Instructor team

Our team is the foundation of clevercanines.  Our exceptional team of devoted individuals is why and how we are able to offer a high level of service and support to our clients.

Every team member has completed extensive training to qualify them to be of service to you. Our intense Corporate Training Program provides our team with up to 100 hours of training, both in the classroom and in the field. Team members gain understanding of the latest training methods and techniques, while building sound knowledge in canine behaviour and handling skills. Ongoing training is important and team members have opportunities to attend seminars, utilize the company’s extensive resource library, and constantly study and observe dogs. Each team member’s high level of experience and training allows them to tailor their support and training method to each client and dog individually.

Our aim is to give you an exceptional experience and support YOU in your lifestyle with your dog. Our team is not only passionate about dogs but also passionate about people.

We look forward to meeting you and working with your dog!

click on the team you would like to meet, and the section will expand for you

Alex Friesen

Instructor: pupstart

Team Member Since: 2016

I was drawn to clevercanines because I get to be involved with helping people reach the goals they have set for their dogs. I personally have three dogs and know how amazing it feels when you and your dog master a technique you have been working on. What really sold me on clevercanines was after reading the core values and understanding how important these values are to strive for in my everyday life.

One thing I love sharing with people about clevercanines is that it is more than a dog training company. clevercanines keeps training with your dog’s best interests in mind and does so in a unique way. The philosophy and techniques offered set you and your dog up for success in reaching your goals for how you have dreamed the relationship with your dog would be.

Amber Schinnour

Instructor: core

Team Member Since: 2018

I have a passion for animals and a soft spot for dogs. I want to make a difference even if it is something so simple as to train someone how to be proud of their dog and to experience freedom. I think that for every person I will have the opportunity to instruct will be a success in my eyes.

I love sharing how much fun the staff are and how supportive they are. That even though you have completed a class with them that the support doesn’t end there and that you are and will always be a valued customer.

Ashleigh Hoffman

Instructor: pupstartcore

Team Member Since: 2016

The most exciting thing about joining the clevercanines team is simply working with people and their dogs. I am looking forward to helping people gain a positive experience with dog training; similar to what I experienced with Lucy. It is very rewarding to see your dog come to you from 200 meters away when you recall them. I love watching Lucy running towards me when I say “POPCORN” as it is something that you built together with your dog, a practical application learned from the training. That is something I look forward to clients experiencing.

The greatest value to the team would be my 10 years of experience in customer service. I understand how to handle a variety of personality types and can work in in a high pace environment.

Aysia Stante

Instructor: core

Team Member Since: 2015

I think the thing about me that will be the greatest asset to the clevercanines team is my patience.

The one thing that is most exciting to me about joining the clevercanines team is the energy that I get from the clevercanines team, the clients, and all the dogs!

Bianca Nassey, CBATI

Business Operations

Instructor: pupstart, jumpstart, core, club360, certified behaviour adjustment training instructor (CBATI)

Team Member Since: 2012

I wished I could find a place for Bruce Wayne, my blue heeler, to hone his natural herding abilities and release some of his some of his boundless energy. Checking out the clevercanines website, from the recommendation of a vet at the McKnight Clinic, I was impressed by the fact that clevercanines training was more than just a few weeks of classes and that’s it. What I saw was a real step-by-step way to build a trusting relationship with your dog while learning the best ways to maintain that training on a daily basis, and in all situations for the life of your dog.

The most powerful philosophy that clevercanines has taught me to help with training my dogs is canine communication. That my body language is really what they are able to read.  As soon as I changed my behavior just a little bit, I could see a drastic change in how my dogs reacted to me! This philosophy was so easy to apply, it gave me the confidence to know I was on the right track to having balanced relationships with my dogs.

Bobby Peardon

Instructor: pupstart, jumpstart

Team Member Since: 2016

I think I will be a great addition to the team because of my creative thinking and curious nature. I am always thinking outside the box to find the most fun or efficient way of doing things, and am always curious to see what will happen next.

The most exciting part of joining clevercanines is a toss up between, getting to lead a class and strengthen my skills on public speaking; a very important skill in my mind, or the simple answer of getting to be around so many dogs.

Caity Kruse


Team Member Since: 2018

I want to work with animals, and when I read through the clevercanines website, the core values really stuck out to meI am excited to teach others how to better understand their dogs and the way they communicate to us as humans.

Catherine Savin


Team Member Since: 2018

After teaching junior high for 18 years, I was looking for a new challenge and opportunity in my life. After seeing the community atmosphere and culture at clevercanines I knew right away that it could be a company that I could really get behind and support 100%.

Everyone has great intentions when getting a new puppy but with our extremely busy lifestyles it is very easy to let behaviours slide. clevercanines has given me the opportunity, strength and knowledge to address inappropriate behaviours and move forward more confidently.

