Meet The Trainers

multi-certified, diverse experienced, master trainer

Annika McDade

Owner – Head Trainer

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Annika McDade is the owner of Canine Connection Training. She is a triple certified  Professional Dog Trainer & Behaviour Consultant offering dog training in Squamish & Vancouver. She has been training since 2008 when she began teaching group obedience classes in Calgary. However, her passion for working with animals was evident long before her professional career began. At the young age of 9 years old Annika started a dog walking company in her neighbourhood on top of spending nearly every Sunday at the local shelter. As an adult she began volunteering with local rescue organizations and eventually joined forces with the Calgary Humane Society, where she gained invaluable experience and knowledge in the non-profit sector.

After three years working in a shelter, she moved on to assist in training Mongolian Wolves overseas for the Film Industry in Inner Mongolia and China. Her experience working with animals for film expanded with an opportunity to work with Great Pyrenees dogs on another film in Europe. See Annika’s detailed accounts of the adventures below by clicking on “Tales Of Wolf Training”.

Following her experience working with animals overseas, Annika returned to Canada to open Canine Connection Training.

In her own words, “Dog Training is about so much more than just having a dog that listens. It is about working together and developing a harmonious relationship with your pet. A relationship built on mutual respect, trust and communication yields lasting training results.”

Having already successfully completed two Certification programs, Annika achieved her third certification with the Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA), the only internationally recognized certification! She is also an active member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).

With her diverse background and expansive experience working with animals, Annika’s goal is to facilitate an opportunity for pet owners to build (or re-build) meaningful and loving relationships with their pets.

Education & Certifications
  • Sophomore in The Academy For Dog Trainers  (CTC)
  • Certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA)
  • Certified by the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA-CTP)
  • Dogma Certified Behaviour Consultant (DCBC)
  • Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Certified by Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid
  • Experience ranges from working with rescue organizations, animals for film, and private training services.

Nina Blagojevic

Lead Trainer

Nina Blagojevic training a dog on the beach
Nina Blagojevic holding a dog

Nina is an avid lover of understanding and exploring both human and canine behaviour. She is a professional life coach and fell in love with dog training after bringing home her high energy vizsla puppy, Zola. Working with a sensitive, bright, and sometimes challenging dog she quickly developed an understanding of the importance of having compassion for dogs! Nina’s knack for working and connecting with people, combined with her passion for ensuring dogs are understood and appreciated makes her a unique and motivated trainer. Her hope is to facilitate communication between pets and their owners, building lasting results, and enabling them to thrive in our sometimes strange, stimulating urban world.

In addition to apprenticing with Annika McDade, Canine Connection’s Owner, Nina is continuing her education by attending seminars in Canada and the United States, local group classes, and taking courses at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She’s excited to be the newest member of our team, where she aims to support our clients in having a relationship with their pets built on mutual trust, respect, and effective communication.

Education & Certifications
  • Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right
  • Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Courses
  • Ian Dunbar’s Growl Class
  • Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Currently working towards completing enough instruction hours to write her CPDT Exam in 2018
  • Aims to specialize with sporting breeds and puppies
Training Methods

Always ensure the training methods used by your trainer, align with your morals. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn more here!

Training Tips

Need a little extra help understanding your dog – but not ready to book a consult? Click here for tips!

Industry Friends

Take a peek at organizations that we believe in & support! Dog walking companies, Pet Photographers and Daycares!

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