"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."
- Orhan Panuk
Learn about our training principles and practices here.
Owner/Head Trainer (Prince George)
Animals have been an integral part of my life, starting from a very young age. As a child my immense passion for horses and riding consumed every waking moment. I joined the Campbell Valley Pony Club at the age of 12 which in turn lead me into the world of competitive 3-day-eventing.
My father is a retired Vancouver Police Officer from the department’s Dog Squad, so for as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by bold, working German Sheperds. I was deeply involved in the puppies’ early training and socialization, spending many evenings and weekends laying scent tracks for the pups, crate training them and teaching them to play tug.
When my father’s first pup made it into formal Service Dog Training, I pledged my “free time” to laying longer, more challenging tracks and (reluctantly) aiding in bite training.
During high school my love of animals drove me to become a kennel assistant at the local veterinary clinic, which motivated me to apply to University after graduation to become an Animal Health Technician.
In 2008, I graduated as a Registered Animal Health Technician from Thompson Rivers University. Although my new career allowed me to help animals on an entirely new level, I still found that I overwhelmed with the number of dogs that were being surrendered to shelters or euthanized based on behavioral issues. Determined to find another way to aid these animals to possess long, happy lives, I began looking for a credible dog training program that would teach me how to resolve behavioral issues.
After attending one of fellow KPA-CTP Julie Shaw’s lectures at a veterinary conference, I learned about the Karen Pryor Academy.
I launched Sit Pretty Pet Services in Fort St John, BC in 2013, and have just recently located to Prince George, BC. While Sit Pretty is coming with me on my new adventure in Prince George, a piece of it will continue on in Fort St. John, where it was born, nurtured and grown into what it has become today!
My family consists of my husband, Chris, our two daughters, and our resuce dog, Kaslo.
In my spare time I am an avid foster parent, opening my doors to multiple homeless critters over the years. I am a devoted member of the Canadian Animal Assistance Team, participating in Animal Wellness/Spay & Neuter trips to Baker Lake, Nunavut in 2009 and Ahousat, BC in 2012.
As a positive reinforcement, force-free trainer, Vanessa is eager to use her knowledge and skill set to aid clients in shaping the family pet they’ve always wanted.
Vanessa is proud to be one of two trainers in Northern BC to become BC SPCA AnimalKind Accredited.
In addition to her formal education, Vanessa has attended dog training and animal behavior seminars around North America, learning from experts in the field such as Ken Ramirez and Ken & Debbie Martin.
Diploma in Veterinary Technology
KPA-CTP, Graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Trainers
CTC, Graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers
Aggression in Dogs Master Course, Certificate of Completion
Fear Free Certified Professional
Registered Veterinary Technologist with the BCVTA
BC SPCA Accredited Trainer through AnimalKind
Pet Professional Guild Member
Junior Trainer (Fort St. John)
Miranda was born in Whitecourt, AB and moved to Fort St John at a very young age. Previously a Journeyman Welder, Miranda was never truly satisfied with her job and wanted to find a way to turn her passion for dogs into a living.
Miranda has had family dogs since she could remember, and always had a keen interest in teaching them things. She once taught her family’s Shit Zu a small obstacle course in their yard; he had to run up a set of stairs, walk over a wood suspension bridge and then go down a yellow slide.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face when he completed the course, like he couldn’t wait for me to ask him to go again!”
She also had another Shih Tzu, who would much prefer to be pushed around in a doll stroller than do any running around!
“Every dog has its own personality, and that’s one of the things I find so interesting and amazing about dogs!”
I met Miranda when she enrolled her beautiful white husky puppy “Yeti” in our Puppy Preschool classes earlier this year. Miranda and Yeti were always the first students in class, and the last ones to leave. Miranda had so many questions, and good ones at that! Learning about clicker training and positive reinforcement was a game changer for Miranda.
“I always enjoyed training our family pets but was only able to make it so far with them before we hit a wall. Learning about shaping and the clicker really opened my eyes to the possibilities we have as trainers. It’s really not as complicated as it seems when you get down to it!”
Miranda started shadowing and assisting our group classes after Yeti graduated from Puppy Preschool and has not looked back! She now performs our demonstrations in class and regularly assists students as they work on training exercises with their own dogs in class. She has also shadowed and assisted with several private, behavioral modification cases, something she takes a keen interest in.
Miranda was recently accepted into the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Trainers Program, where she will study and train her own dog for 7 months. Upon her graduation, Miranda will become a Certified Training Partner with KPA. This certification will not only comply with Sit Pretty’s current AnimalKind Accreditation standard but will provide Miranda with a strong knowledge base to move forward into the world of dog training and behavior.
Miranda has a genuine passion and interest in understanding animal behavior and using human training methods to build the loving bond we all strive to achieve with our pets. She’s extremely excited to start her journey in dog training so she can better understand dogs, and help others understand them better as well.
Miranda will continue assisting with group classes and private clients until she completes her education and certification!
Stay tuned as Miranda is currently working very hard to complete her education!
KPA-CTP, Graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Trainers