Setting you and your dog up for success
Pet visitation, animal assisted education (AAE) or therapy (AAT), along with other forms of animal assisted intervention (AAI) require dogs to be well trained and prepared to encounter a wide variety of situations and people. While successful AAI dogs can come in all different breeds and personalities, there are some common skills that they share. Dogs should be calm, affiliative, and attentive to their handler's cues, to name just a few requirements. Our dog training classes are uniquely designed to help prepare your dog to pass AAI testing and succeed in future placements. It will grow your training skills, as training doesn't only take place in class, but actually happens during every interaction we have with our dogs.
Offering an industry leading aptitude and temperament test that gathers detailed behavioural information about your canine, Dreamcatcher guides you to fully understanding ‘in the moment’ responses from your dog as his or her emotional state shifts during screening. Gain a better comprehension of your furry friend’s perspective through screening, resulting in a deepening of your relationship with him or her. Our skilled Canine Behavioural Experts educate you about what signals your companion uses to relay his or her feelings, needs and wants in everyday and stressful situations. Let our Experts provide you with detailed recommendations regarding areas of improvement for your canine’s behavior and what population or setting your canine would be best suited to work in as a career.
Register for Fall 2020 PYD Classes
Prepare Your Dog for AAI Group Training Series
Class 1: Prepare Your Dog for AAI
Are you interested in working alongside your dog to help others? Perhaps you want to prepare your furry friend to take part in pet visitation, animal assisted education, or even animal assisted therapy. This is your chance to learn in a group setting from a highly skilled and professional dog trainer, who has updated and implemented dog behaviour and screening tests for multiple AAI organizations. This class runs for 6 weeks and is available to dogs at least 4 months of age. It includes basic obedience, as well as more advanced behaviour training and desensitization, specifically tailored to prepare your dog to work in the field of animal assisted interventions.
Class 2: Public Access Skills
Are you ready to take your dog’s skills as your animal-assisted intervention partner to the next level? This is your chance to learn in a small group setting, from a highly skilled, professional dog trainer, who specializes in screening and training animals for AAI. This class includes advanced obedience work, as well as task training that your dog will need to work in AAI settings.
*must be a graduate of the ‘Prepare your dog for AAI’ class
Class 3: AAI Activities
This class includes 4 hours of hands on instruction with your dog, as well as out-of-class instruction and feedback on recorded training homework. This class covers advanced activities and skills, as well as role playing for AAI scenarios.
*must be a graduate of the ‘Prepare your dog for AAI’ class
In Home Consultations, 1 on 1 Coaching, Private Training
Convenience: A Familiar Place
One of the best ways to work on behaviours or to introduce training tips is to do so where the canine spends most of its time: In its home.
Dreamcatcher offers in-home consultations and coaching sessions that are tailored to suit the needs of you and your canine. Let us build a training plan with you, while focusing in on particular challenges your dog is experiencing.
Class Photo Gallery
Tips From Our Trainers
Danielle Clark, BA
Lead Dog Trainer
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and has been certified as a Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT). She completed the Calgary Humane Society Dog Training Apprenticeship program, where she continued to serve as a full time Animal Behaviour Specialist and Trainer, behaviorally screening and training animals in shelter, as well as teaching public classes. Danielle has completed 2 training's in Tellington TTouch for Companion Animals and has been a licensed presenter for Dogs & Storks and The Dog & Baby Connection Family Paws Parent Education programs.
With an extensive training background, working with many different animal species, including exotics such as Ring-tailed Lemurs and Nurse Sharks, as well as years of experience training horses, Danielle has spent well over a decade honing her skills as a science based animal trainer. In addition to her experience training pet dogs, she has also worked as a lead trainer for a Psychiatric Service Dog Training Institute and multiple Animal Assisted Therapy organizations.
Victoria has been fortunate to work around all kinds of canines while helping to run her family's dog based business for over a decade. She got her Dog Behaviour and Training Methodology Certificate through the Edmonton Humane Society and furthered her training experience working with exotic animals such as penguins and sea lions. She is a passionate believer in positive reinforcement training as well as the connection that bonds humans and canines.
Some of Victoria's favorite behaviours to teach are anything that involves props; she even taught her own dog to paint! She enjoys seeing the wheels turn and allowing the dogs to think the process through. This creates confident learners who are able to problem solve, which is a fantastic quality to have in AAI dogs.
"Hi Danielle, Thank you so much for everything! We really learned so much from you and for that we are so grateful. If only we would have had you when miss Lainee was a pup! But really, I can't thank you enough. It was such a pleasure working with you and just being out at Dreamcatcher- I often referred to the class as my wellness time so I will certainly miss it. I will absolutely be back at some point for further training for myself, as I mentioned before it is my dream to integrate AAT into my work, so undoubtedly I will do that at some point and wouldn't want to take that training through anyone but you all."
-Ashley and Lainee
"Danielle was very engaging and energetic. The course contained many practical and easy to implement techniques that had a large impact on our dog, Daisy, in a short period of time. Through the course we deepened our understanding of how Daisy communicates and how we can engaged her in a way she can understand. Danielle supported us with strategies for both working with our dog in the community and in our home. The setting at Dreamcatchers provided a background that challenged our skills and Daisy’s ability to remain on task. There is little more challenging than trying to encouraged our German Shepard mix to loose leash walk past a chicken coop or that the guinea pigs are not there for her entertainment. Our relationship with Daisy has greatly improved thanks to our time with the prepare your dog for AAT course. We are looking forward to taking more courses in the future."
-Dean, Cheryl and Daisy J
"This is such a wonderful program! Danielle was recommended to me as a highly skilled trainer, and she did not disappoint. This was the very first training class for myself and my Labrador puppy, Gator. I am a therapist and am hoping that Gator will be able to join me as a co-therapist in my career. Gator is a curious and energetic dog, and was one of the younger pups in our class. I was so impressed that Danielle was able to tailor her teaching to every skill and energy level in the class with ease. We quickly learned new skills and techniques that helped Gator and myself succeed in areas where we were previously stuck. Danielle cleared up a lot of conflicting training information I had researched myself, and provided us with techniques that quickly overcame the hurdles we had been dealing with for months. After beginning clicker training, for example, Gator learned to “lay down” with a simple hand signal in a short 5-minute training session. This was a skill we had been working on for months with no success!
Since finishing Prepare Your Dog for AAT, we have expanded on our learning and taught Gator how to retrieve Kleenex boxes and slippers, which can be applied/altered in a counselling setting. We are so excited to continue our learning with Danielle, and I can’t recommend this class highly enough!
Thanks for everything!"
-Kristi and Gator