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Why I Became a Dog Trainer with


Why I Became a Dog Trainer

I never dreamed of being a dog trainer, in fact, it was never something I even considered until the day I decided to become one. So what lead me to that point?

In 2012, I opened a pitbull rescue which quickly became known for taking in difficult cases; that’s when I met my soul mate. In late October, I walked into the city pound and noticed this big-eyed blue beauty named Tank. In awe, I placed my hand on his kennel door and stated that if he was dog friendly, I was taking him home. Two weeks later I got a call telling me that he was in fact dog friendly, but he was extremely, irrationally fear aggressive toward people and thus would not be available for adoption. I went in to meet him and was given the choice to take Tank in under my rescue and save his life, or leave him for a very certain fate. Naturally, I couldn’t allow that to happen, so the very next day, he was mine. We started our relationship on the right foot, working with a trainer to overcome his issues, but after 7 months, a fight broke out between him and one of my own dogs, resulting in multiple serious injuries. At this point, I was left with another choice to make; either get Tank the help he needed or euthanize him. That was something I was not willing to do, despite what multiple other trainers were telling me, and adopting him out was certainly not an option. That’s when I called Duke Ferguson who introduced me to trainer Becky Herman, and in no time, Tank was on his way to bootcamp. It broke my heart to send him, but I knew it was exactly what he needed.

Tank was away at training for 2 months, the entire time of which I was terrified that he would come back the same dog and I would have to euthanize him anyway. To my sincere amazement, when Tank returned from training, I could walk him down the Halifax board walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon with children, adults, and dogs everywhere, and he just walked at my heel, looking to me for reassurance and ignoring everything else. He was truly happy, and so was I. I’ll admit at first I was terrified, but for once, it wasn’t because I thought Tank would bite someone, it was because I didn’t want to ruin this new dog that he had become. Thankfully, with lifetime group classes, ongoing support from multiple UPK9 trainers, and a truly amazing rehabilitation, that was the last thing that myself nor his new foster needed to worry about. My soul dog, the dog I knew he could be, was finally the dog everyone else could see too. That was the moment I decided I wanted to become a trainer, because I never wanted to experience such a horrific event again in my life, and I wanted nothing more than to help the dogs like Tank who truly need it and their owners who have found themselves in similar situations as I did.

Tank at the Halifax waterfront

Tank at the Halifax waterfront

To prepare myself, I left my job of 8 years for a position at the city pound where I could get firsthand experience handling dogs of all temperaments. It was during that time that I met Blitz, but unfortunately due to a non disclosure agreement, I cannot tell you the details of his background. Needless to say, I lost my job saving his life, which simply fast tracked my plans to becoming a pro dog trainer. As soon as I got Blitz out safely, I packed our bags and we were off to PEI where I attended Unleashed Potential k9 Academy and studied one on one with Duke Ferguson, living in his training centre with 5 other dogs in need of a little help.


On April 4th, 2015, I opened Unleashed Potential K9- The Valley, dedicated to all dogs and owners in need, but specializing in aggression and bully breeds. Today, I am proud of the work that I do, and happy to say that if it wasn’t for the negative and extremely emotional experiences that led me to this point, I wouldn’t have the ability to help so many others in their time of need, just like Unleashed Potential did for me. Since my time in PEI, Blitz has become a CKC Canine Good Neighbor, friendly toward people of all types and all other dogs, happy, humble and obedient in all situations, and assistant to me, helping to train and rehabilitate other dogs and people in need too. I am also extremely thrilled to announce that today is the first day of the rest of Tank’s life. After 3 years of training, Tank has been adopted and will finally be going to his forever home. And THAT is why I became a trainer, to help dogs like Tank and Blitz find their true potential.


Blitz’s Canine Good Neighbour Certificate


Are you at your wits end with your dog’s behavior and would like to have control, sanity, and above all else, safety? No matter the age or breed, please contact me now,  I promise you, I can help!

Book your FREE consultation and demonstration today!
Send an email to camellias@upk9.ca  Like us on Facebook

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For more information on how you can purchase Duke Ferguson’s Dog Training Genesis online, step by step training videos   CLICK  HERE 

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