We would be remiss in describing the Gas City Dog Club without paying tribute to the people behind the services being offered.
We extend our extreme gratitude to members of the Gas City Dog Club and interested volunteers, many working behind the scenes, who regularly volunteer their time to:
The Instructors and Assisting Instructors are constantly upgrading their knowledge and skills through courses, workshops, reading, and working with students and their canine team members. Gas City Dog Club also provides opportunities for apprenticing instructors to develop their training and teaching skills under the guidance of a more experienced instructor. If you are interested in the Gas City Dog Club and would like more information, please use the “Contact Us” function of the website to send us a message.
We are pleased to introduce you to the people directly involved with the training classes:
Hi! My name is Annette and I immigrated to Canada and eventually to Medicine Hat in 2003, from the UK with my husband and young family. I have a weird accent and an even weirder sense of humour!
I have worked in the catering industry as a chef and server, in the British Military, and with children with behavioral issues. I have most recently been disabled from my job as a 911 call taker and emergency dispatcher in Medicine Hat after doing that for almost 11 years.
We have had a number of dogs through the years. Doris was a beautiful chocolate Labrador who we trained in Search & Rescue. Her favorite scent was coin. She would spend hours searching a field for a quarter and be so happy when she found it! Her tail never stopped spinning.
Currently I own 2 dogs, Frank (age 6) and Stanley (age 4). They are both Aussie-doodles.
Now I am looking to restart my career and since I trained my own service dog (Frank), I would like to expand on my knowledge and skills with training and grooming dogs. The Club has kindly allowed me to start volunteering here while I complete a Canine Specialist Diploma. I am a board member of an owner-trained dog charity and actively work with clients who would like to train their own dog, as I did.
I work with Sterling when we are assessing suitable puppies for service dogs and my goal is to work as a service dog trainer.
I would like to thank Sterling for his dedication to dogs and unfounded generosity of his time and knowledge.
Jennifer started training dogs from the SPCA at the early age of 8 and has been training dogs of all types as a certified trainer since 2013. She moved from Hawaii to Medicine Hat in 2019 and started teaching at Gas City Dog Club within a month of moving here. Classes taught by Jennifer include “Puppy Socialization and Obedience” as well as “Trick Training”. She is also involved with assessment of dog temperament and troubleshooting dog behavioral issues.
Jennifer is the proud owner of two Australian Shepherds and a German Shorthaired Pointer Hound.
I have owned dogs for over thirty yearsand was fortunate enough that the first club I belonged to was a veryforward-thinking club. Being a military wife meant I moved frequently and toother countries. Sadly, I soon realized this is not how some clubs trained. Myexperience made it obvious to me that "man's best friend" is reallymisunderstood. I studied Canine Psychology in the "ThinkDog" program with the late John Fisher. I continue to stay up to date,because you can never stop learning. I have been very fortunate to have alsobeen mentored by some amazing trainers and handlers, whose wealth of knowledgeand experience has been incredible. I will always be grateful with their pearlsof wisdom I can pass on. I strongly believe any training should be fair, so wemust understand the dog's side as best we can. This can only improve ourrelationship with our dogs, and certainly won't be damaging. In the same light,training should be fun and rewarding for both the owner and dog. With my background strongly in caninepsychology, be prepared to "Think Dog" and join us for a date nightwith your dog.
Karris George grew up with one older brother and lived in Calgary. The family made the move to Medicine Hat about 12 years ago.
Always a hard worker Karris completed high school at Medicine Hat High in 2018.
She keeps herself busy with puzzles, bike rides, special Olympics swimming, skating, dance lessons and learning how to cook and bake. When Karris finished school her first fulltime volunteering position was at the Food Bank in Medicine Hat. She went on to what really interested her, which is animals, and has volunteered at the SPCA and Coco Mutt Hut.
Karris is outgoing and has an unlimited amount of kindness towards people and animals. Her endless supply of patience for dogs is evident in all her interactions with them.
