Meet Our Team
Gen’s experience with dog training began when she was just 12 years old, volunteering at the Brampton Animal Shelter. Once she turned 13, she was hired on as a Kennel Attendant, spending her breaks, lunches and after hours in the kennels of the dogs, she could see needed her the most. Since then, the majority of Gen’s life has been dedicated to learning everything she could about animal behaviour, and improving the lives of all animals around her. Prior to running, and co-owning Pawsitive Plus Dog Training and Consulting Service Ltd., Gen developed, organized, and trained staff and volunteers for the Canine Behaviour Program at the Oakville and Milton Humane Society.
Gen strongly believes that working with animals to modify behaviour requires an education and a full understanding of animal behaviour. As a result, she has achieved a zoology degree at the University of Guelph focussing on animal behaviour. Since completing her degree, she has kept current with all new and upcoming training methods by being both an attendee and speaker at behaviour seminars and conferences. Gen has completed several Animal Behaviour and Welfare graduate courses at the University of Guelph and has even spent time working with wolves at Wolf Park Indiana. Her expertise in improving shelter living and environment enrichment for shelter dogs lead her to become a speaker at the CAPPDT conference in 2011.
While Gen has achieved many certificates in the area of animal behaviour, she is most proud and excited about her achievement as a Certified Behaviour Adjustment Instructor (CBATI) in November 2013. She is the first in the GTA (and perhaps Ontario) to design a full program specifically developed to rehabilitate dogs with fear and frustration-aggression using Grisha Stewart’s concept of BAT; this is Pawsitive Plus’ “Snappy to Happy” program.
Gen currently shares her life with her husband, 2 human baby girls, 2 cats, and Olive and Pepper, 2 energetic Boston Terriers you may see helping out at her training facility.
Ali grew up surrounded by pets and has always felt a deep love for nature and animals. She comes from a media studies and image arts background but is currently working on completing her Dog Training apprenticeship here at Pawsitive Plus. Three years ago Ali adopted her current pup, Mai, and in trying to build a strong loving bond with her, she began researching alternative training methods and reading about how dogs think.
This passion for learning how to coexist with these wonderful animals spiralled into her wanting to work with them. She began working at a doggie daycare and moved to dog walking in Toronto, which she currently does now.
Ali pretty quickly realized though that simply being around dogs wasn’t enough so soon after she came into contact with Gen. After a few meetings, Ali happily joined the Pawsitive Plus team as an apprentice now working towards becoming a certified trainer and animal behaviourist.
Ali hopes to alter the dog and human training experience to a positive and fun one. She wishes to provide owners with the best tools to modify any unwanted behaviours while bonding with their pets and feel the rewarding experience in seeing their progress!
Sandra is the owner of Pets in the City (Burlington-Hamilton, ON), through which she offers professional pet care services like dog walking, cat sitting, training and boarding. She is certified in Dog Obedience Behaviour, receiving her certification through Animal Behaviour College in 2011. In 2013, Sandra is became certified in Canine Massage and Trigger Point Therapy, specializing in therapeutic, athletic, and senior canines through Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure & Massage.
It was while Sandra was volunteering at the Oakville & Milton Humane Society she had the privilege of learning and working with Genevieve. This time spent at the shelter with Gen provided the opportunity to work with some very special dogs. One of those dogs was Louie, Sandra’s beloved Chocolate Labrador Retriever. It didn’t take long for her to realize that they needed to be together, and you will rarely see Sandra without Louie by her side!
Dog Training Apprentice
Jen has always had a connection with animals, specifically dogs.
She loves to explore the outdoors and nature as well. She started working on a farm taking care of horses, and loved it but realized her passion was actually dogs. She has worked in many pet stores, been a counsellor at a horse back riding camps, and even worked at the Oakville and Milton Humane society. Jen comes from a child care background but completed her minor in university in Critical Animal studies which covers the relationships between animals and humans.
After graduating from university, Jen went to South Africa for a month to volunteer at an animal sanctuary, where she got to work with lions, tigers and more! She is currently working as an apprentice dog trainer at Pawsitive Plus. Jen has a 14 year old Shih-poo named Daisy, and two horses named Britt and Holly. She came into contact with our Head Trainer Gen, and after a few meetings knew that she wanted to be part of the team.
She is now working towards becoming a certified dog trainer. Jen is excited to help owners build on both their knowledge as well as relationships with their four legged friends!
Dog Training Apprentice
Rachel has completed a BSc Hons (Animal Biology) and a MSc (Animal Behaviour and Welfare) through the University of Guelph. Over the last six years, Rachel has enjoyed working as a Keeper at the Toronto Zoo, and has gained invaluable experience working with exotic animals. She has also fostered seven puppies (and counting) with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, volunteered in Wildlife Care at Toronto Wildlife Centre, and volunteered as a Dog Handler with the Oakville Milton Humane Society. Rachel is happiest when able to help improve the human-animal bond, and an animal's quality of life, through positive reinforcement training. Pets are wonderful additions to our lives, but it is important to set them up for success and provide them with opportunities to be rewarded!
