Country Canine Care provides a safe, fun environment for your dog to socialize, exercise and learn.

The CCC Staff and Four Legged Family

Our Staff

At Country Canine Care, it’s important that we have only the best staff.

Kacey Wall

I want to personally welcome you to Country Canine Classroom.

A little about me… I have a long, varied history of working with animals. I grew up on an acreage in Alberta where I worked with horses, both competing and training. The only thing I loved more than working with my horses was working with dogs.

Over the years, I’ve had numerous opportunities to learn about animal behavior and how they think and learn. I soon discovered just how important it is to use positive reinforcement when training and teaching dogs new behaviors. I learned how to extinguish the behaviors I found less than desirable. Most importantly, I learned that using positive reinforcement truly builds the bond between animals and their owners and the results are amazing!

How did I come to LOVE all things connected to and concerning dogs?

My first dog with was a yellow lab/German shepherd cross. She was very timid and shy and I was the only one in the family that could draw her out from under the deck after she had been frightened. Once I left home and was on my own for a few years, I adopted my first dog. Mack was a 3 month old German Shephard/Border Collie/Husky cross from the humane society in Cold Lake. At 6 months of age she was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. She lived an active and full life until she was 12.5 when I finally had to put her down due to loss of control of her hind legs. It was one of the hardest decisions I have made and the hardest thing I’ve had to do!

Shortly after Mack was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, I adopted Miss Whiskey – a completely different personality than Mack. Where Mack was outgoing and eager to offer any behavior she thought might get her some extra love, Whiskey was more reserved and was quite happy just plodding along, doing her own thing with no real desire to offer any behavior other than “I’m just a chill dog along for the ride”. Whiskey remained the stoic, reserved dog she was when she was a pup and in her golden years was happy to lounge in the house watching my 2 young huskies rough house and play like only huskies can.

Currently, my home is filled with Husky love. Beira joined our home in 2018 and Bear a year later. Beira and Bear keep me on my toes with daily training challenges and providing them an active lifestyle of hiking and running the local trails.

What led me to pursue dog training?

I started my path towards becoming an assistant with Country Canine Classroom in 2018 after a few months working at CCC and having the privilege to observe and interact with many different types of dogs, I asked to mentor under Debbie Simpson, the trainer at CCC at that time. I sat in and helped with obedience classes and learned a TON.

Prior to learning about positive based reinforcement training I would read and watch anything Cesar Millan put out. After growing up on a farm and observing dominant based approaches to handling animals, Cesar made sense. However, I was curious about training and that lead me to reading other books and watching other videos about dog behaviour and training. That’s when I learned more about positive reinforcement training. The old adage, “you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar” began to ring true – when I say “ring true”, it was like the bells in Rome on the holiest of holidays waking me up to an exciting new approach.

I started incorporating more of the positive reinforcement training into my work with my dogs and the dogs I was interacting with CCC, I found that I was building a better bond and we were all enjoying training more. Yes, using physical and verbal punishment can potentially get your dog to “behave”. However, there are 2 very big risks with adopting that approach 1) your dog may retaliate one day and it could result in a bite and 2) your relationship is built on fear, not respect. You won’t build a solid bond with your dog. And really, isn’t that why we bring dogs into our lives, to have a bond and enjoy the amazing world around us with our fury friend?

As one of your assistants, I am here to help you learn how you can teach your dogs all those great behaviors that make them a treasured member of your family. We use only positive reinforcement training to preserve the relationship with your dog at the same time as teaching them all our “human world rules”. We’ll have fun. We’ll laugh. Your dog will be tired at the end of the session (problem solving and learning really tires them out). If there is one thing I have learned from training both dogs and horse, it is knowing without a doubt that there will be days that you get frustrated. That’s okay. We’ll help you through those tough spots.

So what do I do when I’m not working with dogs? My other great passions in life are being a Diabetes Nurse Educator and spending any free time I get either out on remote hiking trails or up to my elbows in dirt in the garden.

I’m looking forward to meeting you and your “pack”!

Crystal Steers

Hi, I’m Crystal, lover of all animals, big and small (except spiders and snakes). I grew up in a small town on a little hobby farm in Australia riding horses and competing in gymkhanas, dressage, show jumping and one day events. We had lots of animals growing up including a little Jack Russel x Fox Terrier named Ngata who roamed the farm during the day helping us out wherever she could. We also had sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, ducks, cats and of course my love as a child, horses.

In 2011 I moved to New Zealand for 2 years before moving to Whistler, Canada in 2013. My passion of the outdoors and predominately mountain biking and trail running with some skiing lead me here to BC, I then moved to Squamish and now Cumberland in the Comox Valley. I have to say we have a special place here which I now call home! I then made the decision to take the step of finding the love of my life, my dog Finn!

I picked Finn up on the 28th Feb 2020 and have been in love ever since. He is a fun, high energy Vizsla – which matches me perfectly. I have had quite the journey training him and have learnt so much in the time I have had him. Finn and I have completed our Beginner, Novice and Advanced Trick certificates as well as our level 1 Canine Conditioning. We have started beginner agility obedience and we also do Urban Tracking. My dream for Finn and I is big adventures, lots of trail running and mountain biking.

I started taking Finn to CCC in summer 2020 and as soon as I saw him having so much fun, I reached out to LD and said I want to work here and work with dogs, I drive the Country Canine Cab on Mondays and work with the dogs in the fields, as well as assist LD with the Puppy Daycare socials twice a week. I’ve since started assisting LD with the Playful Puppy classes and love seeing all the new pups learning and graduating class. I’m very excited to continue to work with dogs and learn as much as I can. Dogs make life better with their pawsitive attitude, doggy kisses and cuddles!!

Janine MacDonald

I am Janine, I have had dogs my entire life, I currently have a 6 year old Border Collie named Kinsey, and a 6 month old German Shepherd named Miikka. Kinsey and I love to do trick training and agility, which we are hoping to get back into this spring! Miikka is mastering her basic obedience and learning new tricks all the time.

I am currently enrolled in Canine Correspondence Studies with Norma Jeanne Laurette, with aspirations to train dogs and help those with behavioural and aggression issues. Prior to doing my training, I worked as a paramedic for ten years, spending the last two on the lower mainland. Prior to that I trained horses for a number of years.

I love spending time with your dogs, and I am looking forward to seeing them grow and evolve.

Our Four Legged Family

Our dogs are like staff, they assist in making guest dogs feel welcome.

Balou is a bluetick coon hound cross adopted from Dogwood Rescue where he was saved from a high incident kill shelter in California. Balou was surrendered in California and then placed in three foster situations here in Canada before we adopted him. Balou was estimated at 4 years of age at the time of adoption in May 2016.

Bay is a black female pure bred English lab from Erlastyn Kennels in Salmon Arm, BC. Bay was born on Feb 21 2017. Bay herself is not registered but she comes from long lines of registered dogs on both her sire and dams side. She was bred by Shalah Nelson of K9 Instinct Adventures.

Libby is a re-homed pure-bred mini dachshund. Libby has recently joined our pack and brings with her an amazing sense of adventure, fun and joy of life. Her energy is as infectious as her charm. Libby was born on Valentine’s Day in 2015.