Your Happy Dog Coach
About

About

Lori-Lee Regimbald - PPDT, FFCPT

My name is Lori-Lee (never Lori… it’s a long story).
I was born and raised on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, and after 12 years of following my husband around the provinces, I’m happy to be “home”, living just outside of Yarmouth, NS.
I’m a military spouse of nearly 15 years, a homeschooling mom of three, and pet guardian of two fish, two cats, and two Northern Rescue pups. *Phew* that’s a mouthful.

Wondering what any of this has to do with dog training?

Dog trainer, Lori-Lee Regimbald in Darlings Lake Nova Scotia, near Yarmouth, with her two rescue dogs Casey and Kitchi.

My story may sound familiar to yours. 
As a life long dog lover, I assumed I knew how to raise a puppy and care for a dog. All I needed to do was punish them when they did something wrong, right? A quick jerk on the leash here, a smack to the bum or the nose there, a yell from afar…

Well… Maybe not. 

After adopting my first Northern rescue in 2020, I discovered that she really quite fearful (even though her name means “brave”… she was anything but).
I quickly realized that my previous methods of training were not going to work for her, because what she needed most was to feel safety and love. As I sought out guidance from a highly credentialed trainer, and worked with my pup in a gentle, positive way, I was amazed at how well she responded and how quickly she learned. In addition to her learning the new skills that were important to me, our training created a close attachment and a strong bond between the two of us. I really saw the value in connecting with my dog, and focusing on the relationship with her; and the more she trusted me to never hurt her, the happier she became, and the faster she learned.

So my research began.

You may have heard the famous Maya Angelou quote:

"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then, when you know better, do better."

I did the best I could, and then as I learned more, I chose to do better, and I continued to train her positively, focusing on connection rather than obedience.
When our family adopted another Northern pup exactly two years later, we continued on the path of Positive Reinforcement Training, and I saw the connection between my dogs and I grow.

In spring 2023, I joined the CAPDT (Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers) as an Associate, and, as of March 2024, as a Professional.

I am proud to say that I am the first graduate of the most recent version of GDA’s Professional Dog Trainer Program, completed in March, 2024!

In November, 2023, I took the plunge and signed up for my first (of many) professional courses as a dog trainer. 

Good Dog Academy is a Fear Free Certified, Canadian (and female owned and operated) training academy who has been involved in educating Professional Dog Trainers for more than a decade.

They recently “re-vamped” their program to be more intensive, add more practical assignments and guest speakers, and more. 

As of May 2024, I couldn’t be more proud to have earned the designation of a Fear Free Certified Professional – Animal Trainer!

I admit, the entrance exam was pretty challenging but I persevered and I’m so proud that I did! It’s one more amazing tool in my toolbelt of trainer certifications. Stay tuned for what it means in terms of new services I can offer!

I created this website to share up to date, science-based, relevant information and awareness.
I feel like it’s important to share what I’ve learned, how it works, and why it works, in hopes that it may help someone else along their path of having a Happy Dog.

Now, as a Certified Professional Pet Dog Trainer, it is also my business website and I look forward to helping families build the bond and relationship with their dog that is needed to be happy in their lives together.
(… But I also believe in free resources, so don’t forget to take a look at the extensive resource section I’ve created.)

But why “Coach”?

When I was receiving help in training from our trainer  Scarlett MacKenzie of Nice Dog Scarlett (and previous Chair of the CAPDT), I thought “She’s less of a trainer and more of a coach. She coaches me, by teaching and supporting, how to be a good advocate, teacher, and coach for my dog. That’s what trainers should be called, coaches instead of trainers.”
I decided that if I ever became a trainer, I would call myself Your Happy Dog Coach. 

Not only am I coaching the dog to be successful, making your dog happy, but I’m also coaching you in how to help both you and your dog have a happy relationship, which will make you happy. 

It turns out, I’m not the only one with this train of thought. The deeper I go into learning more from the experts in the field, the more I’m hearing that they feel the same. The term “trainer” is slowly becoming outdated as professionals focus more on relationships, and take the emotional responses of the dog into consideration when we work with people. 

So not only do dogs need to be coached and positively reinforced, but so do the humans.
After all, they are your dogs, you are the one who shares your home and your lives with them. You are putting in the time, effort, and practice to make your life with your dog happy.
You just need someone to teach you how to communicate successfully with your dog.
Someone to show you the basics and help you understand how your dog learns, and how to help them learn better.
You need someone to cheer you on when you’re doing something great, and share in the joys of reaching your goals.
Someone to encourage you, teach you skills, and share in the successes of you and your dog.

That would make me…S

Your Happy Dog Coach

Join me on this journey
of positive reinforcement discovery
to help your dog become a wonderful,
happy member of your family…

which will make you happy too.

Credentials

This area will be minimal for now, but as I tell my children, “learning doesn’t ever stop”.
There will be more to show as I take more courses and gain more experiences.

Meet My Pups

Of course, we can’t do an “about” without mentioning the inspiration(s) behind this path I’m on.

First, we have Kitchi. Kitchi was found as a stray in a fly-in only, reserve in Northern Manitoba called Little Grand Rapids. She is my reactive, sensitive, fearful girl who brought this science-based, wonderfully positive reinforcement training into my world. I call her “my heart dog” and I am so thankful I did what I will likely never recommend anyone to do: Spontaneously apply to adopt a dog based on a post and some photos online. But I’m so grateful that I did… She has quite literally changed my life.

Then we have Casey. We decided to add a second dog to the family and I was set on helping another Northern Canadian dog. Once we knew we were moving (back) to Nova Scotia, I knew how hard it would be to get a Northern Rescue in the Maritimes (it happens, but it’s much harder), so I wanted to adopt before we moved. Casey and her five siblings were born to an owned dog in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and as soon as she and all of her siblings were old enough, they were sent to Ontario to find healthcare and happy homes. We had been trying to add a second pup for a few months and for whatever reason, it just didn’t work out until we applied for Casey. Now it’s clear, why… she was meant to be ours. She and Kitchi are the best of friends (and more importantly to them, the best of wrestle buddies)! She is a calm, chill soul (even though she likes to eat all the things) and has been exactly what our entire family needed.

Scarlett from Nice Dog, Scarlett (our trainer and, now, my mentor) said that Casey has the personality of a service or therapy dog, and I truly think she is a natural healer.