Rachel has recently adopted two labradors, named Hellena and Quesa. They are a mother and daughter combo that were originally Lions Foundation fosters. Hellena is a retired Lions Foundation breeding dog, and Quesa is one of her pups, who unfortunately was released from the program due to medical reasons. Rachel also has a black cat named Tyson, and a leopard gecko named Soloman. The next animal Rachel is looking to acquire is a rescued snake, when the time is right!
In her spare time, Rachel spends her time hiking with her canine companions, doing 'fun' doggy agility, dabbling in photography, kayaking, and partaking in any other activities that involve being outside.
Rachel is eager become a certified dog trainer, and can't wait to complete the Dog Training Apprenticeship at Pawsitive Plus! It is her hope that other pet owners enjoy their dogs as much as she enjoys having hers 🙂.
For over 10 years Sarah has been working in the animal care field in a variety of capacities. She has worked as a veterinary assistant, dog walker, a shelter adoptions manager, and has written about all things pets-related for Bell Media, Dogbook and American Pet Magazine to name a few. She currently writes for the Canadian Kennel Club blog, The Dish.
It was during her time at the Oakville and Milton Humane Society that Sarah met Gen and they become fast friends. Soon after starting at the shelter, she began assisting Gen with her Behaviour Program, training dogs when she was off-duty.
In 2014, Sarah moved to San Diego, California, where she worked alongside a local rescue organization to implement a kennel enrichment program in the three-county shelters. She trained volunteers and shelter staff on how to tap into not just the physical needs of the animals in their care, but their mental and emotional needs as well. It was during this time that she knew her true calling was as a dog trainer. When she returned to Toronto, Sarah called upon her good friend, Gen, and began her journey with Pawsitive Plus.
Sarah currently shares her home with her pooch Sloan, and her heart with her late Boston Terriers, Remy and Ira, whom our team always remembers fondly.
Megan is currently working as a dog trainer with Pawsitive Plus and teaches puppy training classes and conducts private training sessions. She finds all aspects of animal learning and behaviour modification fascinating and rewarding with a keen interest in learning all she can about working dogs.
Megan began working with animals in horse riding stables and farms and went on to pursue a degree in Zoology from the University of Swansea, in the UK. Moving to Canada, Megan worked in pet stores, veterinary practices and at the Oakville and Milton Humane Society where she met Genevieve and became interested in dog training within a shelter environment. Megan moved to Sudbury to follow a career in environmental science but always had a passion for domestic animals.
After being in the middle of a multi-dog fight in a small cabin, Megan realized her interests lay in animal behaviours and relationships and set about contacting Genevieve and moving back to the GTA to begin an apprenticeship and continue her education.
Megan loves to get out there on adventures and believes there is no better adventure partner than a four-legged friend and is dedicated to continue to build her knowledge of science-based, force-free methods to help animals and their owners have best possible relationships and get out adventuring!
Reanna has completed Positive Animal Training: the Science of Applied Behaviour Analysis at Dalhousie University and is a graduate of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy achieving her KPA (Karen Pryor Academy) CTP (Certified Training Partner).
Her work with her own dog Amelia has sprung new interest and desire to work with fearful dogs who are often misunderstood and require extra time and patience. She is a proud graduate of The Fearful Dogs Project master course and is now a Certified Fearful Dog Professional (CFDP).
She practices positive based training methods with all animals from her pet bird, her cats and dogs. Reanna is a proud member of the Pet Professional Guild, the association for force-free pet professionals.
Reanna has volunteered her time as a dog attendant at a no-kill animal shelter, a wildlife transporter and a feed volunteer at a farm sanctuary. She has gained tremendous experience and knowledge from these opportunities all of which helped her to realize her dream of working with animals.
In her spare time, Reanna enjoys photography, reading, camping and exploring the great outdoors. She was shortlisted in the The Pet Photographer’s Club International Photographer of the Year Awards consecutively in 2019 and 2020 and placed in the top 100.
Her current animals are a 10-year-old Green Cheek Conure named Zane whom she’s had since he was an eight-week old baby and a rescue dog, Amelia, from Texas she adopted in April 2018. Her most recent addition is Roux, a saucy 1-year-old black and white domestic shorthair cat she adopted as a companion for Amelia.
Dog Training Apprentice
Madhvi, the newest member of Pawsitive Plus has always been an animal lover and finally decided to take the plunge and make a career out of it.
Madhvi graduated from Ryerson University and was in senior sales and operation positions for many years but decided to leave the corporate world to follow her passion and love of animals.
She is an active member of PETA and Mercy for Animals and is excited to work in an environment that truly ignites the love and dedication she has for animals.
Madhvi has two rescues Ollie (Morky) and Benji (Maltese Mix) who keep her very busy, which she loves.
She is very excited to start this new venture and work towards being a certified dog and behavior adjustment trainer.