Samantha DeJong, B.Sc, CTB.ccs, IPDTA-CDT
Professional Certified Canine Trainer & Behaviour Therapist
My name is Samantha DeJong. I grew up with a love of animals from an early age having pet dogs, cats, birds, rats, bunnies and also spending a lot of time at my grandparents' farm and working for a veterinarian in St. Thomas, ON. I started training my family dog in 1996, who taught me how to create and cue lots of fun tricks and also how to puppy proof a home! He passed away while I was at the University of Guelph studying Animal Biology and Psychology, and when I finished my degree in 2007, I began to foster dogs. That is how my current dog, Dexter (see photo), found me and in 2010, he led me to Greg Ceci and Norma Jeanne Laurette of ACTT (Applied Canine Therapy and Training) - all 3 of whom have taught me everything I know about fear rehabilitation using desensitization and counter-conditioning over the past 5 years.
In June of 2013, I started running Puppy Classes at Dreamland Pet & Equine while continuing to assist in Norma Jeanne & Greg Ceci's Reactive classes to get as much hands-on practice as I could working with a variety of dogs that were reactive to dogs and/or people. I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with them, and I was honored when they suggested that I run Puppy Power when they decided to move out of the area and embark on their next adventure.
I love puppy training (who wouldn't!) and showing pet-parents how to fade undesirable behaviours and shape them into acceptable ones. My current mandate is to help people build and maintain a trusting relationship with their dogs, using positive reinforcement methods that do not create distrust, which damages the bond that every dog deserves to have with their owners. I believe that Norma Jeanne has offered KW and surrounding areas the absolute best in dog training and I will do whatever I can to continue the same level of service she has offered for the past 23 years.
I can't wait to meet you and show you not only how to get the best out of your dog but also how to manage (and still love your dog for) the rest <3