Certified professional dog trainer and owner of Canine Spirit with over 25 years of experience, well respected and recommended by Veterinarians, fellow trainers, professionals previous students.
Keeping up with all the current industry literature and pursuing ongoing professional development; she uses scientifically proven methods using positive reinforcement, effective, and safe techniques for the entire family to use.
Past Experience Includes
Certified Professional Dog Trainer and owner of In Partnership With Dogs KPA-CTP Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner
Professional Premium Member, APDT
Full Member, Pet Professional Guild
Valerie has been training / working with dogs for over 18 years and is recommended By Veterinarians , Professionals and previous students
Valerie teaches using new methods that
take into consideration the interest of the mental, emotional and physical welfare of the dog .
That it's the whole dog that’s important and how we can help educate their
owners / people to give them the best possible life and relationship with us. She specializes in:
Private Professional In home consultations for behavior concerns such as:
For busy People who benefit from a program that fits your calendar and comes to you!
Group Classes for friendly dogs:
Manners for all Ages and Stages are ongoing classes ....
Coq.: Saturdays, North Van.: Sundays
Group Classes Are Ongoing :
Coquitlam - Saturdays
Nose Work - 10:00 am & 11:30 am
Young Dogs & Manners - 1:30 pm
North Vancouver- Sundays
Intermediate - 11:00 am
Teens - 12:30 pm
Vancouver - Thursday Evenings
Puppies 7:00 pm - Teens 8:00 pm
Register today !
Great Stories from great people
Pam at Canine Spirit has been the trainer for our family for over 15 years. When we say "trainer for our family" we mean just that. Pam makes it very clear on your first class with her that she isn't there to just train your dog, she's there to train you and your family as well, so that the years spent with your dog are happy, fun and fulfilling for all.
Vancouver, British Columbia
My Positive Puppy
Get your puppy started off on the right paw!
Who’s eligible for class? Healthy puppies who are 9 to 20 weeks of age and have been home for a week prior to the start of class.
Attending a well run puppy class gives you an opportunity to take full advantage of your puppy’s earliest stage of development. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! It’s a fantastic chance to develop your puppy’s confidence and help shape your puppy’s attitude and behaviour in a positive way.
My Positive Puppy classes are a fun, family-friendly experience using the latest knowledge in dog behaviour to set your puppy up for a lifetime of success.Attending a properly run puppy class gives you an opportunity to take full advantage of your puppy's imprinting period and earliest stage of development. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! It's a fantastic chance to develop your puppy's confidence and help shape your puppy's attitude and behavior in a positive way.
Manners Matter for all Mutts!
There are different group classes for:
Adolescent Dogs, Adult Dogs and Reactive Dogs too ...
These classes are ongoing throughout the year. They are outdoors classes tailored toward the age and stage of the participating dogs. Occasionally , the trainers will be working right beside you with their own dogs. These classes are a collaboration between Valerie Barry with “Jack” of In Partnership With Dogs and Pamela Murray with 'Dreki" and “Tallulah” of Canine Spirit Dog Training. Thursday evenings are indoors
- Greeting people and dogs appropriately
- Impulse control exercises – Wait, Leave It, Stop
- Socializing exercises specific to adolescents such as;
reactivity, over-arousal and fear behaviors
- Play with humans - Drop It - Tug - Fetch
- Play and social behavior between dogs
- Recall to Come! With Increased Distraction
- Loose Leash Skills and Abilities
- Stationary games with Sit, Down and did you say 'STAY'?!
For Dogs who have more experience , the class is geared toward generalizing and proofing your obedience skills outside where we like to spend time with our dogs. The great outdoors can be a challenge for dogs who are still learning! If you are still working on your training, have a newly adopted dog or just want to do something different with your dog, these classes are for you. Come out and be part of our fun and supportive group!
Reactive Dogs have their own class with a smaller number of dogs and focusing on specific skill sets that are tailored to suit the individual dog
Is your dog reactive, fearful, frustrated, or aggressive? You’re not alone. Please contact canine Spirit for more information
Nose Worthy - Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced
Nose Work is an easy to learn activity and one of the fastest growing dog sports. All dogs are welcome. Class challenges are designed to match your dog and each individual dog’s skill level. For dogs with limitations, Nose Work can be played just for fun and for therapy. Senior dogs can get much needed mental exercise while taking it easy on their bodies. Fearful dogs build confidence. Dog reactive dogs can have a chance to be part of a class setting, working separately from other dogs, but enjoying positive reinforcement in the vicinity of those dogs. There are so many benefits that come from the class experience itself. Your dog’s needs will determine how you both enjoy this sport called Nose Work.
