Alex Keir: Owner, Certified Behaviour Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA), Certified Dog Trainer(CPDT-KA), Certified Control Unleashed Instructor (CCUI)
With a keen interest in behaviour generally I am passionate about dogs and our relationships with them. My life has been so enriched by the 1000’s of dogs and humans that I have been privileged to work with. For me, teaching humans about dogs is all about helping you understand the dog that you have in front of you and helping you work together toward your goals. On the whole I think dogs make better followers than leaders and it is our responsibility to guide them. I have been studying dog behaviour and reward based training for 30 years and on my way have had the generous support of some of the worlds finest trainers and teachers including not only my mother and her dogs but also my dogs, Blackie, Mantequilla, Zoe, Vida and currently Rebus as well as Carolyn Clark, Heather Logan, Bob Ottenbrite and Tracy Snyder.
At Good Dog Works! we are committed to life long learning because our understanding of dogs, their behaviour and our behaviour is constantly improving. To that end I, and our very fine team, attend a variety of educational events every year. The outstanding ones for me have been; a few weeks with Bob Bailey a brilliant teacher and trainer training white leghorn chickens (feel free to ask me about that!), an Advanced Trainer week at Wolf Park with Ken McCort training captive wolves and an excellent weekend with Dr. Nick Dodman, called Dogs on The Couch, examining and responding to mental health issues in dogs. I, and some of our team, also spent a weekend with Jane Killon at Puppy Culture, a marvelous program for young puppies!
Fifteen years ago I was the first Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) in Nova Scotia and in 2018 I was the first Certified Behaviour Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) in Nova Scotia all this because certification makes my profession more credible. In 2020 I completed my certification as a Control Unleashed Instructor and completed Living and Learning with Animals taught by the incredible Dr. Susan Friedman. I am currently a professional member in both the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT) and the Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and did I say I really like dogs? Call me and lets talk about your dog or lately, your cat!!
Donna Truesdale: Owner, Administrator
Until becoming a co-owner of Good Dog Works! with Alex I spent many years as the Director of Finance for two municipalities in Nova Scotia. Prior to that, I was involved in the administration of non-profit organizations including a women’s center, a transition house and an Inuit organization. I have been on a number of boards; non-profit, communities & national, as well as provincial government boards. So while I may know finance, policy, and systems, I was clearly lacking in some certain kind of education, as the universe dragged me into the dog world having decided that my five children had done their best, but I clearly still needed more ‘raising up’! Dogs have become my greatest teachers and grounding place, and they are gracious enough and patient enough to allow me their company and guidance. I have a P.C.T (Pet Care Technician) diploma from Pet Care Services Organization and attend educational events frequently. Live and Learn! I also had the incredible experience of being the contractor for the development and creation of our building!
Sonya Henderson: Daycare, Boarding & Grooming
Sonya has been an integral part of Good Dog Works since 2006. We are so lucky! She has great energy with the dogs and the humans and is a study in patience and kindness, she’s also absolutely full of common sense. Sonya attends dog related educational events most recently an amazing seminar with Jane Killion called Puppy Culture but she has also attended a Canadian Assoc of Professional Pet Dog Trainers Conference,as well as seminars with Dr Sophia Yin, Dr Miranda Cox and Silvia Jay. She has attained her St John’s Ambulance Pet First Aid and has completed her P.C.T. (Pet Care Technician) exam with top marks. Sonya has completed Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 & Group Play 201. At home she hangs out with her Boxer, Chaos.
Penny Wilson: Behaviour Consultant, Competition Trainer, Daycare & Boarding
For 15 years Penny has brought a wealth of information to our training classes. Her fascination and study of dog behaviour, especially anxiety and sound reactivity as well as training and competing in obedience trials with Siberian Huskys and Nova Scotia Duck Tollers gives a real depth to our classes. Penny teaches CKC Obedience and Rally Obedience. Always interested in exploring new activities with her dogs Penny has taken Tracking with Lucy Newton, Steve White and Carol Pernicka as well as Agility with Sarah Leblanc and True North Agility. She has attended numerous seminars including Kelly Sutton on Freestyle, Brenda Brown from the Sporting Detection Dogs Assoc. as well as Dr Sophia Yin. Penny has completed Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and Group Play 201. She currently shares her home with Hector, a 15 yr old NS Duck Toller who just retired from competition this year.
Laurie D’Entrement: Apprentice Trainer, Daycare & Boarding
Laurie started working at Good Dog Works in April 2012 and it’s all good! What a pleasure for us!! Reliable, compassionate and dedicated are just a few words we could describe her with. Laurie has completed Dog Emotion and Cognition, an on-line course from Duke University. She also has Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and Group Play 201. Laurie is fascinated with dog behaviour and is currently studying with us toward her goal to become a Certified Pet Dog Trainer! You’ll see her around in classes!
Deb Canning: Daycare & Boarding
Steady as she goes, Deb can’t believe how lucky she is and we can’t believe how lucky we are to have her. Spending the day observing and managing groups of dogs, getting to know their individual personalities and needs and setting them up for success is challenging and rewarding all at once. Deb has attained her Walks’n’Wags Pet First Aid Certification. She has also completed Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and is working on Group Play. Deb lives with a young Golden Retriever and the other day she said she had puppy fever! I can imagine what that means!!
Phalen MacLean: Daycare & Boarding
Phalen joined our team in 2017. We are so grateful for her tremendous eye for detail and structure that applies to everything that she does, Phalen enjoys talking to humans about the individual needs for each of their dogs. With a Yorkie, a Mini Dachshund, a Hound, 6 cats, 1 bunny and a good flock of chickens at home caring for animals is what she loves to do! She is fascinated by animal behaviour and to that end has completed Dog Emotion and Cognition, an on-line course from Duke University. She also has Walks N Wags Pet First Aid, Dog Gurus Knowing Dogs 101 and Group Play 201.
Erica Cameron: Groomer
Erica excelled in her Grooming Course at Academy Canada in St. John’s and has finished her Apprenticeship under Sonya’s watchful eye. We are delighted with her progress! Your appointment with Erica is booked especially for your dog. She works with one dog at a time and dries each one by hand, so no waiting around drying in a crate. Call now to book some time with Erica for your dog!!
Chances are, if you have been in on a weekend, you have met Tim. Tim has great communication skills with both our canine and human clients. He is a kind and patient person which works so well for dogs and people! We are delighted to have him managing our weekend guests! Of course, you may seem him helping out on weekdays too 🙂