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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:

Hi there, Ed and I are doing pretty good. The vet is tackling his some health issues and Ed seems to be much happier overall with summer being here. He's even willing to roll on his back and let me rub his tummy now which I think is a good sign of our improved relationship. Anyone I talk to about Ed gets a big recommendation from me regarding Cowichan Canine. I sing your praises every chance I get since I know that I would be in a pretty bad situation without your help every step of Ed's development. Thanks so much for all the education that I needed and all of the fun times as well

Heather Welychko
Vancouver Island

Karen is an awesome teacher. She is caring, gentle and patient. She gave me a little extra time tohelp me because I am hard of hearing and have great difficulty hearing in class. Because of her, Monkey flourished under her care. Thank you, Karen, for all your help!

Cindy & Monkey
Mill Bay, BC

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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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