Sherry AntonishenHead Trainer/Owner

Sherry Antonishen, CPDT-KABA (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.”

Head Trainer Sherry with her dog Simon

Head Train­er Sher­ry Anton­ishen with her dog Simon

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.

img_1691_s2Roberta Press, CPDT-KA, BSc Hons, Lead Trainer

Roberta with her dog Cobi

Rober­ta and her dog Cobi enjoy­ing a walk in Cook St. Vil­lage

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_uziMalli Hutchings, Trainer

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 Power, BMus, Trainer

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 Parkinson, BA (Anthropology) CPA, CA, Office Manager

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 MacLean, BSc (Psychology), Apprentice Trainer

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.


Heather Clifford, BA Hons (Political Science), Apprentice Trainer

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.