Our Zen Dogs

A professional trainer’s great resume should include her personal dogs as they are the “walk” to a trainer’s “talk.”

All of our recommendations, training methods, and modalities of care that we recommend to our clients will show up in our own personal dogs, as we have learned so much from our own journeys together.

Here are our very own Zen Dogs, past and present. They have helped to build this company and make us so proud!

Darleyfalls Tiehack Racer “Killy”

March 4, 2022
Killy is the newest addition to our household and the sweetest of our dogs to date.

I have wanted a Darleyfalls dog for a very long time and waited three years for Killy’s arrival from the UK. Darleyfalls is known for producing dogs with beautiful movement and temperament and “Kiki” lives up to that reputation perfectly.

Thief of socks, keeper of the joy and mischief in our home, Killy bounces to the rhythm of his own drum and is my most "people-social" dog. His tail wags his entire body when he meets anyone willing to give him some of their time. I chose a ski racing theme for his name in tribute to my husband's Aspen Colorado roots. And Killy likes to go fast!

We have just started out in the sport of agility together but this little split-faced boy has such promise and is a joy to train and to live with. As with all young dogs there is much to discover and share together - the year ahead holds so much fun and learning; I cannot wait to see where we land!
Killy’s recent seminar with some serious baby dog skills:

Wannahave Outrageous Orange “Tell”

June 08, 2015
Tell is my first border collie and comes from the respected Wannahave Kennel in the Netherlands.

He is my “big feelings” dog and everyone who meets Tell falls in love, as he is the consummate lover of life.

Keen and highly driven to work, Tell teaches me every day to be thoughtful of his world and to reach him on his level. He is the most intelligent and sensitive dog I have shared my life with and is a joy to train. Gifted in sheep herding and passionate in agility, we have traveled thousands of miles together and have had the opportunity to work with so many talented trainers from across Europe and North America.

Unfortunately Tell has a depth perception disability, making agility a challenge for him and so we train for fun and keep the jump height lower so he is safe on course. There are few things more thrilling than running Tell on an agility course.
What we love to do best:
Tell at seven months:

MOTCh ATCh Mila von Grunheide TD RA

November 6, 2007 - July 14, 2022
Mila inspired so many goals in me and helped me to achieve them all. She was my bridge from a traditional training methodology to positive reinforcement, and she loved nothing more than to work with me and compete together in any sport I set before us. Her heart was bigger than all of this world and I was blessed to be her person.

Our journey together spanned four sports and 22 competition titles - competitive obedience, rally-o, agility and tracking. The biggest compliment I received, time and again, was when strangers would come up and say how much they loved watching us together in the ring. Our relationship was magic.

Blessed with excellent health, she retired into a lovely companion for my family, a prolific swimmer, food hound, and bed warmer extraordinaire until the end of her days. I will miss this dog in particular until the end of mine.
  • #1 German Shepherd Dog, and #4 Herding group in CKC competitive obedience in Canada in 2013
  • 2016 BC/YUKON 22 inch Vets AAC Regional Agility Champion
  • #3 ranked Canadian agility dog, 22 inch Vets, at 2015 AAC Nationals
  • #3 German Shepherd Dog in CKC competitive obedience in Canada in 2012
  • Multiple High in Class and High in Trial wins in CKC competitive obedience
  • Master Obedience Trial Champion (MOTCh) in CKC competitive obedience
  • Agility Trial Champion (ATCh) in AAC
  • Tracking Dog (TD) in CKC
  • Expert Bronze Standard in AAC
  • Expert Bronze Steeplechase in AAC
  • Rally Advanced (RA) in CKC
  • Herding Instinct Certified (HIC)

Saint von Grunheide CDX TD

October 1, 2001 - October 14, 2015
Saint was my original Zen Dog. He was my patient teacher, my wingman and my interpreter in those early days.

Named after a patrol dog at the Vancouver Police Dog Squad, Saint was the original spark to this crazy fire in my heart.

He introduced me to the world of dog sports and to so many amazing mentors who have helped shape my path.

Saint was a bubble bath companion for my daughter; a protector over our family; a guide for struggling dogs with his calm presence; a fellow traveler; and my perfect poster boy. Those who met him would never forget him as he was truly unforgettable and grand in every way.

Zen Dogs

Our dogs, who we've loved and trained.

Teenage Tyrants

Boot camp for the adolescent brain!

Life Skills - Level 1

Practical obedience skills for every day

Street Smarts - Level 2

Our signature practice-makes-perfection class