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At Evolve Dog Training we focus on practical, easy to follow, force-free training solutions that are motivating for you and your dog. Training in your environment is the best way to support and socialize your puppy to your lifestyle and will enhance your dogs long term behaviour. We use games and positive reward-based training to engage your dog in real life situations, always at your puppies comfort level. Learn interactive games and techniques to build a strong relationship with your dog.

Vanessa Kursan is a certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She is an intuitive, hands-on trainer who helps her clients to communicate with their dogs in a clear and kind manner. Over the past 10 years, she has focused on training dogs for companion and sport skills. Prior to that, she taught horse riding to new riders. She has observed that reward-based training is the most effective and ethical way of training dogs and addressing unwanted behaviours.

Prior to becoming a Certified Professinal Dog Trainer, Vanessa worked as a full-time Educational Therapist and Orton- Gillingham practitioner. She  was dedicated to supporting children with language-based learning differences. Her work with students has influenced her teaching style and she takes a positive and results-oriented approach to dog training. She applies insightful and creative problem-solving skills to address her clients’ goals and their dogs’ needs.

Vanessa observes your dogs behaviour, breaks down learning into manageable steps, and reinforces success. She has made it her goal to use her education and experience to make dog training simple to understand and easy to apply, ensuring you and your dog enjoy a positive training experience. She will work closely with you both, in a fun and encouraging way to build a trusting relationship.

Vanessa shares her life with her husband and  border collie Madiba. When she is not training her dogs in Agility, she is hiking on the North Shore Mountains, spending time with her family and friends, at Spanish Banks or competing in Agility competitions.

Education & Certifications

Educational background and credentials:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) through Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
  • Karen Pryor Academy: Accredited Puppy Start Right Instructor  psri-certificate
  • Karen Pryor Academy: Certified Dog Trainer Foundation foundations-certificate 
  • Living and Learning with Animals: Dr. Susan Friedman PHD 
  • Cooperative Care Certification Level 1 & 2 
  • Dog Safe Canine First Aid 

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Courses: 

  • Nancy Tucker: Treating Separation Anxiety 
  • Amy Cook: The Play Way
  • Dr. Jen Summerfield: Understanding Dog-Dog Play 
  • Tania Lanfur: Countering Counter Surfing
  • Casey Coughlin: Calm Greetings for Dogs and People
  • Sarah Stremming: Fix it: Effective Behaviour Change
  • Sarah Stremming: Teenage Tyrants: Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence
  • Sarah Stremming: Real Resolution for Behaviour Change
  • Sarah Stremming: Happy Crating 
  • Loretta Mohler: Agility In Da House! Small Space Skills
  • Julie Daniels: Baby Genius
  • Julie Daniels: Puppy Power! Building Confidence and Optimism
  • Deborah Jones: Zen Focus 

Seminars and Training:

  • 2020 IAABC and FDSA’s International Dog Sports, Training and Behaviour Lemonade Conference 
  • 2020 Connection Summit with Sarah Stremming and Marissa Martino
  • Attended seminars and workshops with Kathy Sdao, Sarah Stremming, Teri ONeill, Denise Fenzi, Shade Whitesel, Wendy Alexander, Justine Davenport, Jessica Patterson, Katie Calon, Susan Garrett, Shauna Oliver, Jordan Biggs
  • Founder of Spitfire Dog Sports
  • Dog Agility competitor at the National Level
  • Dog Agility Instructor
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