Pets and animals of all kinds were a passion early on in life. Along with her mom and brother they took their dogs to a couple of training classes at Gas City with Sterling. Karris is a natural around dogs and knew this is how she wanted to spend her time. She approached Sterling to see if he would be willing to take her on as a volunteer at Gas City. To her great happiness he said YES. During this time, she also worked on agility with her two long haired dachshunds (Harvey and Lewis).
Along with Gas City Dog Club, Karris currently volunteers with Sam and Heather at Rocking K9 Ranch, a new kennel in Medicine Hat. Karris looks forward to each class at Gas City, meeting and getting to know all the amazing dogs and their owners. Karris has learned so much from Sterling and the other trainers and hopes to always be part of the dog care and training life.
Sterling Hinch has been instructing at the club for over twenty years, after starting as a student with his Dalmatian, Daisy. He has attended behavior seminars with Roger Abrantes, Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, and Emma Parsons. He has also been a member of CAPPDT and has been involved in agility and obedience. In addition, he has attended and instructed at a Dog Scout camp in Michigan. Sterling let Daisy cross the Rainbow Bridge in December of 2012, but has continued on as a dog obedience and agility instructor. He hopes to instruct until he can no longer do so, focusing on instructing and dog behavior.
Sterling earned the Canine Specialist Diploma in March 2018. Sterling is also a registered Team Evaluator for Pet Partners™ and has participated in both training and evaluating pet visitation therapy teams since 2018. He is also involved in preparing Service dog/handler teams to be evaluated.
Sterling is active in assessing and evaluation of behavioral issues and frequently works with owners on an individual basis to address those issues.
Alta has been a member of Gas City Dog Club since 1989, serving on the executive for many years as well as being show secretary for various United Kennel Club Licensed Obedience and Rally Obedience Trials. During those years, she actively competed with her dogs and was able to achieve Companion Dog Titles with the United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club as well as making progress towards a Rally Obedience Title.
Alta enjoys working with her dogs as well as assisting with classes offered by Gas City Dog Club. She loves learning and has attended many dog training seminars and workshops over the years from such instructors as: Sue Ailsby, Brian Kilcommins, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Michael A. Neil, Cindy Leung and most recently Amanda Labadie. She has completed many online courses through Fenzi Dog Sport Academy and Pet Partners™. She has received certification as a Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor through ICS Canada.
As a retired health care worker, Alta recognizes the value of pet therapy/visitation and realizes there is a huge gap in this area. She is actively working with Gas City Dog Club to promote a pet therapy training and assessment program. Alta is a licensed Instructor and Team Evaluator for the Pet Partners™ Pet Therapy Visitation Program.
Mikayla Vodon is new to Gas City Dog Club focusing on obedience class but hoping to expand her knowledge in all of our classes we offer in the future. Although new to the club, she has had experience in customer service for ten years.
As a little girl she was never able to own a dog but that never stopped her from wanting to learn dog behaviour, while most girls wanted to watch cartoons. Mikayla wanted to watch “The Dog Whisper” with Cesar Millan. As well as going as far as reading his many books he’s published when she wasn’t watching him on tv. Allowed Mikayla to communicate and understand dogs simple body language and their behaviour. It wasn’t until 2018 after graduating from “Crescent Heights High School”. She got her own dog an American Chocolate Labrador (Keeva). She realized the simple challenges in owning a dog. As Keeva grew their bond only developed stronger. By going into Dock Diving and Rally Obedience. eventually being able to go into competition when the time comes. For now, Mikayla is currently working at CocoMutt Hut, learning and experiencing dogs everyday.
In 2001, the Gas City Dog Club became incorporated as a “Not for Profit” organization under the Alberta Societies Act. This status means that no member of the club may benefit financially due to their club membership. The Gas City Dog Club is not a registered charity. Club members volunteer their time to provide classes, hold fundraisers for local pet organizations (such as the holiday Angel Tree), and host/participate in community events. Members also volunteer to make the Gas City Dog Club a more positive environment for everyone to enjoy.
Funds raised through club activities such as obedience classes and various drop-ins are utilized for: