Meet the  TNT Instructors

The TNT Training Center opened  in 1998! Owner, Janice Gunn is the main stay behind the training class structure. She has been training dogs for 47  years , but it’s not only her longevity in the world of dogs that has given her, her expertise. Janice has attended training seminars with some of the World’s best  dog trainers. The list includes, multiple seminars with Ian Dunbar, Terry Ryan, John Rodgerson, Truid Ruugas, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, Leslie Neilson, Ken Rameriz, Michelle Pouliot, Nichol Wilde, Brenda Aloff & Sue Sternberg just to name a few! There are many others as well. Janice has also attended APDT and 6 Clicker Expo  conferences these are the best of the best.  Her methods are up to date and she shares with you her expansive knowledge.  Janice herself is world-renowed and a highly succesful top International Competitor.

Janice has earned titles in many different venues, actually proving that she can train a dog, AND that her training follows through in competition where dogs exhibit stress and anxiety and often have a difficult time performing at their best. There is a fine balance in dog training when using food to train. Dogs learn very quickly in the presence of food, but when the treats are gone, only a properly trained dog will perform in the ring. And this requires a skilled trainer, one that understands how to find the balance between using food rewards, and yet still “teaching” the dog how to perform without food.

This is why TNT is so unique, Janice and her instructors actually DO compete with their own dogs and earn titles. They are not afraid to put themselves on display and show the world that they really do know how to train a dog. Janice herself has earned titles to the highest levels. This includes titles in conformation, agility, tracking, field trials, hunt tests and competition obedience.

We are confident that you can build a lasting relationship with your dog to diminish behavioral problems and expensive bills due to idle destruction or the uncooperative grooming or vet client. Decrease the stress of pet ownership and enhance your quality of life with your canine. We will teach you the skills for a healthy lifelong bond with your dog!

Janice Gunn

remi-heeling-with-Janice-2014Janice’s Accomplishments Include:

  • Member of numerous breed and obedience clubs
  • Multiple PERFECT 200 SCORES – with EIGHT different dogs
  • Has titled 11 dogs to the elite obedience OTCH title
  •  Numerous High in Trial and High Combined Awards
  • Has earned titles in obedience, field trials, Master hunters, conformation, tracking & agility
  • Successfully competes in obedience & hunt tests
  • Has been training dogs for over 45 years
  • Has produced 8 successful videos on competition obedience training
  • Has been a featured columnist for multiple dog magazines including Dog Sport and Front & Finish
  • Has attended over 50 of the top leading seminars and conferences on dog training
  • Is a highly sought after Obedience Seminar Presenter and coach
  • Owner/operator/creator of TNT Training, est. 1998

Kelly Thorburn

Kelly Thorburn & RushDogs have always been a part of my life, 25 years ago I decided to make them my entire life and passion.

I enjoy competing and have earned many titles with my dog’s in Obedience, Rally and the breed ring both in Canada and the United States.

I absolutely love every minute of raising puppies and know the value that an early introduction to positive training has for the entire life of the dog.

My bred by American Staffordshire Terriers have been recognized as Canada’s best on multiple occasions for both performance events and confirmation.I also have Belgian Malinois and I’m currently training my male Renzo that I imported from the Netherlands for the obedience and rally rings.

I have worked part time in the film industry as a trainer for a number of years. Working with both my own dogs and client dogs. I have been an instructor at TNT for the past seven years. I help my students reach their goals and beyond with their new puppies or current adult dog.

When the Canadian Kennel Club Trick Dog Title program became available I was very excited as I love teaching tricks! My dog’s have earned multiple trick dog titles from the American Kennel Club.
My Am Staff, Rush was gifted his Elite Performers Title from AKC in honor of all his work in television and film. He has also received the Trick Dog Trophy multiple times from the Venture Dog Fanciers Of California. I am a certified trick dog instructor and evaluator.

I am also pleased to be on the CKC’s Canine Good Neighbour List of Evaluators.

I have had the privilege of working with some of the best dog trainers throughout the years and I am honored to be mentored by and train with the amazing Janice Gunn.