Cindy Wilson Kruse


Team Member Since: 2018

I came to clevercanines when I was afraid to take my dog Quinn to the park not knowing how she would react to other dogs when she was with me. I realized that the relationship between us was the problem and I came to clevercanines looking for answers on how to fix it.

I learned from clevercanines that there is no ‘bad dog’, but that I needed to ‘read’ and ‘listen’ to her signals and take control of the situation and most importantly not to put her in a situation that could become out of control. I feel much more comfortable now when I am out with Quinn and I love how people comment on what a well behave dg she is! Of course, I always say it is because of clevercanines!

Diana O’Brien

Instructor: pupstart, core, club360

Dayschool Trainer

Team Member Since: 2015

It’s exciting to me to join a team who’s values are in line with my own, who pride themselves in giving top quality personable customer service in a world today where too much is automated and anonymous. Growth, expansion and change is what keeps the human experience interesting and challenging and it’s so great to join a company who embraces that viewpoint, without ever sacrificing the integrity of it’s values. Variety to me is the spice of life and it’s a dream to me to be working in a field where I can be productive and contribute in so many different ways.

I believe my greatest value to the team is my ability to take on new adventures with over the top commitment and zeal. You can be sure of my dedication and loyalty as a team player who will do my best to support the team as well as ensure that I’m giving 150% to the task at hand.

Fotina Karavas Kruse

Instructor: pupstart

Team Member Since: 2013

I came to clevercanines looking for some skills to help with our walk – mostly because our timid, 4.5lb CryBaby would put on the brakes at any noise or shadow. He wasn’t getting the exercise he needed because we were literally dragging him around the block. After the first session of jumpstart there was a huge improvement in his confidence and we were able to start doing more exploring in our neighbourhood.

The most powerful tool for us, is the “snap-sit”. We can quietly put the dogs into a sit from almost any distance – I’ve been successful with CryBaby at more than 30 feet away! The snap-sit is an extremely impressive tool – even simple to use. It keeps the dogs out of trouble when we’re visiting friends and even a great way to manage their energy when we’re allowed to take them into stores and shop.

Heather Boucher

Instructor: club360

Team Member Since: 2012

Joining the clevercanines team was important to me because I was looking to do something fun and meaningful outside of my full-time job. clevercanines brings both those things together for me.

The one thing I feel that I can bring to the team is my ability to incorporate humour and knowledge together to help people learn new things and have fun at the same time!

Heather Manuel Kruse

Instructor: pupstart

Team Member Since: 2016

When people ask me where I took my dogs for training, one thing I always tell them about the clevercanines core program is that it requires commitment and a lot of hard work, but it is really worth it in the end. It is something I always try to emphasize when I talk about my own experiences with clevercanines, because while it wasn’t an easy program to go through with my dogs, I saw huge progress at the end and the fact that it takes a lot of work just showed me how committed clevercanines was to helping me with my dogs. They’re not in it for quick fixes, they’re in it so you can create a lasting, trusting partnership with your dog(s).

I think one thing about me that I will bring to the team is my commitment to helping others. I am committed to bringing whatever experience and knowledge I can to working with every person and puppy, as well as learning as much as I can in my new role.

Hope Tornberg

Instructor: core

Team Member Since: 2018

I’ve wanted to work with dogs and people for as long as I can remember, so when I saw the job posting for clevercanines I knew I had to be a part of this astounding company. Ever since the first day I stepped into the clevercanines facility and was apart of one of their sessions I have not been able to stop sharing the knowledge I receive every single time I’m there! All the staff members are so friendly and professional, it creates a really positive environment that I truly enjoy being in.

Karen Earl

Instructor: pupstart, core

Team Member Since: 2016

The trust and respect I have for every clevercanines team member that I have had contact with is what makes joining the team so exciting. It is incredible to have the opportunity to work with people who are so knowledgeable, dedicated and enthusiastic about helping people achieve their goals with their dogs.

I believe my greatest gift to the team is my natural empathy with the clients. My sense of knowing who needs support and being able to help them work through their frustrations and support them as they progress through learning new skills.

Karli Miller

Instructor: core

Team Member Since: 2018

At first, I was most excited about joining the team because it meant that I would get to work with dogs, but now I am excited to be a part of a community that is supportive and encouraging and I know that joining this team will teach me a ton!

The one thing I love sharing with clients or others about clevercanines is that it is more than just training lessons for your dog, they go above and beyond to make sure that clients can have a healthy and lasting relationship with their dogs and are wanting to be a support system throughout the entire client experience.

