Maria graduated from the Academy for Dog Trainers, earning a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC). The two-year intensive study program focused on animal behavior, dog training, and client counseling and strongly prioritizing science and evidence-based learning. Prior to earning her CTC, Maria worked with dogs for nearly a decade.
Maria is constantly pursuing opportunities for further education. She attends a wide variety of conferences, workshops, and webinars focusing on animal behaviour and learning. Currently Maria is enrolled in the Fear Free Pets Professional Trainer certification program to hone her husbandry skills.
She is also a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and enjoys coaching people on how to train their dogs to do tricks for fun or to earn titles. When she’s not working with clients, Maria can be found hiking with her own dogs, competing in Rally-O, or working on various craft projects.
Maria’s current pets include; two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Penny and Nemo, as well as two rats, Ratilda and Margarat. Penny and Maria enjoy participating in Rally-O, musical freestyle, and tricks training. Penny has earned her Canine Good Neighbour certification as well as several CARO Rally-O and Trick Dog titles.
Nemo struggles with generalized anxiety disorder but has made huge strides since joining Maria’s family. With Nemo, Maria focuses on training cooperative care behaviours and building confidence through enrichment activities to assist Nemo in coping with life’s day to day stressors. Nemo enjoys doing Agility, Rally-O, and Tricks. Margarat and Ratilda enjoy learning new tricks and solving snack puzzles.
Maria’s household also often includes a foster dog. These dogs benefit from a welcoming haven with a dog-centric family as well as Maria’s wonderful patience and training experience. Due to fostering a wide range of dogs with various behaviour issues, Maria gains excellent firsthand experience of living and working with challenging dogs. This not only provides her with a wide range of training experiences but also a deep empathy for clients with more challenging dogs. Maria has fostered many different breeds and breed mixes from Chihuahuas to Great Pyrenees.
Maria specializes in behaviour modification for fearful and/or anxious dogs, body handling, and separation anxiety.