about melissa major
Melissa has a passion for animals that has existed since childhood. In 2001, she began volunteering in animal welfare, later working for the BC SPCA. It was then that she took an interest in dog training. How can so many dogs be given up by their owners for behavioural problems? Surely, many of these problems are fixable if owners only had the tools and know-how to train their dog to be an obedient member of their family.
Dogs are pack animals, and when we bring a dog into our household we become their pack. Leadership is a learned skill and owners often need help to develop such a skill. Dogs without leadership are often disrespectful and develop unwanted behaviours. Depending on the dog, these issues can range from mild to severe. Part of owning and training a dog, is recognizing whether you have a mild or severe dog. With a mild dog, a mild issue may be too much excitement and jumping up on people. While a serious dog with severe issues can result in dog bites that can result in fatalities to other animals and even hospitalization of humans. This can be detrimental to the dog and often results in families giving up their dog, or even worse euthanasia.
Melissa is a strong believer in balanced training. Dogs need leadership. Your relationship with your dog is of utmost importance. Building a bond, using positive motivational tools, but also teaching them what behaviours are unacceptable is paramount to having an obedient, well-mannered dog. If you think of it this way, dogs are what they repeatedly do. Misbehavior then is not an act, but a habit. We are here to help you change your dogs habits, as well as your habits. When those two things come together, you will achieve success.
Melissa’s focus is on pet obedience. BC Westcoast K9 Services offers lessons for young dogs needing foundation. And Melissa’s specialty is working with dogs with severe behavioural issues, such as aggression leading to biting, pulling, anxiety and fear issues, not coming when called and more.
Melissa validated with her German Shepherd Dog Jax in 2015 at the Justice Institute of BC for security-protection. Jax earned his C.D. (Companion Dog) title in 2018, with a High in Class. Jax achieved one leg of his CDX title, but due to age and COVID we were unable to complete the title.
Melissa’s clients include dogs of all sizes and breeds. Melissa offers one-on-one lessons where she can focus on the needs of her client. Whether the problem is lunging on lead and barking at dogs or not coming when called, Melissa is able to give people the tools needed to be a good dog owner and have a happy, balanced dog. Melisa is also the host of the Housewolves podcast, which gives lots of great tips for dog owners!
Melissa’s pack has collectively earned the following:
JIBC Security Validation; CKC Obedience Pre Novice; CKC Obedience Companion Dog; and CKC Canine Good Neighbour. Her two special little rescues are models for local pet company RC Pet Products and Gromit has even appeared in a commercial (view here)!
Melissa continues to train her dogs and hopes to further compete with her female Shepherd Zulu. Training continues for the lifetime of a dog. Being outside with her dogs, is definitely her favourite place to be! Always learning and always striving to be a better handler.
about kate johnson
Having lived on a farm for the majority of her childhood, Kate has been around animals her whole life. As a result, she has developed a love and passion for animals. She always knew that she would end up in a career that involved animals and helping them. However, it wasn’t until she was introduced to Melissa that she developed an interest in dog training.
Melissa helped Kate train her very fearful collie mix puppy, Jen. As a result of that training, Jen turned into a happy, confident and balanced dog. Balanced training has allowed Jen to be included in Kate’s everyday life, and has helped Kate realize her love for dog training. Having had this experience with her own dog Jen, Kate wishes to help other dog owners so that they too can experience the benefits of having a dog that is able to be a part of their everyday lives. Having Melissa as a mentor has inspired Kate to teach others how to have a happy and balanced dog.
Kate’s specialty is working with young dogs and helping owners build a solid foundation, which instils confidence in the dog and the handler. Kate also takes a limited amount of board and trains where she focuses on obedience foundation and manners in a home environment.