As an instructor I look to make training positive and enjoyable for those at both ends of the leash.

I am a member of:

  • The Canadian Kennel Club
  • The Dumbbell Obedience Club
  • The Ventura Dog Fanciers Of California
  • The BC All Terrier Club

Linda Moran

Linda with one of her TollersLinda has been involved with purebred dogs since 1987 and has successfully run dogs in all levels of the CKC Hunt Test program, Working Certificate programs while trialing in Competitive Obedience and breeding the occasional NSDTR litter under the “Kasomor” prefix.

“She is a fully qualified CKC Hunt Test judge, a CKC Canine Good Neighbour Evaluator, and a Member of the CKC and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Clubs Canada and USA.

Currently, Linda is owned by three Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers; Trio, CH Westerlea’s Kasomor Trio SH WCX CDX, her daughter Tikka, MOTCH GCH Kasomor’s Wack ‘Em N Stack ‘Em SH WCX CGN and Tikka’s daughter, Kimber, Kasomor’s Pop ‘Em N Drop ‘Em JH WC.

Tikka was CKC #2 Obedience NSDTR in 2013 and 2011. She is the 5th female toller to earn her MOTCH title and the first Grand Champion and MOTCH titled toller in breed history.

Kimber is the new pup in training and Trio is retired to “warmer of the couch” status.”

Linda takes great pride in her dogs CKC titles but more importantly in the fact that her dogs are great family pets welcome in homes, hotels and stores because of their solid obedience and manners.

The vast majority of Linda’s obedience training, over the past 12 years, has taken place at Janice Gunn’s TNT Training Center under the tutelage of Maureen Murray.

Sdog-safe first aid certifiedhe particularly enjoys working with young puppies and dogs and sharing her knowledge with their people to make their dogs GREAT companions!!

Linda is DogSafe canine first aid certified

Lâle (Lally) Aksu

Lâle & her canine crewLâle came to Canada from Germany in 2004. Her background in teaching stems from 17 years as an equestrian where she schooled young horses and taught children how to ride. Lâle grew up with an assortment of animals and her passion continues to grow. Lâle now devotes her free time to dog training.

Currently, she owns and trains a Manchester terrier named Eddie. Lâle feels that this dog has taught her many things about training as he, like many terriers, has not been the easiest dog to train! Yet, Lâle has achieved many successes with Eddie in Obedience, Rally and Agility. Eddie has his CD &Rally Excellent titles and is a Master Agility Dog of Canada.

Lâle believes that all dogs can achieve success with motivational training and her philosophy is based on positive reinforcement. She feels that the dog is better able to learn when treated kindly and with positive rewards. While Lâle loves dog training, she and Eddie also enjoy long walks, playing ball and having play dates with their doggy friends.

In her professional life, Lâle is the new kennel operator at TNT.   She  is a CARO judge and in process of becoming a CKC Rally judge. Lale is happy to be part TNT Kennels training program, and will be a top notch kennel operator!

dog-safe first aid certifiedLâle is DogSafe canine first-aid certified

Lori Little

lori-little I got my first Golden Retriever 12 years ago when I realized that my horse habit was getting to expensive. Since that time I have trained and titled my dogs in obedience, tracking, field trials & hunt tests, draft dog, earthdog & conformation. Zak was the 2nd dog to ever receive a Master Versatility Title from the Golden Club of Canada. He was the 10th dog (over 26 years) to receive the prestigious Nan Gordon award with ribbons in field, obedience and conformation.

I also own a Scottish Terrier named Morgan whom I am training in competition obedience and earthdog work. My husband Rick, and son Logan are both supportive and will often be found behind the scenes as I work the dogs.

Janice Gunn has been instrumental in most of my training. Our obedience base has helped us in every venue we venture into, and my dogs are excellent ambassadors when in public or just hanging in the house with the family.

I am happy to be able to share my vast knowledge with my students. Now let’s have some fun training!

