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
Registered Veterinary Technologist with the BCVTA
BC SPCA Accredited Trainer through AnimalKind