The Assistant Puppy Trainer position is a brand new entry-level position in the Puppy-Raising Program (PRP) with planned advancement through to Puppy Raising Instructor (minimum 4 year process).


The Assistant Puppy Trainer is part of an experienced, progressive team committed to helping and supporting one another and to achieving positive outcomes for our PADS dogs and volunteers.


  • BC Drivers License
  • Use of own vehicle
  • Access to a personal computer
  • Demonstrated calm under pressure and ability to support volunteers during a stressful time
  • Dog training experience an asset
  • Access to dogs for regular training (PADS will provide puppy-in-training if appropriate)
  • Successful applicant must be organized, professional, calm under pressure, a good communicator, a lifelong learner, and resilient in the face of stress and change.



Under regular working conditions, the employee will be working within shared workspaces on the PADS campus, as well as at off-site training venues and in public locations. During COVID, much of the work will be done remotely.


This is a full-time position and includes some weekend, evening and overnight work when on-call or for PADS events.



The Assistant Puppy Trainer is an integral part of the PADS Puppy-Raising Program, providing a point of support and information for puppy-raisers who are experiencing training or medical challenges with their PADS puppies. They are a source of comfort and calm in what can sometimes be stressful situations.


The main responsibilities of the position are:


Medical Support

The position is responsible for triaging medical concerns, offering at-home treatment instructions or referral for non-urgent veterinary care. The position is supported by PADS Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT) and the Breeding and Puppy-Raising Manager for emergency, ambiguous or complex cases.

Cases requiring on-going veterinary care or hospitalization will be overseen by an RVT. An important aspect of the position is providing support to volunteers during stressful situations.

Tasks include:

  • Coordinate vet care of puppies in the program, including:
    • monitoring emergency cell phone (on rotation)
    • monitoring medical email address
    • receiving vet records and reports
    • entering and maintaining records in the International Working Dog Registry database
    • ensuring digital copies of records saved in dog’s file
    • scheduling spays and neuters
    • coordinating appointments for in-house medical: vaccines, eye clinics, etc
    • track vaccine due dates & completion
    • Panacur dewormings
    • supervision of volunteers responsible for assisting with some of these tasks
  • Advising volunteers regarding veterinary concerns per PADS’ protocol (at-home treatment, non-urgent veterinary care, emergency veterinary care)
  • Assisting with breedings, including:
    • occasionally performing a live breeding or artificial insemination (training provided)
    • pick up/delivery of packages to FedEx
    • coordination with Breeding Program volunteers: breeding availability, sitters, on-boarding
  • Microchip registrations – new litters, acquired puppies, released dogs



This position provides support to the PRP as the employee proceeds through the Assistant Puppy Trainer curriculum to attain the skills and knowledge to move on to the Puppy-Raising Apprentice Level 1 position. Completion of the requirements for advancement is estimated to take between 6-12 months. The program includes fundamental training in PADS’ mission, how the organization’s structure supports the mission, support of volunteers in the PRP, and canine handling, training and behaviour analysis.


This progression is contingent upon the employee regularly working with dogs and showing the progression of their skills. This can be with their own dog(s), or through raising a PADS puppy or puppy-sitting. The development of skills as a dog trainer requires hours spent working dogs.


Tasks include:

  • Monitoring email
  • Assisting with volunteer on-boarding
  • Attending puppy classes and appropriate one-on-one training sessions as an observer; assisting with set up, tear down and demonstrations or acting as a distraction as needed
  • Developing skills as a dog trainer
  • Assisting with assessments

As the employee progresses through the apprenticeship, supporting a cohort of puppy-raisers, teaching puppy classes, conducting one-on-ones and providing training plans and follow up for behaviour struggles will be added to the employee’s duties.


Job Description: updated January 4th 2021

Applications are now closed