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The Team at TAG

and a few canine friends

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith Behaviour Expert

Operations Manager and Program Director

Cheryl has over forty years of experience in canine behavioural training and has been recognized as “one of Canada’s Top Dog Trainers”.
She began as an educator working with disadvantaged children, and subsequently transitioned to a career as a Human Resources Specialist. In 1972 began instructing dog obedience classes.

Cheryl’s area of interest and expertise is in the canine behaviourism. In 1989 she opened The Good Dog Training School in Toronto, where she was living at the time. Subsequently, Cheryl moved to the Ottawa area, and founded Forever Friends Dog Training School in 1996. Cheryl has now decided to move to the next stage of her career and has joined the TAG Dog Training and Education Centre to continue pursuing her passion.

In the manner that Dr. Dunbar is recognized for introducing puppy classes to dog training, Cheryl has brought important and effective approaches and techniques for rehabilitating dogs with behavioural issues, in particular dog-dog and dog-human interaction. Cheryl developed the concept of “Growl Classes”, using humane behaviour modification techniques to retrain dogs that display aggressive behaviour towards humans and/or other dogs. These classes are in such high demand that she is often requested to take the classes on the road to other locations. She is also the author of Biting, Barking, Lunging, Growling.

Cheryl has attended numerous training seminars given by Job Michael Evans, Carol Lee Benjamin, Jack and Wendy Volhard, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson and Pamela Reid, and the University of Guelph’s Behavioural Science Department. She has amassed a wealth of knowledge of humane, caring methodologies for training and living with dogs.

Cheryl shares her knowledge and has presented at many acclaimed workshops and seminars around the globe, in Japan and the United States at Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ann Arbour, Green Bay, Richmond Virginia, and Washington DC; and in Canada at Pickering, Kingston, Kemptville, Ottawa, Toronto, Port Hope, Sudbury, Vancouver, Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary and Prince Albert.

She participated in the international committee sponsored by the American Humane Society and the Delta Society to review and update the ethical and professional standards for dog trainers, and she has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Therapeutic Paws of Canada and Responsible Dog Owners of Canada.

Our Instructors

Monique Charron

Senior Instructor

Monique has worked in International Development since 2001 and has recently joined the team at Veterinarians without Borders allowing her to work with animals to help alleviate poverty in developing countries. In 2012 Monique learned about Cheryl Smith’s canine training program and became an apprentice soon after fostering a reactive Great Dane that she could not help. She has since acquired many skills to better work with, understand and love dogs like Hagrid but also;how to train dogs to better integrate the human world and guide dog owners on how to respect and train their beloved animals.

Monique has attended several seminars and workshops including the annual Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) conferences. The first event of this sort was the ‘Canine Conflict Resolution’ workshop given by Cheryl Smith. It was an informative seminar that inspired her to learn more. Since then she has attended several Ian Dunbar presentations, a TTouch week-long training course as well as the Pia Silvani Canine Play workshop held in Ottawa in 2015.

Monique has grown up with dogs, her favorite a German Shepherd named Lara. As a child she spent all her free time at a small rural stable with horses that she trained and showed.

Sharon Hobson

Agility Instructor

Sharon has been teaching agility since 2001. She discovered the sport a year earlier when looking for something to do with her 18-month old rescued yellow Lab, Shiloh.

Agility opened up a whole new world to both of them. Not only did the training help them bond, but they traveled around Ontario together, competing at 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 – as a ‘social butterfly’ Shiloh often preferred to go 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. Shiloh and Sharon attended many workshops and clinics together to improve their proficiency, and deal with the various issues that crop up in learning how to communicate effectively while running around a complex course of jumps, tunnels and contact obstacles.

Shiloh crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2009 but he continues to live on in Sharon’s lessons because there is almost nothing that any dog can do, that Shiloh hasn’t done before! All the issues he presented over the years have given Sharon the motivation to find a way to deal with them. But most of all, Shiloh left a legacy of pure joy for the sport of Agility. Nothing makes Sharon happier than seeing students use their bodies to communicate with their dogs, and succeed at a maneuver that had previously seemed impossible to achieve - giving them that “perfect moment”.

Sharon lives in Fitzroy Harbour with her husband, Jim, and their two horses, three dogs, and two cats. She is the proprietor of Hotdiggity Dog Training

Terry Levere

Terry was born and raised in Ottawa. She attended Woodroffe High School and took her Nursing degree at Ottawa Civic Hospital. Her internship specialty was Neonatology and Emergency Medicine. After graduation she went to Nanaimo for a time ,returning to Ottawa and working at Riverside Hospital for the remainder of her career.

