Our Team

Tammy Williams CPDT-KA
Owner & Head Trainer

Tammy is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who, over the past ten years, has had the privilege of being involved in helping  many dogs and their families.  As Volunteer Co-ordinator at Animal Services, she had the opportunity to handle and walk hundreds of dogs of varying sizes and temperaments, most without previous training.  She also designed and administered the mandatory training orientation of all the volunteers to help ensure dogs at the city shelter were safe and received positive training when walking or interacting with volunteers.

Working with puppies is her specialty.  Helping a puppy get the right start can make such a huge difference in that dog’s life.  As a specialty foster home for Animal Services and Adopt A Mutt, she has had the joy of socializing and training many young puppies, helping them to be confident, playful puppies ready for adoption.  Over the years she have taught hundreds of hours of puppy classes, as well as classes in manners, parkour, rally and dog agility . She is passionate about life long learning….for both dogs and their handlers and believes that continuing education is particularly important in the world of dog training.

Melissa Gillard CPDT-KA

Melissa has been training dogs and involved in dog sports for the past 14 years and training dogs professionally for the past seven.  She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who believes that innovation and constant learning and improvement is the only way forward for the dog training world.  Her own dogs have titled in Agility (NADAC, ASCA, and USDAA), Parkour (IDPA), Tricks (DMWYD) and Rally-o (CKC)   A self described ‘dog training geek’  she is always striving to find the most progressive and science-based training methods available and will happily share her knowledge and passion with others.  Her versatility has allowed her to teach in many disciplines including: agility, parkour, tricks, shaping and platforms, rally  freestyle, and sport foundations.

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Cassandra Elvish

Cassandra Elvish has been active in the dog training community in Thunder Bay for more than 9 years. Cassandra has trialed her dogs in scent detection, tracking and agility, demonstrating success with science based R+ methods. Cassandra is currently working towards her SDDA Excellent Title with her canine team mate Sophie.

Cassandra is nearing completion of her CPDT-KA certification and has been teaching people to train their dogs professionally for nearly five years. She is also working on her certification as a World Scent Dog Association Certified Trainer and Level 1 Judge.

Cassandra’s primary area of focus is teaching scent detection sports and working in CKC Tracking. Cassandra enjoys cross training and works her own dogs Sophie and Kona in Agility, trick titles, canine conditioning and Rally FrEestyle.

Cassandra is committed to providing science based positive training for her own dogs as well as to her clients. She is an Alumni of Susan Garrett’s Recallers program and has been featured in their annual video contest. Cassandra is passionate about continuing education and is always expanding her knowledge and seeking to grow her skills. She is also an Alumni and frequent recurring student with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy in the school of Scent Detection, Nosework and Tracking as well as many positive reinforcement (R+) courses.

Sam Kannegeiser

 Sam Kannegiesser is well known in rescue circles in Northwestern Ontario.  She is the founder of Adopt A Mutt Rescue and  has raised over 65 puppies, as well as providing round the clock care for over a dozen orphaned neonates, from birth to finding their forever homes.  Sam has extensive experience with the Puppy Culture Program and is committed to using positive reinforcement based training with the dogs that come through her rescue as well as her personal dogs.  Her rescue work often focuses on special needs dogs and her extensive training knowledge helps her support these dogs through counter conditioning, +CER,  shaping, cooperative care behaviours,  as well as applying her canine conditioning knowledge to help strengthen and improve mobility in some cases.

She is also an experienced Agility Handler and has successfully trialed four of her own dogs in NADAC, AAC, USDAA, UKI and ASCA. Sam currently trials her dogs Fidget & Felix in Agility and has begun working on Trick Dog Titles with her cleft palate puppy Feisty. This year she has achieved AAC Games Dog of Canada, Agility Dog of Canada titles on two of her dogs.  In addition to attending and volunteering in classes and at dog events locally for over ten years, Sam is committed to growing her training knowledge and advancing her skills through continuing education.  She is an Alumni of Susan Garrett’s Handling 360 as well as a member of Agility Nation.  She regularly takes courses with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Alumni and this spring attended the IBACC & FDSA Lemonade Conference.  She is currently studying to take her CDPT-KA exam.

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Heather Wark HBSc MEd

Heather has been working as a professional dog trainer since 1996. She has an honours degree in psychology with an area of interest in animal learning and behaviour as well as a Master of Education degree. She engages constantly in professional development believing strongly in lifelong learning and growth. She has a passion for helping people develop a stronger bond with their dogs through playing together particularly in the sport of agility. She is working on her certifications with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

320 South May St. Thunder Bay

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