Classes are running Saturday mornings
BEGINNERS - Level 1:
This class is where the games begin! The dogs learn to hunt for food or toys. Those rewards are paired with the target odor. As the class progresses the dogs learn how to do more and more complex searches
INTERMEDIATE- Level 2:
This class expands the dogs knowledge of odor in the different contexts such as: vehicles, containers, exterior and interior searches.
ADVANCED- Level 3:
This class continues to expand the dogs’ expertise of odor in varying contexts and environments. The searches become more complex and new odors are introduced.
COMPETITION - Level 4:
All aspects of competition are taught. Handlers learn how to read their dogs on blind hides and work as a team in different environments.
The ABC Games Odours:
SOG - Single Odour Game: Birch or Wintergreen
DOG - Double Odour Game: Birch and Anise or Wintergreen and Pine
TOG - Triple Odour Game: Birch, Anise and Clove or Wintergreen, Pine and Thyme
(in Canada, we will use NACSW or SDDA odours but not together or at the same game)
Birch - Betula Lenta
Anise - Pimpinella Anisum
Clove - Eugenia Caryophylatta
Wintergreen (Gaultharia procumbens)
Pine (pinus pinaster or sylvestris)
Red/WhiteThyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Birch Bark Sweet (Betula lenta)
Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata or Syzygium aromaticum L)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus )
K9 ABC Games - to enter the games, you must first register your dog here
Odour preparation is different for the SDDA and NASCW and C-Wags. Check out their websites and make you get the exact odours / scents that are listed there.
National Association of Canine Scent Work or NACSW
Sporting Detection Dogs Association or SDDA
Canine -Work And Games or C-Wags
K9 ABC Games
NACSW Oil Preparation:
Keep your scented cotton swabs in a glass jar with a screw top – as air tight as possible. Fill the jar about 3/4s full with q-tips cut in half; put several drops of oil over the tops of the q-tips, then put the lid on and shake it up. This will most likely last six months or so before you need to add more oil.
SDDA Oil Preparation:
Generally , one drop of oil on a swab or cotton ball
Handle with care:
I can be messy so I prepare all my odors at home and not where my training location will be (avoiding accidental spillage). That also applies to putting those swabs into containers. I avoid getting the oil on my skin by using tweezers to remove the swabs from the storage jar, or rubber gloves. You want to avoid letting the oil (be it on cotton swabs or anything with the oil on it) touch things in the environment. This causes what's known as residual odor in the environment and dogs may alert on it. This could harm your training and the dog's odour interest over time. Particularly if you don't know it is there.
Containers: When hiding scented swabs, it is best to contain them in something so that the they do not touch anything in the environment and contaminate anything with residual odour. The container should allow for odor to escape, so you may need to poke some holes in it.
Small Metal tins are my favorites but use a variety of container types: You can place a magnet (rare earth magnets available at Lee Valley are awesome) inside the tin to secure it to metal surfaces. You can also use putty or tape to secure the tin when you are hiding it. Use a variety of containers will help to avoid problems that are linked to associated odours. In practice I use a variety of containers and I vary the number of swabs in each container as well as the intensity or strength of the odour (older / faint as well as fresh / hot odour).
Examples of other containers: chap stick tubes, flower pics, insulation casing etc. larger mint tins etc. From the dollar stores I've used : hollow plastic Christmas balls , Soap Containers, Fabric Change Purses, Wooden Pegs, and much more. Remember to drill holes so that you let the odour out.
Storage of Odour
Store your odour in a place where you don’t do searches. Store in a container that is as air tight as possible. Lee Valley has some new containers that are awesome. They have a great rubber seal. Don’t store odour in a place where the dog can smell it all the time.
Crap, my dog at the swab! Safety tips:
Each dog is different when searching. My own dogs have ingested half of a cotton swab without incident but have never eaten or swallowed tin with a magnet!
- I use cotton Q-tips with paper cores ( not plastic ones). When I cut my swabs, I also cut away most of the paper stick too.
- Consider the size of your hide container when setting them for your dog. Many students want smaller ones for those 'Blind Hides' but I tend to start new dogs with larger containers until you get to now their search style and know that that they won't actually inhale the container!
Disposing of swabs:
You can use the swabs over and over, unless they get very soiled or contaminated with other things. I keep mine in an old cream carton in the freezer. That carton then goes into the green garbage bag on garbage day so that on garbage day . . . there is no chance of cotton swabs flying off of that truck in my neighborhood!
Where to purchase: Not all oils are created equal. Avoid anything that has been distilled with chemicals
A reliable supplier for all oils and Nose Work equipment contact Deb (Chilliwack) of:
K9 Sports Lines - www.k9sportslines.com