)
Sherry received her Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC) from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers in the spring of 2004. The Academy provides comprehensive, leading edge education to dog trainers and behaviour consultants through renowned trainer and author Jean Donaldson. The course includes animal learning theory, behavior problems, aggression, clicker training, adult learning models and course design, and is rapidly gaining a reputation as the “Harvard for Dog Trainers.”
Sherry is certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers which sets the world standard in dog training. Certification is based on continuing education, experience, and intensive standardized testing. Sherry is also member of The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and their mandates are embodied in SmartDog Training’s philosophy. Sherry is Pet First Aid Certified through Walks N Wags.
She works with all breeds, and loves working with ‘difficult to train’, ‘shy’ or even ‘hyper’ dogs. Her own dogs are rescues that others have found too difficult and have included Huskies and Terriers. Her problem solving skills help clients solve even the most challenging of behaviour problems in a humane, pet friendly manner.
Sherry sits on the Citizen Canine Advisory Board, where she works to inform its executive and members on issues of dog obedience instruction and canine behaviour. She has appeared on A Channel and Chek TV, and can be heard on C-FAX and CBC radio. She also has written for several publications on dog behaviour.
Roberta has a keen interest in the relationship between people and their dogs, and enjoys working with both humans and canines. An invaluable member of our team, Roberta has been with us since January of 2010. Her knowledge of both dog and people learning is truly amazing and clients that work with Roberta will always come away with new skills and a feeling of accomplishment. A strong believer in SmartDog’s positive training and problem solving philosophy, Roberta’s goal is to deliver classes that are both fun and educational for you and your puppy or adult dog.
Roberta is internationally certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and is Pet First Aid Certified through Walks N Wags.
Malli brings experience from 10 years in Animal Care, including time working in Veterinary Emergency. With an interest in dog training and behaviour, she joined SmartDog at the end of 2015 as a step forward in her knowledge and understanding dogs. She enjoys working with clients toward a better understanding of and enjoyment in their relationship with their dogs. Malli brings with her a good understanding of animal learning theory and a variety practical experiences.
In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and exploring our lovely West Coast.
Anne started SmartDog classes in 2013 after adopting her first dog, Daisy. It didn’t take long to discover that Daisy had a lot of questions and Anne was going to need to learn some answers! In an effort to further their training, Anne signed up for agility class and was instantly hooked. Daisy thought the smells and the dirt at the barn were just the best and consented to attend class with Anne. We are proud to report that through creativity, practice and fun training games, Anne has become more exciting than the dirt! Now they both enjoy learning agility skills as a team.
When not at the agility barn or helping in classes, Anne can be found on stage with the Victoria Symphony. She is also a faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Anne especially enjoys working with people to find new and fun ways to connect with their dogs.
Karen Leman, ANWI, Trainer
Karen is the newest member of the Smart Dog training staff. She has been training in K9 Nosework since 2013 and started Instructor Training and Certification in California in August 2018. Karen has 4 small mixed breed dogs all adopted as adults that participate in K9 Nosework and Agility. She became interested in K9 Nosework as a rewarding activity for her retired agility terrier Spy and for her environmentally sensitive dog, Emmett. Karen is looking forward to working with you and your dog to explore the fun activity and sport of scent detection.
Madlin Fitzner, Office Manager
Madlin is our fabulous office manager who has moved here from Germany to enjoy our beautiful island. When she’s not in the office, you will probably find Madlin outside enjoying everything our coast has to offer.
Margaret has always loved animals. When she got Ben, her first working dog, she promised the breeder she would try herding and agility to give him a job. Herding wasn’t their thing but they quickly became addicted to agility. Recently retired from over 30 years with the provincial government, Margaret is thrilled to have the opportunity to fill in for Madlin, where she can combine her administrative skills with her love of dogs. She’s looking forward to working with people who share her passion and learning more about training dogs.
Erin has loved dogs her whole life. While she’s tried a variety of training styles in the past, when she got her dog Paisley (who has challenges with other dogs), it was clear she needed to go deeper and learn more. When others were unable to help, Erin found a fit for herself and Paisley with SmartDog. Finding help for her own challenging dog inspired her to help others in return.
Erin loves hiking on this beautiful island with her dog and binge-watching Netflix.
While Heather has loved animals her whole life, her fascination with training really developed when she adopted her young dog, Toby. In her never-ending search for jobs for Toby, she found SmartDog agility and it was love at first jump for both of them. Heather brings to the classroom her keen observation skills and a solid understanding of training methodologies. She also enjoys hiking and camping — with dogs in tow, of course.
Iain Down, Classroom Volunteer and Farm Worker
Iain volunteers with us on Tuesday nights. If you are lucky enough to be in a class where Iain is present you will likely receive some extra help settling and/or training your dog or puppy. You can also find Iain doing general maintenance on the SmartDog farm and agility barn.