Forever Friends  - Your Canine Behaviour Specialists
About Our Team
Our people are among the most talented in the industry. It would be our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you. Our organization is committed to providing the best quality training and service possible to our clients, two-legged and four-legged.
 
 
Cheryl Smith, Director/Owner & Canine Behaviour Specialist
Cheryl Smith, Director/Owner & Canine Behaviour Specialist
Author of "Biting, Barking, Lunging, Growling" (retraining an anxious fearful dog without intimidation) Charter member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and has spoken at their conferences in Memphis; Houston; St. Louis; Chicago and Portland (OR) Conducted highly acclaimed workshops and seminars in Canada and the USA and Japan since 1994: LA, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Richmond VA, Washington DC, San Diego, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Moncton, Pickering, Kingston, Kemptville, Ottawa, Toronto, Port Hope, Sudbury, Barrie and Thunder Bay Recognized as an expert witness by Canadian courts in areas of dog aggression Member of an international committee sponsored by the American Humane Society and the Delta Society to establish ethics and professional standards for dog trainers Member of the Board of Directors of RDOC (Responsible Dog Owners of Canada. Acclaimed and quoted as being "One of the Top Trainers" by Dr. Ian Dunbar, currently owns and operates Urika Dog Behaviour Consultants and Forever Friends Dog Training School in Ontario Currently shares her home in Kemptville with her Chihuahua, Chica, two German Shepherds, Callida and Drago and five cats, Laylah, Sundancer, Moonshadow, Clyde Spiritwalker and Mr. Doodad
Mary-Ann Porter, Co-Owner, Instructor and Business Administrator
Before beginning her dog career, Mary-Ann Porter served almost 18 years with the CBC as a Director/Switcher. In 2009, she answered her calling and decided to make a career move. She left the CBC and started her new life with Forever Friends. Mary-Ann is no stranger to the dog world. From a very early age, she would bring lost or stray dogs and other animals home. She would care for them and show them the love that they needed and deserved. That love for animals, and dogs in particular, only grew. As a graduate with Honours from the Forever Friends' Elite Apprenticeship Program, Mary-Ann immersed herself in the school and quickly became a valued and indispensable member of the team. So much so that she is now co-owner of Forever Friends with Cheryl Smith. Mary-Ann teaches a variety of classes—with an emphasis on Puppy Class. She firmly believes that early socialization is the key to the healthy emotional life of any dog. When providing personalized one-on-one training for her clients, Mary-Ann's work ethic in socialization and "doggie-bed" side manner have made her a highly sought-after Trainer in her profession. She was also an integral member of a revolutionary DND Pilot Project called Courageous Companions. Courageous Companions was developed to teach wounded soldiers to train rescued dogs to become active service animal teams and provide both emotional and physical support for the benefit of our returning veterans. Mary-Ann regularly boards dogs. While some of her boarders have behaviour issues, her patient yet firm and loving approach helps them reach their full potential to live happy and long lives with their families. She continues her education through her mentor and business partner, Cheryl Smith, and attends regular seminars and workshops. Mary-Ann lives in Ottawa with her husband, Lucio, and two dogs, Liam, a Golden Doodle and Pino, a special and unique Boston Terrier who arrived as a foster dog and is now fully ensconced as a permanent member of the household. His joyous smile is a daily gift to Mary-Ann and a reminder of what can be accomplished.
Mary-Ann Porter, Co-Owner, Instructor and Business Administrator
Finola Pitcher, Senior Instructor
Finola Pitcher, Senior Instructor
Finola began studying canine behaviour in 2003, mentoring with Cheryl Smith, owner of Forever Friends Dog Training Centre in Ottawa, and has worked with hundreds of dogs and their owners. Finola’s knowledge of canine obedience and learning theory manage and resolve common behavioural problems such as barking, jumping up, digging, mouthing and pulling on leash. Finola has also studied a broad range of experts in the canine field, such as Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Dr. Pamela Reid, Pia Silvani and Turid Rugas, and keeps current by attending seminars yearly and reading contemporary articles on dog and animal behaviour. Finola’s approach is based on Dr Ian Dunbar’s lure-reward method and positive reinforcement techniques. She employs these techniques with compassionate but firm rules, limits and restrictions to help the dog learn appropriate behaviours for human society. Drawing on her experience and observation skills, Finola focuses on rewarding voluntary behaviours, and interrupting and redirecting inappropriate behaviours. Throughout her training, Finola works on calming and de-arousing dogs so they are able to think and learn, and not to react or become stressed. Finola believes strongly in responsible dog ownership, and promotes this as the Coordinator of the Canadian Canine Good Citizen (CCGC) Certification Program, managed through RDOC (Responsible Dog Owners of Canada). Certification by the CCGC program signifies that the owner has taken the time and effort to provide their dog with basic good manners. Finola is enthusiastically dedicated to the well being of all canines, and devotes much of her time to numerous causes and charities on behalf of our canine friends. Finola promotes, volunteers, and fosters dogs for local rescue organizations including Collie Rescue, Aussie Rescue and Bullies In Need. Over the past 3 years, Finola has fostered a dozen dogs, mindfully working with each dog to reinforce great behaviours for each of the new adoptive families. Finola lives in Ottawa with her dedicated companion, Soda.
Meghan Scott, Senior Instructor
Meghan Scott has worked with dogs in many different areas. She graduated from the Veterinary Assistant program at Algonquin College in 2004 and began an apprenticeship at Forever Friends in February 2009 under Cheryl Smith. In October 2009, Meghan also became an evaluator for the Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test (CCGC) with Responsible Dog Owners of Canada. Meghan and her Boxer, Kyra, passed their CCGC test in October 2009--quite an accomplishment! Meghan has been a foster parent for many different dogs over the years. She nurtures them and helps them to learn, to love and to live in a human environment with ease, ultimately helping them find that perfect forever home. Meghan keeps her dog education current by attending seminars by Chris Bach, Jean Dodds, Cheryl Smith, Bach Flower Remedies, and most recently, Ian Dunbar's seminar on learning theory and puppy training. Meghan was also a canine handler at the Canine Conflict seminar held by Cheryl Smith in May 2012. Meghan has a real passion for helping people communicate with their dogs more effectively and has proven to be a very knowledgeable and informative instructor. Meghan shares her home with her husband Jeff and their 3 dogs; Kyra, Boxer; Tyson, American Pit Bull; and Carl, Mastiff Mix; as well as their cat, Toby.
Meghan Scott, Senior Instructor
Niall Sheehan, Professional Canine Handler
Niall Sheehan, Professional Canine Handler
Niall Sheehan a graduate of the Forever Friends Professional Canine Instructor program has been with Forever Friend for two years. He has demonstrated a solid understanding of the methods used at Forever Friends and enjoys working one on one with our clients to develop a program that works best for their situation. Niall has been involved with dogs since an early age and in 2008 after 15 years in IT he started PoochedPups.com as a dog walking business. This experience was the first step in a long over due career change. Niall is now working toward a Certificate in Behaviour Theory and is available for consultations as well as boarding and training sessions. Niall is currently operating Forever Friends' Elite Doggy Daycare with huge success and amazing client feedback. Niall is a lot of fun to work with. He is compassionate as well as passionate about dogs, and brings a lot of energy and ideas to his sessions.
Sharon Hobson, Agility Instructor
Sharon Hobson has been teaching agility since 2001. She had discovered the sport a year earlier when looking for something to do with her 18-month old rescued yellow Lab, Shiloh, that would help them bond. Agility opened up a whole new world to both of them. Not only did they bond closely, but they traveled around Ontario together, competing in different trials and meeting all sorts of kind and wonderful people who shared their love of the sport. Shiloh was not an easy dog to do agility with – he was a social butterfly, often going off to visit other dogs and people instead of running a course! – but he taught Sharon that the joy of agility lies in achieving those perfect moments on a course when handler and dog are in perfect harmony and work together as one. They attended workshops and clinics together to improve their proficiency and deal with the various issues that cropped up in learning how to communicate effectively while running around a complex course of jumps, tunnels and contact obstacles. Shiloh died in 2009 but he lives on in Sharon’s lessons because there is almost nothing that a dog can do in her agility classes that Shiloh hasn’t done! All the issues he presented over the years provided Sharon with the motivation to find a way to deal with them. But most of all, he left a legacy of pure joy in the sport. Nothing makes Sharon happier than seeing students use their bodies to communicate with their dogs and succeed at something that had previously seemed impossible, giving them that “perfect moment”. Sharon lives in Fitzroy Harbour with her husband, Jim, and their three horses, three dogs, and three cats. She does agility with her German Shepherd-Rottie cross, Tambo, and is about to introduce her new puppy, Sabra (also a GSD-Rottie cross), to the joy of agility.
Sharon Hobson, Agility Instructor
Heather Laundry, Useful Trick Instructor
Heather Laundry, Useful Trick Instructor
Heather is a keen trainer having worked through the dog trainers program with the Karen Pryor Academy . Heather currently volunteers time to the Therapeutic Paws of Canada as the organization’s Secretary. She also provides support to the Aussie Rescue Placement Helpline as a foster home with home visits, giving new owners a hand or doing transports. She has two Australian Shepherds who dabble in a number of sports, most recently taking up skijoring. Her most recent foster is a deaf Australian Shepherd whose life with Heather has further enhanced Heather’s training skill. She is a strong believer in expanding and refining skill and understanding and getting out there to have fun learning with and for your dogs. Heather has attended a number of seminars including topic specific seminars/classes by Cheryl Smith (aggression), Chris Bach (the Third way), Dr. Chris Zink (Peak Performance), and Connie Cleveland (Dogs are Problem Solvers), Don Hanson (Bach Flowers), Dian McTaggart (TTouch), Kim Cooper (Tracking). Canine Athletica (Balls, Boards and Balance), TAGTeach (Primary Certification) and Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid course). Heather has attended multiday, multipresenter seminars hosted by IPDTA, CCPDT, Clickerexpo and the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine.
Sheryl Trekofski, Professional Canine Handler
Sheryl Trekofski is a life long lover of dogs and of many other animal friends. Born in Manitoba, she moved to Ottawa at the age of eight with her military family, one of which was always of the canine variety. After high school Sheryl took diverse employment---a nursing aide with the elderly, a production planner in computer manufacturing, owned her own business, and now works as an OC Transpo Bus Operator. None of these jobs felt like a good fit; none were really her life’s calling. The constant---throughout her careers----was the faithful companionship of a dog---from Chihuahua to Newfie. Spurred by the nagging desire to take the spiritual connection she feels for dogs to a more professional level, Sheryl began searching for a structured dog-training program in which she could channel her energies. Forever Friends stood out for its gentle loving and research-based training methods and she became an apprentice trainer in 2011. Sheryl has an adult son and daughter-in-law and two fantastic grandchildren. She lives near the Greenbelt with her spouse, Kim, their Cock-a-poo, Goliath, and their cat, Earl,
Sheryl Trekofski, Professional Canine Handler
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