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Paula Lash has an extensive background in training a variety of animals in zoos and aquariums, and recently joined Cowichan Canine to focus on helping dogs and their handlers.

 After graduating with a degree in marine biology, Paula interned at an aquarium where she saw firsthand how positive reinforcement training can be used on any animal! What followed was 20 years as a professional animal trainer, working at various zoos and aquariums in the United States and Canada.

Paula loves training and working with her own dog and finds it rewarding to inspire her clients with that same passion. She enjoys seeing how science-based, positive reinforcement methods transform the relationship between dogs and their owners into one of trust and cooperation. Paula believes that positive reinforcement is an amazing tool to communicate with animals: “These methods help you understand behaviour and the motivation behind it, and can help you communicate with your dog, and achieve success, even if it sometimes feels like baby steps," she says.  “This builds a lasting relationship with your animals that is invaluable when it comes to crunch time!”

Paula currently teaches Tricks classes, as well as Foundation and Pet Manners courses, and will be adding scent detection and animal Husbandry classes to her repertoire in the coming months.

Paula has a message for all her students: Practice, practice, practice! Clients who practice, and stay calm, are usually successful, she says. “We all make mistakes, it’s just a matter of trying again. Also, being proactive about dealing with unwanted behaviours, not reactive. That’s key too!”

Currently owned by a young, excitable border collie called Sam, Paula understands the challenges of working with high drive, working breeds. Along with her 6-year-old daughter and husband Ross, Paula can be found hiking and exploring the Cowichan Valley when she’s not training.

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What Clients Are Saying:

Today I was paid the ultimate compliment by Lisbeth Plant, owner of Cowichan Canine. She said I had helped my puppy Daphne (now 6 months old) develop into a really nice young dog. I agree! But of course I could not have done it without the wonderful folks at Cowichan Canine: professional, caring, knowledgeable and a bonus - all with a great sense of humour! Lisbeth, Stephanie, Andrea, Glenda and Steph all continue to help me guide Daphne and I am so grateful for their help, knowledge and kindness and for occasionally talking me down from a proverbial cliff! How lucky we are here in the Cowichan valley to have access to a full spectrum of resources to help guide and develop our dogs into the best they can be! Let the learning (and fun) continue!

Theresa Coles

Thanks so much Bev. You are a great teacher! We learned soooo much...myself as well as Bindi!! Wanted to take the time to give you and Cowichan Canine a big THANK YOU!

Marilyn & Bindi

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Group Classes, Private or Semi-private in-home training Lessons and confidential
Behaviour Consultations in the Cowichan Valley area, on southern Vancouver Island, servicing Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Duncan, Glenora, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Malahat, Maple Bay, Mill Bay, Saltair, Saltspring Island, Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island and Youbou.
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