Katerina Jansen, CTDI

Instructor: club360, certified trick dog instructor (CTDI)

Team Member Since: 2012

I love how clevercanines teaches consistency. I believe this is the most important tool to have when training your dog. It allows your dog to understand what you are asking 100% of the time, instead of always guessing.

I want people to have fun with their dogs and to realize the potential their dog has. Being able to join a company that allows their clients to experience so many facets of the dog world is important to me.

Lindy Macleod

Instructor: pupstart

Team Member Since: 2017

Joining the clevercanines team is important and exciting to me because of it’s this amazing community of extremely knowledgeable and passionate dog lovers. I love animals and want to be a part of spreading knowledge to make their world a better and happier place.

I was attracted to clever canines because of the passionate and knowledgeable staff. This combination of attributes is a powerful tool in inspiring others to want to learn and grow, driving change.

clevercanines has encouraged patience and increased my knowledge, making my dogs and I a better team together.

Mary Polychronis

Instructor: jumpstart

Team Member Since: 2018

It all started with a severely injured pup that my sister rescued. A sweet dog who was also a great challenge to train, take on walks and deal with but introduced me to the canine world and I have fallen in love with dogs ever since. The role and company culture called out to me and I knew dog training was a skill I wanted to learn and excel at in a community that genuinely values what they do.

The clevercanine’s philosophy of believing that any goal with your dog is possible has helped me in my relationships with dogs in my life. I have experienced how dogs and humans can enhance each other’s quality of life, believing in your dog, learning about them and giving them the time and training they need helps create a liberating experience for both! In never giving up, dogs have also helped me slow down in busy and challenging periods of my life, create more awareness of the environment and people around me.

Rachel Ward


Instructor: jumpstart, core, club360

Team Member Since: 2013

As an aspiring veterinarian, I was eager to get as much experience working with dogs and their owners as possible. Remembering what I had heard about the clevercanines program I know that it matched my own beliefs that dog training should be about creating a balanced and understanding relationship between a dog and their owner.

The most powerful clevercanines tools that helped me with my dogs was calmness. My Golden Retriever, Fin, used to be terrified of taking baths – but once I realized that I was getting frustrated during his baths and instead, reacted by being calm. His fear of having baths disappeared very quickly and now he actually enjoys them!

Robin Grundy Kruse

Instructor: pupstart, jumpstart, core, club360

Team Member Since: 2016

I saw a clevercanines core class meeting in my local park (Elbow Park) and was immediately interested in the overall level of calm and obedience demonstrated by the dogs and the approachability of the instructors. I went up to them after their class had ended and asked about the program and started jumpstart the week after. I have since also participated in core.

The one thing I love sharing with clients about clevercanines is the company’s unique focus on the interpretation of canine behaviour and how this applies to dog training. The whole “be the cookie” mentality is a completely novel approach to training.

Seanna Mitchell

 Instructor: jumpstart, core

Team Member Since: 2016

After a lot of research on different training organizations I decided to take my two rescues to jumpstart. I immediately fell in love with the company, culture, and philosophies. I knew I had made the best choice for my boys, and after my experience as a client I knew I wanted more!

I can finally enjoy walking my dogs and not worrying that one is too excited by everything, and one is frightened by everything. The best tool we got from clevercanines was the hands-free leash. Not many tools can help with such different problems simultaneously.

Sierra Sherman


Team Member Since: 2018

I have a strong desire to really help people with their dogs and clevercanines philosophies are all revolved around giving clients the best possible experience.

“We believe that working in a variety of outdoor environments builds confidence.” This philosophy is exactly what my dog needed. Training him in different environments has helped my dog react to those situations in an appropriate manner.

Sylvia Hunter


Team Member Since: 2018

clevercanines training philosophy and practices are sensible with long lasting results, which makes being a part of the team an easy fit to hone my knowledge and skills while being a positive role model to others. 

The training philosophy goes beyond a quick fix solution. It is about empowering the owner with skills and strategies that will strengthen the relationship they have with their dog(s) while enabling successful relations with other humans and/or their pets.

Trisha Hache Kruse


Instructor: pupstart jumpstart, core, club360

Team Member Since: 2014

What brought me to clevercanines is the fact that the company does not discriminate against breeds of dogs or dog behaviors. clevercanines truly believes in removing the descriptors that influence how we behave around our dogs. This gives dog owners that believe there is no hope, a second chance to understand their dog and build a trusting relationship.

I love to share with others the fact that the unique thing about clevercanines is that training doesn’t stop in the classroom – learning and training is constant and goes beyond the classroom. It is incorporated into your everyday life.

There is a true sense of freedom when you can trust your dog to behave in a way that you never thought possible.

There is a great sense of accomplishment in experiencing fun and fulfillment with your best friend.