Meet the Team
Leesa Westwood (CPDT-KA)
Leesa began her formal training in the fall of 2014, when she adopted a dog with behavioural problems. Leesa and Hades began working with a trainer who saw her potential and brought her on as an apprentice. Over the past few years she has taken several courses and seminars and is certified as a professional dog trainer by the Certified Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). As an addition to training, she has worked with dog daycares, rescues, and pet stores, expanding her knowledge and experience in all things dog related. The science and art of dog training is an ever-changing field, and she is constantly furthering her knowledge and education to better serve her clients and the dogs she works with.
Leesa believes strongly in positive reinforcement dog training. This means that she does not use any kind of force, intimidation or fear tactics to get a dog to do what she wants. Instead, she work with your dogs natural instincts and thought processes to communicate what she wants and to teach them to make better decisions through reward based training.
Emily Lowes (CBCC-KA)
Emily is passionate about all things dog! She has been fostering and training dogs for over ten years and has worked in the pet industry for seven years. Emily is currently a member of the Wild Dogs Performance and Flyball team and competes competitively and recreationally. She has been competing in disc for the last six years and it is a sport she has become very passionate about. Emily has attended various seminars and classes and focuses on teaching your dog outlets for their energy through fun and positive training. Her dogs have several accomplishments including two lead roles in Hallmark movies, performing canine freestyle in front of thousands and travelling all across North America for performances and competitions.
She is very passionate about animal nutrition and fully believes that the best way to keep our pets healthy is to put real food in their bowl. She is also well versed in all things related to canine behaviour and loves helping fearful and reactive dogs.
Emily recently completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba and plans on continuing her education of canine anatomy and holistic approaches to animal care.
Ali Nederhoed (CPDT-KA)
Trainer & Team Training Supervisor
When Ali first knew she wanted to work with dogs she started volunteering at different veterinary hospitals to learn as much as she could! Since then she has been working at dog daycares and in dog grooming. Ali decided that training was her passion and came on board with Pliant Pack! She is a natural with dogs and loves working with dogs with behavioural issues. She is persistent with her training and we love seeing the progress she makes when working with dogs. Ali also has a passion for holistic nutrition and health after dealing with many health issues with her dog, Rocky. Ali treats all of the dogs she meets like family!
Paige Thomas (CPDT-KA)
Paige Thomas loves working with every dog she meets and finds learning opportunities with all of them! She is always looking to further her knowledge and to better understand canine body language. Paige's patience makes her the perfect match for your high energy dog! Affectionately known by her co-workers as "Thomas", she is devoted to helping her rescue dog, Bennett and helping him learn! Throughout their time together Paige has grown her knowledge base on resource guarding prevention and treatment. If your dog is looking for a new best friend, Thomas is your gal!
Mishel Grinko (CPDT-KA)
Mishel's love for animals started with horses and has led her to dog training! She has been working with dogs for the past five years in a boarding facility and is now pursuing dog training specifically with Pliant Pack. Mishel's knowledge of horse training has benefited her with dogs and has taught her patience with even the most stubborn of animals. Mishel enjoys working with dogs one on one and helping owners in group classes and private sessions.
Lícia has been passionate about dog behaviour since 2015 when she started studying to board dogs at her home. Her love for dogs and what motivates them led her to become a Professional Dog Trainer in 2017.
She helped to organize, coordinate and support volunteers and their dogs during nursing home visitation, bringing the dogs and their love to elderly people.
Lícia is energetic, attentive to detail and always looks for ways to make sure the dog is comfortable during their activities.
Emily da Mata Weins (CTDI)
Advanced Apprentice Trainer
Emily's interest in training sparked when she first brought home her dog, Nova! Nova is a spunky gal with a lot of energy so Emily worked on finding appropriate outlets for her through obedience and trick training. Emily and Nova worked hard to earn their Intermediate Trick Dog Title (ITD). Emily is currently enrolled at the University of Manitoba working on a Bachelor of Psychology with a focus on ethology and animal learning!
Advanced Apprentice Trainer & Dog Boarder
Mackenzie's love for dogs first started when her family became a foster home for pups with Parvo Virus. She has been working at a local pet store for five years now where she has expanded her knowledge on animal nutrition. When Mackenzie isn't working hard training with your pups you can find her at home with her own crazy dogs, Gus and Heidi (as well as their four feline friends). She enjoys working with dogs with behavioural problems, specifically dogs who struggle with leash reactivity.
