Dogs have always been a part of my life right from the get-go. We had two dogs growing up. I met Diamond, a beautiful beagle, shortly after my day of birth. She was with me until I turned 12. Walking, hiking, lounging in the inner tube and hanging in the backyard was how we spent our days together. A small terrier cross called September, who loved agility and playing fetch, came home when I was 11 years old. 15 years later, September met my newborn son for the first time. A fantastic moment to say the least! She was small, gentle, fast, and a real cuddle bug.
I have known since I was a young boy that I would be a teacher and in 1989 I attended University on Vancouver Island to begin my path towards that goal. When a friend got a puppy and asked for my help I realized very quickly that my teaching career would be centred on dogs and their people. College and university couldn’t offer me the hands on immersion into the world of dogs that I craved. I did three years of post-secondary education while I volunteered at shelters, worked in kennels, took courses, read like crazy, watched videos and began working with people and their dogs. Kier Dog Training & Consulting was launched.
After nine years of working in a variety of dog related disciplines from companion-dog training to competitive obedience, agility, behaviour modification, K9 acting classes for the film industry, retrieving and protection work along with developing trust and confidence-building programs for dogs and their people, I entered into a formal apprenticeship with one of the oldest Assistance Dog program in Canada. I completed my apprenticeship and became the first certified Assistance Dog Instructor for both Hearing Dogs and Service Dogs, in Canada, in accordance with the standards set by Assistance Dogs International and PADS.
With over 30 years of focusing on and working with people and their dogs and over 20 years specializing in the Assistance Dog field this path hasn’t been just a career for me it is my passion, my calling. To this day I continue to educate myself and further my knowledge and experience working with dogs and people. Whether it is working and sharing information with experts in the world of dog training or sharing that knowledge and experience with those individuals and organizations needing assistance with their four legged companions.