Hi, my name is Caroline Hilliard and I am Steadfast Dogs' owner and trainer.

dog showI have always owned and always loved dogs. About 20 years ago I unwittingly acquired a very aggressive Golden Retriever puppy. Through trial, error and the help of some amazing mentors, I was able to turn this dominant, anxious little fiend into a confident, relaxed show and obedience trial dog, and I was hooked.

Over the next ten or so years most of my time with dogs was spent as a hobby, trialing and showing my own dogs, and working as an assistant. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best groomers, trainers, and handlers in the area and I gleaned everything I could along the way.

As time went on I tired of 'real' jobs and I began working full time, show handling, training and grooming. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. I also wanted to return to my first love, behavior modification.

I decided I wanted a formal, long term, hands on education in behavior and training so I moved to San Diego to attend the Pro-Train Institute's two year apprenticeship program. Because of my previous experience, Mark Castillero's no nonsense, behavioral approach (to training both dogs and people), and my tenacity for learning, I was able to advance quickly. Within a year of arriving, I was Pro-Train's head trainer, managing the training kennels and assisting in teaching the students. I loved working with and learning from Mark, and was honoured when he asked me to stay and work for him when my apprenticeship finished.

At Pro-Train I learned to train all the basics, as well as to select and train Service dogs for the disabled (including multiple disabilities), and personal protection dogs. We also did a lot of behavior modification. I learned never to give up on any dog. We had dogs shipped to us from all over the States that had been deemed 'too aggressive for rehabilitation' by other trainers. After a few weeks we would give them back to their owners relaxed and manageable, and give the owners the tools to keep them that way.

While in the States, I also had many opportunities to work with and assist Sonny Henegar of 10-8k-9. Sonny is a multifaceted trainer who specializes in police and other working dogs. Pro-Train provides Sonny with agitators, and assists with maintenance training for his K-9s in the San Diego area. By the time I left San Diego I was very comfortable catching police dogs, instructing the officers on how to handle their dogs during bites and searches, and assessing a dog's suitability for a working career based on it's drives and stability.

I spent about five years in San Diego with Pro-Train and in that time I trained hundreds of dogs. I have now returned to Edmonton, and am confident that I can help you no matter what your interest or challenge is.

I continue to attend seminars, including the International Association of Canine Professionals' 2009 Conference in Texas, and to talk and work with other trainers to keep my knowledge up to date and my training innovative.
Please don't hesitate to call me if I can be of service to you!
(780) 920-7744

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