She joined Forever Friends three years ago as a client with her Golden Retriever Parker. Her passion for her dog was immediately evident as was her passion for learning everything about this new world of dog training. She and her dog Parker became an ambassador for the school in a short space of time.

Terry and her invisible dog Barney continue to impart her knowledge to our clients at TAG and they are a valued addition to our instructional staff.

Her special interests include music and acoustic guitar playing in particular. She is a skilled woodworker and a staunch and vocal fan of the Ottawa Senators.

Finola Pitcher

Senior Instructor

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. She 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 an evaluator for 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 Network, Aussie Rescue of Ontario and others. Over the past 8 years, she has fostered dozen of reactive dogs, mindfully working with each one to build the relationship, reinforce great behaviours and respect the dog’s abilities.

Finola lives in Ottawa with her English Shepherd type dog, Rori.

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 Dog Training in February 2006 under Cheryl Smith. In October 2009, Meghan 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 also  completed her Animal Psychology Certification Diploma. 

Meghan offers her home and time as 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 purrfect forever home. 

Meghan keeps her dog education current by attending seminars by Chris Bach, Jean Dodds, Cheryl Smith, Bach Flower Remedies,  Pia Silvani - Play!, Ian Dunbar’s seminar on learning theory and puppy training. Meghan was a canine handler at the Canine Conflict seminar held by Cheryl Smith in May 2012 and Pia Sivania's Play Seminar in September 2015. She has also volunteered her time as a ring steward at the Kars Dog Club. Most recently Meghan was the Head Instructor for Ottawa Humane Society's L.E.A.D Program.  

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 Karma, Boxer as well as their cat, Toby and 3 lizards Clyde, Grout and Dragon. 

Niall Sheehan

Daycare Manager, Instructor

Niall Sheehan is a graduate of an Ottawa based Canine Instructor program and has been working with Cheryl Smith since 2011. 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 overdue career change. Niall now manages the Doggy Daycare at TAG Dog Training Education Centre.

Niall is available for consultations as well as boarding and training sessions.

Since starting the Doggy Daycare in 2012 it has been a huge success with 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.

Sheryl Trekofski

Senior Instructor

Sheryl was born in Manitoba and moved to Ottawa at the age of eight with her military family. She has been a nursing aide with the elderly, a production planner in computer manufacturing, owned her own business, and is currently an OC Transpo Bus Operator.

Spurred by a nagging desire to take the spiritual connection she feels for dogs, Sheryl undertook and graduated from a professional dog training apprenticeship. She has been a professional dog trainer and handler since 2011, and has been trained by some of the best animal behaviourists and trainers in the world, including Cheryl Smith, and Jane Madigan. Sheryl has also attended workshops and seminars with Dr. Ian Dunbar, Sophie Yin, Nicole Wilde, Ken Ramirez (Karen Pryor Clicker Training Institute), Suzanne Clothier, Kathy Szabo, Alexandra Horowivtz and Victoria Stillwell. Sheryl has volunteered with the Lanark Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) - a no kill shelter, The Human Society of Ottawa and is presently volunteering with Australian Shepherd Rescue of Ontario (AROO).

Sheryl promotes a personal and peaceful, loving style of training that honours the dog's innate nature and instinct, while building confidence and connection in both dog and owner/parent.

Sheryl lives near the Greenbelt with her spouse Kim, a Cock-a-poo - Goliath, rescue St. Bernard - Charles, and cat - Earl - who of course runs the house. She is a proud mum of a son and Grand-mum to four fantastic grandchildren. Sheryl is the proprietor of Wild!2Wisdom.

Cindi & Dave Delcorde

The Management

Cindi and Dave been dog owners pretty much their entire lives. Cindi was given her first puppy when she was just seven years old – ‘Tag’ was a Chihuahua / Jack Russell cross. Dave grew up with a Dachshund named ‘Gigi’ and when he was 18 bought his first German Shepherd and named him Prince. Dave told his mom that the four month old puppy “wouldn’t get that big.”

Together for 35 years, Dave and Cindi have three grown children – a soldier, a doctor, and a sociologist, and have two beautiful grandchildren. They have also been dog parents to Sheba, Chancellor, Brittany, Max, Nik, Avery, Jethro and now Meike.

It probably won’t end there.

Contact Us

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17 Grenfell Cres Unit#1, Nepean, Ontario Canada K2G 0G3, (613) 695-0TAG (0824) 

Phones are answered 9:00 AM - 6 PM Monday to Friday, weekends from 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM.