ABOUT THE TRAINER
Claire Cochemé, owner and head trainer at WAGDogs, is a Calgary-based Dog Trainer who successfully completed her dog training education with the Cochrane Humane Society while working with shelter dogs. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI). Her dog, Lexi, has won four trick titles. Claire is also certified in Pet First Aid.
Up until 2015, Claire was a professional wedding photographer who enjoyed capturing memories for people.
She shares her home with her rescued dog, Lexi (now 8 years old). Her beautiful rescued cat, KC, has unfortunately passed away at the young age of 12.
In 2012, Claire decided to foster and adopt a rescued 6-month old puppy. Little did she know that this puppy was going to be her inspiration to become a dog trainer!
This was Claire's first foster dog and it was one HIGH energy pup! After a couple of tests, it was determined that Lexi was a mix of breeds, including Australian Cattle Dog and Border Collie.
This cute stray pup had been rescued from one of Alberta's landfill sites, and had never lived in a city, much less with people. She was skinny, had mange, had been bitten by a dog before her rescue and had infected wounds as a result. She also had many issues ranging from fear of doorways and sounds, to anxiety, reactivity, and extreme fear of people and some dogs.
Nonetheless, Claire decided to officially adopt Lexi.
This decision was no small task! Claire soon realized that she needed help with Lexi's training. She started taking a few obedience classes but was quickly disappointed with the training methods used by some trainers. Claire decided to take on Lexi's education by enrolling her into sports: agility and flyball, while teaching Lexi a lot of fun tricks and slowly conditioning her to a variety of canine fitness equipments and objects to increase Lexi's overall confidence.
Lexi's extreme fear of people and situation started to slowly fade away with her daily training routine. Her little K9 silly personality started to shine, and soon after, Lexi was successfully passing her CKC Canine Good Neighbour Test! Claire and Lexi were on the fast track of learning!
That same year, in 2014, Claire enrolled into the Cochrane Humane Society's intense dog training & behaviour program.
After a thorough education and many hours of hands-on training with shelter dogs, observing classes, and getting overall prepared for the dog training world, Claire passed a series of examinations as part of the shelter's PACE program (Positive Approach Canine Education), and was awarded her Canine Behaviour, Handling Skills, and Instructor Certificate of Achievement in June 2016. She also completed the "Walks 'N' Wags" Pet First Aid program and received her certificate that same year.
After working and volunteering for various dog training schools as a dog trainer and instructor, Claire decided to start her own business, WAGDogs, for the purpose of helping people understand their dog better, develop a solid canine-humane bond, and have fun in the process.
In the fall of 2019, Claire successfully became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers), which is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practises. Please visit their site and learn more about your trainer's official certification: https://www.ccpdt.org
To learn more about WAGDOGS and our philosophy, please read our philosophy.
These days, Claire is actively continuing her education in the science of dog training and canine behaviour by regularly going to workshops and seminars, watching webinars, and taking online courses.
Claire's training methods were inspired by many trainers and dog behaviour consultants, such as:
Dr Sophia Yin, Dr Ian Dunbar, Dr Patricia McConnell, Kyra Sundance, Susan Garrett, Bob Bailey, Emily Larlham, Pat Miller, Malena DeMartini-Price, Nicole Wilde, Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson, to name a few.
But her greatest inspiration of all: Lexi, her dog.
"Inspiration can come in many forms. For me, it came in the love of a very silly dog."
~Claire Cochemé, Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
Claire is a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.