Wags to Wishes Dog Training

Wags to Wishes K9 Training is a small, privately owned and operated dog training business located just outside of Okotoks.  I am the sole trainer and offer private or small group classes so that I can provide individualized attention to each dog and handler. My training building is located on my property and is comfortably cool in summer and heated in winter.  Flooring is 1/2 rubber matting for safety for both dogs and humans.  There is plenty of parking immediately adjacent to the building.

My approach to training:  Training your dog should be fun and engaging, both for you and your dog - something you delight in doing with your dog, rather than a chore to check off the daily list.  Classes should impart core, science based training skills so that you can not only train the skills included in each session, but also continue training effectively throughout your dog's life using the skills and techniques learned in class.  To this end, classes will cover basic training skills and concepts as well as instruction in training specific behaviours.  Training exercises often use games that make training fun for you and your dog.  My training is based on the principles of Positive Reinforcement - building value for the behaviours we want by linking them to outcomes the dog wants (treats, play, praise, petting etc.). My training does not use or endorse correction or coercion - methods which have many  undesirable consequences and which are unnecessary.  Using positive reinforcement helps build a strong relationship between you and your dog and helps your dog discover that training is fun - turning him into an eager, life long learner.

My credentials and experience: I started teaching dog training classes with Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club in Saskatoon about 1 years ago as a trainer - member of the club.  I chose to pursue formal education in animal training and behaviour to ensure I was providing my students with the best experience and knowledge possible.  I elected to do this through the Karen Pyror Academy, at the time one of the premiere positive reinforcement based training programs.  The KPA program was an intensive 6 month course requiring daily self learning and exercises as well as in person training sessions and a rigorous written and practical examination.   After completing the course, I continued to serve as a trainer through Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club as well as offering obedience and sports training classes under the Wags to Wishes banner in my own facility in Saskatoon. On moving to Victoria BC in 2015 I did not have a training facility to work from but was very involved in getting Barn Hunt started on the Island and was involved in teaching Barn Hunt workshops and practice sessions.  One of my priorities in moving back to Alberta in 2016 was to be able to have my own training facility again and with that in mind looked for a location and property conducive to that .  I have offered on line tricks classes through Do More With Your Dog since 2014.

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (2011)
  • Mentor Trainer for Animal Behaviour College
  • University of Utah Living and Learning with Animals course, presented by Dr Susan Friedman (2012)
  • Canine Good Neighbour judge  (CKC)
  • Barn Hunt Judge #231A
  • Certified Trick Dog Instructor (2014)
  • Certified Canine Fitness Coach with Do More With Your Dog (2020)

About my Wags to Wishes Logo:  When thinking of names to call my training business, I wanted something that would reflect joy, the desire for a well trained dog and speak to the growth of a great relationship between dog and handler.  Wags to Wishes, of course, is meant to make you think of 'rags to riches'.  I wanted the logo to be open and welcoming and a little lighthearted.  The cartoon cairn in the logo is offering a play bow, as Cairns and many other breeds often do when they are soliciting friendly interaction. The tail is up in a happy wave and the mouth is open a little giving the overall picture of a gregarious but confident little dog.  My logo was designed by Catherine McMillan of Minuteman Miniature Schnauzers, Deslilse, Saskatchewan.  She was a pleasure to work with and did a great job of capturing what I wanted in a logo. You can see more of Kate's art work on her website at www.katewerk.com. Look for her dog logos under the Canine Art page.

K9 Training

Client Testimonials

Knowledgeable, experienced, patient, very competent instructor and leader...
Ed Waters DVM

Thoughtful and flexible, problem solving and tailored to the client. Definitely not cookie cutter. You never say any problem is too small or too big to work on. TA

Relationship building, patient, positive.
Thanks for all of your help with Hutch. He is doing great. He naturally has his off days or moments but overall he is such a great dog and very well behaved. JB

I like your training style. It's easy to understand, easy to apply and it works great on the majority of dogs. I think your training building is very nice, functional for dogs and training. It's always clean and smelling good (not like dog urine like so many training places tend to). JE

Two words that come to my mind after taking your Canine Life Skills class with Toby are:
- Engaging
- Effective
I very much enjoyed the class and found it provided me with good tools which work well (especially when I can find the time to practice!). I hope to take more classes with you when my schedule allows. EU

Our Vet recommended Karen for our new puppy. Karen was very knowledgeable and patient with me and our puppy. We were running late on the socializing coming up to 14 weeks of age. She scheduled us in for a private class so we could join a class that was 3 weeks in and not be behind. Highly recommend Wags to Wishes K9 training for any dog. KF

Karen has an awesome training facility and is a very good Trainer who uses positive training techniques to guarantee success. We’ve moved so am not able to attend her sessions anymore, which both Sidney and I miss very much. SW

This is such an amazing facility and Karen is an excellent trainer. I found her skills effective, warm and friendly. Learning to connect with our dogs in a positive way is so important in order to not only bond with them, but to understand their behaviour and set you up for a wonderful life together. Thanks for all you do Karen. CI

Great classes. Karen is so knowledgeable and upbeat. Her classes are fun and I know my dog for one just loves her. Highly recommend! DA