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.
Fiona Hough, MEd, Trainer
Fiona has been an animal lover since childhood and credits horses and dogs for her entry into a 20+ year career as an outdoor and experiential educator. In the late 90’s Fiona spent 6 years living up a remote Northern Ontario logging road with about 8 people and 40+ Canadian Inuit sled dogs (plus her dog Tarka), and spent many days and nights on the winter trail and at base camp training and working with the dogs. It was there that her fascination with the social language and dynamics of dogs deepened. We are pleased to have Fiona and her wide range of experience as part of the SmartDog team, and are grateful to have her helping with the office work as well.
Andrew is an active volunteer with the Victoria Humane Society, and started volunteering with SmartDog Training in 2015 in order to further his education on dog behaviour and to better help rescue dogs and their new families.
When not helping out with SmartDog classes or the Victoria Humane Society, Andrew can be found coaching tennis or spending time with his schnauzer Percy.
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 is especially looking forward to working with people to find new and fun ways to connect with their dogs.
Laura is a student who is working with us to gain some extra experience before beginning her training as a veterinarian. Laura’s keen intelligence and confident, caring manner with dogs make her an excellent fit in the classroom.
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, and is a valuable asset in the classroom.
In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and exploring our lovely West Coast.
Joshua (Vincent) Bartlett, Volunteer Apprentice Trainer
Vince joined us in late 2015 to explore his curiosity about dog training. A quick learner with lots of intelligent questions, we’re looking forward to seeing Vince grow in capacity to work with dogs and their people.
Sarah Bonsor-Kurki, Office Manager
We’re pleased to welcome Sarah as our new office manager for summer 2016. We first met Sarah and her dog Nox in puppy class a few years ago, and the two of them are now a great Agility team! Welcome aboard, Sarah!
Iain Down, Volunteer
Iain volunteers with us on Wednesday 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. Iain’s calm energy is appreciated by all, most especially the canines!