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Stef Human, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, has always been passionate about animals and their welfare. As a child, she would bring home any stray animal she found, only to have her exasperated mother insist she take them to the local SPCA.


Today Stef helps give puppies and young dogs the best possible start in life at Cowichan Canine, thereby reducing the number of dogs at risk of being surrendered by their owners because of behavioural problems.


Stef has long been active in animal rescue and welfare, and has worked in veterinary hospitals and with racehorses; volunteered as a horse handler for therapeutic riding organizations, and worked with rescue organizations and shelters in various countries. She started a much-needed SPCA on a small Caribbean island, organized spay & neuter clinics, and did welfare education for youth at schools and clubs.


Her own challenges as the owner of a rescue dog led Stef to Cowichan Canine and a new career as instructor. A graduate of the Dog Trainer Professional Program of the Karen Pryor Academy and the Puppy Start Right for Instructors, Stef continues her education with Clicker Expo conferences and other education courses. “There is just so much to learn,” she says.


Stef currently offers Puppy Start Right classes, where puppies are exposed to positive socialisation opportunities, which can help to “inoculate” them against future behavioural issues. She also offers Foundation classes and private lessons for puppy owners.


Stef believes in positive reinforcement methods because they strengthen the bond between dog and handler. “These methods work because they reward the animal for behaviour that we would prefer to see, rather than punish them for unwanted behaviour,” she says.


Stef feels strongly about owners practicing with their dogs and is known for always having tips or solutions for owners to try. She has even been known to help a client make curtains to shield their dog from barking triggers through the window.


Stef shares her home with husband Deon and three rescue dogs – Bindi, Daisy and Tulip - and is a keen gardener and outdoor enthusiast. Stef regularly indulges her colleagues at Cowichan Canine with her exquisite baking.




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What Clients Are Saying:

Dear Lisbeth, With lots of practice through your guidence and instructions, I am beyond excited and pleased to inform you that Tina has conquered her fear of brooms and mops! It took about a month, slow consistent practicing and desensitizing, and I am now at a stage where Tina literally follows me around, tail wagging and smiles, while I clean the floors! Another fear checked off the list! Thank you so very much for your continued support throughout our journey. With the private training we took with you, then Confidence Class, and now Agility with amazing Glenda- Tina has turned into this confident, joyful, and content little dog that just loves life. School is Tina's absolute favorite thing and I am so glad to have found Cowichan Canine. Thank you for everything, to both you and Glenda for all fun we get to learn and experience. Tina's quality of life she so very much deserves just keeps getting better and better!

Hanna Quinn and Tina the Toy Poodle
Crofton, BC

I cannot say enough wonderful things about cowichan canine!!! My pup went through the puppy start right and then onto the foundation classes. Stef and Stephanie were fantastic!!! Both classes are well run, organized, they are excellent teachers and spend time with you and your dog. The class sizes are small which makes an excellent learning facility. Stef and Stephanie are patient and kind. The knowledge is second to none. You are able to ask questions and have one on one time as necessary. Did I mention how clean the facility is...? Holy you'd never know dogs are there all day. We wanted to give our pup his best chance and cowichan canine certainly facilitated that.

Elizabeth Butler-Smythe and Matt Tregear
cobble hill

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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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