Good things my clients, past and present, are kind enough to tell you about me!
Where do I start with Bilinda Wagner – She has a big heart, excellent knowledge of dogs and the experience to back it up. She is a graduate of the Natural Dog School of Applied Behaviour, (now the Columbia School of Canine Behaviour) and attained her certification as an Applied Dog Behaviour Consultant (with honours) from our 2 year diploma course. I worked closely with her on program development and difficult dog behaviour cases when she was at the Edmonton Humane Society and continue to discuss dogs and behaviour with her on an almost weekly basis. Through that we have become good friends and count her as a peer. If you are looking for a kind, knowledgeable and experienced person to help with your dog – Bilinda would be my choice.
Ivan Stewart, MSc. ADBC Head Faculty Columbia School of Canine Behaviour
I have had the privilege of taking Bilinda’s Dog Behavior and Training Methodology Course (DBTM) at the Edmonton Humane Society; I have been on her Shelter Stars team (a team of adopted shelter dogs trained to high levels in obedience, tricks and agility). I have observed and taken multiple classes with her. Additionally, I have gone to her on countless occasions for advice about troubling dogs (and people!), methods and techniques, and her general expertise. When I was struggling with my own dog guarding me, she immediately gave me two very simple techniques that worked wonders and I was then able to modify and manage her behavior. As a dog trainer myself, I am very aware that a lot of people in the dog training and pet care industries are there for their deep love and compassion for animals, and Bilinda is no exception. The difference between Bilinda and most other people in this industry is her unwavering respect and compassion for all pet owners and her unique ability to be non-judgemental and simply focus on explanations and resolutions. Bilinda is easily one of the most inspirational and knowledgeable people I have ever met, and I whole heartedly recommend her to anyone and everyone for behavior, pet care and training. Casi H. & Sadie, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, DBTM, Anything’s Pawsible – Owner
I first met Bilinda when I decided to try a drop-in agility practice at the shelter with my dog Zoe, an American Pit Bull Terrier. I had been training at another facility, doing beginners agility as well as obedience classes, and thought it would be nice to practice agility skills there. On this drop-in evening, I ended up being the only participant that showed up, and Bilinda spent the entire class one on one with me and Zoe and I think I learned and achieved more in that one class, than I ever did at the previous facility. I was used to “micro-managing” her, and Bilinda showed me how to trust my dog and have more fun doing even very simple agility sequences with her. I was blown away at Bilinda’s knowledge, enthusiasm and especially what appeared to be a genuine interest and enjoyment of my dog. Having been so impressed with my experience that evening I wasted no time in registering Zoe for Bilinda’s “Pit Bull Basics” class, which she had recommended to me. Zoe and I completed that class, which was probably one of the most enjoyable and learning experiences I have had with a dog…as well completing the “Pit Bull Intermediate” class following that. Throughout these classes I was extremely impressed by her abilities as a positive trainer, and also with her knowledge on canine behaviour. She has an understanding of different learning styles of the handler, and has a way to never let you feel incompetent in your abilities, is always positive and upbeat in her instruction. I had trained many dogs, at many facilities in the past using different methods, including aversive techniques such as choke collars, prongs and theories based on dominating your dog, Now, I will never turn back largely in part to Bilinda teaching me what I currently perceive and know, as the best way to communicate with your dog to learn. It is always amazing to me to see how successfully she interacts with the dogs she is training, in a calm but happy way which the dog responds to. Bilinda also has been very generous to share her knowledge, experience, and support to me for my dogs whenever I had an issue, for which I am very appreciative! Dana H. & Zoe
I brought Olive, my American Pit Bull Terrier, to Bilinda after noticing an emerging aggression towards men and children when she was about 10 months old. Olive’s aggression issues came from bad experiences with men, and a lack of experience with children. Olive can be very wary of certain situations and can react very quickly. My visit with Bilinda really helped me understand why Olive reacts the way she does and how to help build positive associations with men and children. I also learned to recognize Olive’s body language. The one on one I did with her was very helpful. After the one on one, we registered for the Pit Bull Basics class at the Edmonton Humane Society that Bilinda was teaching. It was a great experience for Olive to become more socialized and for us to learn more about the breed and about training. Unfortunately, I decided to move back to Newfoundland in order to finish my education. Olive is here with me. Even though we are on the other side of the country, Bilinda is still considered our trainer. I go to her with any problems/questions I have. Olive still isn’t the best behaved dog (even though she is the best dog in my eyes), but she is much more manageable. I am able to recognize and address her issues much quicker and have a more solid understanding of dog behaviour. It can be difficult to find a good dog trainer. Bilinda is knowledgeable, friendly, and understanding. I would recommend her to anyone who is having issues with their dog. Olive and I look forward to the day when we move back to Edmonton and are able to continue more training with Bilinda! Cassie G. & Olive
I own 3 dogs -two who are ‘special’ forever-foster rescues from EHS. Sadie was on her own for her first 15 weeks of her life, is 1 1/2 yrs now, smart as a whip, a thinker, resource guards food & me from other dogs and is fearful & distrustful of people. Jenny, now 3, was taken away from her mother at just over 3 weeks & has been with me since that time. She has weak nerve strength, is insecure, and lacks confidence in canine relationships which is starting to transition to random reactivity. Maggie, our 11 1/2 year old gal is pretty normal but does resource guard her most valuable resources – me and food with other canines now and again. When Sadie first came home in March as a very fearful pup Bilinda came to our home for a private session. After getting right down there (lying on the floor, rolling over…whatever it took to get Sadie to relax & open up) & watching how Jenny related to the 2 other dogs, Bilinda made some recommendations. She also followed the advice up with some written ‘homework’. Since then, almost 10 months later, Bilinda has been there for me, answering whatever questions I had, & making suggestions as Sadie matured & the canine dynamics changed. She has really helped me understand and use the tools of positive reinforcement & counter-conditioning to help my dogs. Over the last couple years I have known Bilinda I have very much admired & respected how willing to help someone with a dog issue she is even outside the professional, business structure. This speaks to her real conviction & passion for all dogs. Thanks to Bilinda I am continuing to learn how to bring out the best in my ‘canine family’ & one day my dream is that Sadie will pass her CGN. I can’t say enough good things about Bilinda and have recommended her countless times to people having issues with their dogs. She is great with dogs and people & has given me so many insights into my own body language & communication. I am always in awe when I see her work with any dog at how calm & confident she is even if the situation grows sketchy. She will do whatever it takes to help any dog especially ‘the underdog’. She is always enthusiastic, patient with the dogs and their people and encouraging. I have particularly appreciated her encouragement as I have experienced some rough patches with my own learning curve. At the same time she is very clear that we can’t expect our dog to change if we ourselves are not willing to change. She lives the motto ‘expect a lot, accept a little, reward often’. Again, thx a million for all the help you’ve so willingly offered with Sadie & Jen. Linda O.
I wanted to take a moment to thank Bilinda for everything she has done for me, my family and my canine kids over the past several years. Her knowledge and caring for animals was obvious from the first time we met. No matter how busy she is, she always made the time to help us out; be it advice, information or hands on instructions. Her training methods are awesome and simple to apply, creating an environment with little stress and happy pets. I would not be the dog owner I am today if not for Bilinda’s mentoring and guidance. We love her, the dogs love her and we are so appreciative for everything. Martin, Bobbi, Morgan and Captain