Letsa Bantassios

dog trainer - Letsa Bantassios Letsa Bantassios graduated with honors and is a certified dog trainer through the American Behavior College in California and Walks N Wags Pet First Aid certified. My love for animals has led me to a lifetime commitment working with horses and dogs. I have owned many dogs, most come to me as unwanted pets with behavioral problems that with guidance and training have become wonderful family members. The past thirty years I have provided rehabilitation and or palliative care for horses with my companion dogs always in my shadow. Timing has redirected my passion for horse care to dog training. I am a positive trainer that focuses on humane techniques and believe that all animals have unique, individual personalities I work with their personality to help them become a loved, compliant family member.  I look forward to helping your dog to become the perfect family member!

Allison Howard

dog trainer - allison

Allison started in 2004 working with dogs at TNT Kennels while completing high school, a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree and a Bachelor of Education degree. She is a teacher and currently teaches physical education and kindergarten. In addition to her career in education, she’s also explored canine anatomy, first aid, fitness, massage and various types of training.

Allison’s family background includes an assortment of animals. She has always been around a family dog adopted from a rescue group and has participated in fostering, training and dog walking with local rescues. Her background also includes an assortment of well loved wild animals, including bears, that work in film.

Allison and her husband adopted Russell, a Pointer X Chocolate Lab in 2011 as a 6 month old rescue with no training and lots of issues. He is now a well behaved canine citizen that has worked in some films, just for fun! He has also been featured as the “poster boy” for a popular dog food company and is a well travelled boy that accompanies their family on all of their hiking and travel adventures. Lacey, a Yellow Lab, joined their family in 2016 as a happy puppy. Lacey visits a classroom, nursing homes and has also been featured in advertisements. She also received her Saint John Ambulance (SJA) Therapy Dog certification in 2018 and goes on official visits with SJA.

Sam Langley

scent work trainer, Sam LangleyI have been involved with dogs and dog sports since 2010.  My initial inspiration to learn more about dog training was from my own dogs Pepper, Lucy and Duke, who were from shelters and had various behavioural issues I had to learn how to deal with.   I have also been a Registered Veterinary Technologist since 2012 and am always striving to learn more about animal behaviour to create a comfortable veterinary experience for them.

After my veterinary technology diploma, I decided to start a Bachelor of science with a major in animal science and minor in behaviour and learning.  It was here I became hooked on behaviour modification and learning and how we could make those experiences easier for our animals.  While in school, I began competing in agility and scentwork with my dogs.  We experienced several accomplishments together including multiple high in trial placements, various titles in the US and Canada, CH and MACH titles in SDDA scentwork, and qualifying for AAC agility nationals with podium placements with Pepper and Lucy.

Currently, I share my life with my dogs Pepper, Lucy and Emilie.  Pepper and Lucy are enjoying retired life now, spending days swimming in the pond and cuddling on the couch.  Emilie is a young Belgian Tervuren building her foundation skills in agility and obedience.

I use reinforcement and specific training set-ups to build behaviour in small pieces of success.  I love to see a dog grow in their confidence and abilities to solve problems and learn new things.  I believe the key to building strong behaviours is to break them down into tiny achievable pieces and work through each piece to build understanding.  This creates an incredible sense of teamwork between the handler and the dog, ultimately resulting in a robust behaviour.  I am thrilled to join the TNT team and look forward to working with all the students and staff as we learn and share knowledge together.

Credentials

  • dog trainer - Sam LangleyAnimal Health Technology Diploma Douglas College: Registered Veterinary Technologist since 2012, experience in both emergency and general practice hospitals.
  • Bachelor of Science UBC 2017  Applied animal science major, minor in psychology: learning and behaviour
    Currently completing Medical Radiography Diploma BCIT, graduation July 2020.
  • Trained and competed with 5 dogs in various scentwork trialing organizations since 2013: SDDA, NACSW, CWAGS.  Competed in all levels of SDDA from started to elite.  Achieved MACH and CH titles in Canada and NW3 titles in USA.  I have earned several High in Trial and Top Dog in Search designations with multiple dogs in multiple scentwork venues.
  • Trained and competed in agility with 3 different dogs since 2013: AAC and UKI.  Qualified for nationals in 2018 and 2019 with two different dogs.  2019 placed 3rd overall in my height category with my dog Lucy.
  • Working on CCPDT-KA – Fall 2020

Katrina Vavrovics

dog trainer Katarina Vavrovics

From a very young age I have had a passion for all things furry but especially dogs.  As I was unable to have a dog of my own growing up, this lead to me walking any neighborhood dogs whether they really needed a walk or not.