Apprentice Trainer & Dog Boarder
Jada has always been an animal lover! Growing up on a farm in rural Manitoba nurtured a passion for animals of all kinds. Now, living in Winnipeg, Jada continues to grow her love for animals through fostering and training dogs. Jada works specifically as a Day Stay, Boarding and Board & Train home and you can rest assured your dog will have the best time with her! Jada makes sure to focus on each dog individually while also allowing for plenty of group fun. Jada and Hannah's dog, Bear, loves making friends and greets every new friend with enthusiasm.
Lilia has been passionate about dogs since she was a young child. She has volunteered for a local dog rescue at a spay and neuter clinic, as a foster and as an adoption events coordinator. Lilia previously worked in a pet store where she cared for grooming dogs and helped pet parents selecting the best supplies for their dog. Lilia is currently enrolled at the University of Manitoba for pre- veterinary medicine.
Kenzie started her career with dogs as a dog daycare attendant where she managed large play groups with dogs of all sizes and temperaments. She chose to focus more on training and joined the Pliant Pack team! You can see Kenzie assisting in our group classes and working with your pups during their train & walks.
Kennedy was welcomed to the Pliant Pack team after she impressed our trainers in group classes and private sessions with her dog, Toby! Kennedy has a passion for science-based training as she has a background in Psychiatric Nursing. Her main focus is working with dogs with separation anxiety and leash reactivity. Kennedy also enjoyed competing in canine disc with her dog Toby before he retired due to hip dysplasia.
Animals have always been a part of Gracie’s life. From a young age, she was involved with showing horses and taking care of their daily chores. Gracie grew up visiting her grandparents beef farm, where she fondly remembers the working border collies, and teaching them tricks. At the age of 12, Gracie received her first dog Leo, a golden retriever. From the moment they met, Gracie spent all her time training Leo, fostering a relationship which would lead them both to a love of canine sports. Gracie and her two dogs have been involved with a variety of canine disciplines; frisbee, dock diving, agility, rally, herding, barn hunt, and sprinters.
Gracie is also currently employed within the veterinary industry as an assistant and has a passion for animal behaviour. The two complement each other well while Gracie learns, and helps others improve their human animal bond.
Emily's love of animals spans to all different species! She has extensive experience training both horses and dogs and spends plenty of her spare time training her own animals. Emily is heavily involved in animal rescue and fosters dogs with behavioural issues who require a foster with ample patience and training skills. She is an impassioned volunteer with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue and spends multiple weekends a year working with the rescue in northern communities for their spay and neuter initiatives. It is her experience working with stray dogs that makes her an excellent reader of dog body language. Emily has her BA in psychology and sociology and is always wanting to learn the most up to date methods of behaviour modifcation.
Brittany is a Pet First Aid Certified boarding house. She is always looking to continue her knowledge and has a special interest in trick training with her dog, Koda! Koda and Brittany have taken all of our online classes together and have attended in-person classes. You may also see Koda with some of our other staff as a working dog! Brittany has also completed a seminar with Dr. Ian Dunbar.
Sydney is an enthusiastic trainer who is always pushing to find new ways to challenge dogs. She is passionate about helping owners and is always their number one cheerleader in classes and private sessions. Sydney's passion is working with nervous dogs to help them come out of their shell through patience and positive environmental exposure.
Rebecca has experience working with high energy dogs and is Pet First Aid & CPR Certified. She offers a calm environment for dogs who may not like to socialize with other animals and provides them with patience and love so they can succeed!
Mike is the man behind the scenes and orchestrates all of our administrative processes. If you are new to Pliant Pack or you have been a client of ours for awhile, you are sure to have communicated with Mike. Although Mike's focus is our administrative side, he also enjoys meeting our four legged clients that stay with our trainer, Emily. Mike is always the first to volunteer to work with dogs who may be unsure of men and his laid back approach helps gain the trust of the dogs he meets. Although he loves all of his pets, Mike's black cat Thimble is the light of his life! You can find her curled up next to him as he works or begging for treats in the kitchen during his lunch break.
Administrative Assistant & At-Home Boarder
Ryan is passionate about dogs and is one of our at-home boarders! He did an apprenticeship with Pliant Pack in 2021 and uses his skills when staying with nervous and reactive dogs. Ryan is able to answer any questions you may have regarding our services and is happy to help!
Administrative Assistant & At-Home Boarder
Hannah has always loved animals, but her interest in working with dogs started more recently. When her partner, Jada, started boarding with Pliant Pack, she found she loved working with and meeting all of the dogs who come through their door. She has also had experience with all types of dogs through her volunteer work as a foster home for dogs. Being a nanny for the last 13 years has helped hone her patience and ability to work with personalities of all types.