About Our Trainers



Force-free, or reward-based training focus’s on the dog’s well-being by teaching dogs to offer behaviours willingly, which enhances the bond between human & canine. These methods are grounded by the most current scientific evidence to produce sound training results, while preventing harmful side-effects such as fear & aggression which other controversial training methods (including shock, pain and intimidation tactics) have been shown to produce.
Contrary to popular belief, force-free training works not only for basic training, but is also the gold standard for the most complex behaviour problems including anxiety, reactivity and aggression. All our trainers at K9HQ follow these training methods as we strive to abide by the highest standards in the industry.


Kelsey 6556bwweb

Kelsey received her CTC (Certificate in Training & Counselling) from the Academy for Dog Trainers in 2016, an extensive 2-year program widely known as the Harvard of Dog Trainers. This holds her to a commitment in humane, evidence training that supports the welfare of owners AND their dogs.
She is working toward her certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), which is currently the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession.



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Allison Schaefer has been certified as a behaviour consultant through two independent certifying bodies: she is a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, as well as a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants. 
Allison started Ethical Canine in Victoria, B.C. in 2013. Prior to this she completed an apprenticeship and trained dogs professionally in Vancouver. She has worked with both puppies and adult dogs of numerous breeds and has more than 10 years of experience with a wide range of training needs, including challenging behaviour problems.
Allison is committed to providing practical, humane, individually tailored behaviour solutions to her clients and their dogs.  She also regularly pursues continuing education from experts in the field of modern animal behaviour modification, and her clients benefit in kind.
Allison is a Registered Veterinary Technologist who graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 2005. Her education in the veterinary field provided her a solid background in animal health and behaviour and led to a variety of jobs in veterinary hospitals and at the BCSPCA.
Allison lives in Sooke with her senior pit bull mix, Marlo, who is her greatest educator in the ways of reactive and fearful dogs, and her Rough Collie Joni, who is her assistant and partner in her training business.   In 2016 she graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a minor in Applied Ethics.




Trystan Stark is a student with the Academy for Dog Trainers under the mentorship of top trainer Jean Donaldson. This extensive two-year program holds the gold standard in force free, science-based dog training which Trystan translates into her work with clients and their dogs. She has been an Assistant Trainer with K9HQ and Ethical Canine since 2018 assisting in a variety of classes including puppy, various levels of obedience, scent work, and reactive dog classes. Trystan has a Border Collie X, Aspen, who sparked her interest for dog sports including Agility, Dock Diving, Nose Work, and Hunting. She also has a Field Labrador puppy, Sig, who has begun his sports foundations and will continue his education as he gets older. Trystan enjoys expanding her knowledge base with courses and lectures through the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy and is certified in DogSafe Canine First Aid. In her free time she enjoys hiking and backpacking with her husband and two dogs.