Meet the Team
Leesa Westwood (Fear Free Certified Trainer)
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 has been 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.
Ali Nederhoed (CPDT-KA)
Trainer, Director of Operations & Staff Training Supervisor
When Ali first knew she wanted to work with dogs she started volunteering at various vet clinics to learn as much as she could. She also worked at several dog grooming and daycare facilities until deciding that training was her passion. Since becoming a certified professional dog trainer in 2020 Ali has continued her education through many seminars, courses, conferences and has even studied canine nutrition with a holistic approach. She now competes in several dog sports including Frisbee, Dock Diving and Skijoring with her Golden Retriever Sunny. Ali loves working with dogs on anything from aggression to puppy basics and helping owners reconnect and see the potential in their dogs.
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 eight 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.
Since Brendan was a child, there have been two things that have sparked tremendous interest and focus, sport and dogs. After years of begging his parents finally succumbed to allow him to choose and raise his own puppy at the age of 12. Rorry was a great dog, but Brendan realized that passion and love did not teach a dog how to have perfect recall, or play fetch. As his sport life has phased out, Brendan has found himself devouring information on dog training and dog behavior with vigour. Brendan is excited to add a solid foundation of knowledge and skill to work with animals he has had a natural affinity to for so long.
From a very young age, Zac has had a strong love for animals. No matter the kind, he has always preferred the company of animals to the company of people. This led Zac into doing professional work as an animal caregiver. Zac has provided personalized care to a variety of animals over the years while their owners were away, and is very excited to be working with the Pliant Pack team to further his knowledge and experience in animal behaviour and care.
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.
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.
Boarding Administrator, Boarder & Dog Walker/Apprentice Trainer
Keely began fostering in 2018 and has since foster failed with 3 dogs from 3 different rescues! She also owns 3 cats who enjoy the country life with their busy family of 6. Keely started working with Pliant Pack in 2022 and works in our boarding administration, as a dog boarder herself, and has joined the apprentice training team to also offer train & walks. One of her favourite parts of the job is matching dogs to the right boarding homes and receiving positive feedback about the care we have provided for their pet.
Dog Walker/Apprentice Trainer and At Home Boarder
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!
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!
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.
Tristyn's passion for dogs started at a very young age, growing up around dogs of all sizes. She started her professional work with dogs in 2016 when she got a job at a boarding kennel, taking pride in providing comfort and love to give them a positive experience away from home. In 2022, Tristyn became an apprentice dog trainer, shadowing local dog trainers to learn how to help even more dogs through behaviour modification. She looks forward to continuing to expand upon her knowledge through the Pliant Pack team!
Amanda has been involved in the pet industry for over five years, working with both dogs and horses. She is currently working on training her horse Minnie with positive reinforcement based training. Amanda has a large fenced yard for all of her boarding dogs to run around in with her dog Jane!
Even as a small child Heather was always passionate about animals. In November of 2022 she rescued a miniature labradoodle, Bella, and has been enjoying using her knowledge of positive reinforcement training when dealing with behavioural challenges, training basic foundation behaviours, but most of all, helping foster a strong and reliable relationship with her. Heather strongly believes in the value of behaviour modification techniques and she is excited to join the team where she can continue to learn and expand her existing skill sets with dogs.