As a teen, I became focused on horses.  For the next 28 years  I’ve enjoyed Dressage training, competing in the Show Jumping ring, and horseback camping with my husband and our horses Zoe & Clyde. Throughout this time I owned several “spirited” farm dogs and came to realize I needed to up my game in terms of training my best friends to be more reliable companions.

In 2012 I got Wilson, a Great Pyrenees / Shetland Sheep Dog puppy who started my clicker training journey in earnest.  I began with TNT in 2013 with a focus on CARO Rally Obedience.  Seeing the results of the positive training we received here, I was hooked.  Wilson attained his Canine Good Citizen at 1yr old.  We earned our Advanced CARO Rally, Excellent CARO Rally title (l leg needed)  however I was unable to continue as I was getting ready to bring my first son into our lives.    Since then motherhood, working as a Farrier and the many demands of hobby farm life have been keeping me busy, but I still continue to keep regular clicker training sessions going and sharing this knowledge with my son.

Working as a Farrier by trade, Wilson is my ever-present sidekick and people constantly comment on Wilson’s impeccable manners and social skills.  This helps to fuel my ongoing passion to assist other people to understand the importance of a solid, positive training foundation for their dogs.  It brings me great satisfaction to aid people in seeing that their furry nightmares are neither unfixable nor untrainable and that the solution lies in better inter-species communication and training methods.

I’m so excited to be a part of Janice’s team at TNT and I look forward to helping you create a solid bond and partnership with your dog.

Kimberly Van Biert

I have always had a great love for all creatures. I shared my childhood with an enormous range of animals, both farm-raised and rescued. After incessantly begging my parents for a dog, they took me to California to pick up my first puppy, a purebred Australian Shepherd. I adored my girl, and while it would be years before I discovered the great world of dog sports my love for dogs was deeply rooted.

I spent my youth training my horses and competing in a variety of equestrian sports. I was an active member of the local 4H club showing Swine, Rabbits and Horses. As a young adult, I came to TNT for puppy classes and continued with further obedience classes where I fell head over heels in love with training. Since then, I have finished 28 Championship titles with my dogs, both in Canada and the USA, and have bred Australian Shepherds that compete in many venues, from Agility and Obedience to Rally and Tracking. In 2017 we added a Havanese to our home. My lovely girl Camila won a very prestigious award at the 2019 Canadian Havanese Nationals and my daughter Mikiah won Best Junior handler. I am a member of the CKC, ASCA and Canadian National Australian Shepherd Association, serving BC and Yukon as District Director. I have also served as show secretary for the local Australian Shepherd Club. I am a 4H leader with the Chilliwack 4H dog club, teaching youth about showmanship and husbandry. Three of my own kids are members of the club and I love that they can all participate in training and competing with our dogs in Agility, Obedience, Junior Handling and Rally.

I am forever grateful to TNT for opening a door into a deeper, more fulfilling life with my beloved dogs, and I am now thrilled to be a part of the team!

Val Beliak

For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for animals, in particular horses, dogs and cats. I grew up with dogs and cats in our family and was always the one in my family trying to teach them how to sit, shake a paw and do various tricks. My love of horses led me to become a Dressage Judge and what I enjoyed the most was being able to provide encouragement and direction to Novice riders.

As the cost and time commitment to the horse world became unrealistic, I turned my energies towards canine sports and started taking classes at TNT where the majority of my training has taken place. I have competed in Agility to the Master level and in Rally Obedience achieving perfect scores with both of my previous Golden Retrievers and Border Collie. With my current Golden, I am competing successfully in Obedience (Rally and Competitive) as well as CKC Hunt tests.

I enjoy the challenge of competition but what I love even more is how the day to day positive reinforcement training strengthens the bond with my dog and makes him a great companion in everyday life. I look forward to sharing my experience with you so you can achieve the same with your dog.