Donia is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) as well as an Animal Behaviour College Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT) and is currently working towards becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed (CPDT KA) through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Donia also holds a professional membership with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Animal Behaviour Society (ABS).
Continuing Education is very important to Donia. She regularly attends conferences such as Clicker Expo and APDT. Donia attends many local seminars as well indulging speakers such as Terry Ryan, Susan Garrett, Karen Pryor, Ken Ramirez, Sue Sternberg, Ian Dunbar, Susan Clothier, Patricia McConnell, Kay Lawrence and many more!
Donia believes in positive, dog friendly training methods and enjoys nurturing a bonded trusting relationship between people and their canine companions. Training should be fun for both dogs and their handlers! Teaching is a passion for Donia and she enjoys seeing her students thrive.
Prior to starting Whiskers & Wags Pet Services, Donia worked and volunteered in a thriving local veterinary practice for over 8 years. Behavioural Modification for fearful or reactive dogs is a passion for Donia. Having had her own fearful fido, Donia has a soft spot for reactive dogs and their owners. Animal rescue and welfare is also very important to Donia. She is currently volunteering with Boxer Rescue Canada and has had several foster dogs through Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Donia shares her home with three dogs; Nelson (7yo Boxer), Kaeda (7yo Boxer), and Bryn (2 yo Border Terrier) as well as three cats Max, Nobie, and Pippa. Donia is passionate about training and working with dogs and currently participates in Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience (CARO, CKC, World Cynosport, Treiball, and Nosework.
Ayka has been working alongside Donia since the beginning of Whiskers & Wags Pet Services providing individual and small group walks, in-home visits and live-in care. She was always surrounded by animals as she grew up on a farm in the Netherlands. Her greatest joy was in bottle feeding the new born calf and lamb, domesticating the barn cats and helping her father with the sick and injured animals. Even though her career was in helping people, first as a RN in the Netherlands and later as a parent-educator she feels that a lot of her skills are transferable. Even the language, concepts and techniques used in both fields are similar; positive parenting or positive dog-friendly training methods are all based on the concept that children and animals learn more from positive experiences. Her nursing career certainly is a great asset were it comes to administering medications and catching symptoms of an illness. Ayka has a “weak spot” for neglected and abandoned pets and has taken in many recues over the years. Currently her furry cat companions are Nobie, Max, and Pippa and Donia’s boxer trio, Nelson, Kaeda and Bryn.