Director of CANINE OPERATIONS | Applications Closed

Posted: June 17, 2022


While puppies come with the territory at PADS, it gets even better. We change lives.

PADS’ Canine Programs starts its work with purpose bred genetics and encompasses all aspects of the canine career from puppyhood through retirement. These purpose bred and trained dogs have the power to transform both lives and communities.

The Director of Canine Operations guides the leadership that make this happen. From the Breeding Program and Puppy-Raising through Advanced Training and Client Care the successful applicant will shape the future growth and success of our program and working teams.



  • Minimum 5 years as a Senior Manager within the assistance dog (or related) industry
  • Demonstrated understanding of breeding, genetics, relationship centered dog training, disability services, and trauma informed practice
  • Strong leadership with proven experience in growing, managing, mentoring, and inspiring teams
  • Demonstrated ability to think and plan strategically and efficiently
  • Excellent organizational, planning and time management skills, including handling multiple, concurrent, and diverse tasks
  • Proven conflict resolution and mediation skills
  • Ability to use discretion, judgment, and tact in handling sensitive/confidential information/situations
  • Excellent written, verbal and listening communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking, and strategic relationship-building skills to influence and develop constructive working relationships with a wide range of persons and organizations
  • High degree of professionalism and integrity
  • Technical literacy as well as familiarity with Office 365, Salesforce and IWDR are considered an asset


The Director of Canine Operations is a newly developed position at PADS and has oversight of all areas of PADS Canine Programs from breeding, training, and client placement to after care through retirement.  It is a full-time (37.5 hr/week) permanent position reporting to the CEO and is based out of Burnaby, BC with flexibility work from home/in office arrangements. The Director of Canine Operations is responsible for ensuring the quality, improvement, consistency, and growth of PADS Assistance (Mobility, PTSD & Hearing) and Accredited Facility dog training programs. 

The Director provides:

  • Strategic input: tactical and production planning and expertise that supports program development and capacity building.
  • Leadership: offering direction, support and counsel to the CEO, Board, and Management Team in all areas of canine programming.

The role will play an active role in developing strategic partnerships and collaborations to support the mission and vision of PADS.

This position requires an experienced team leader with strong interpersonal skills and an openness to explore new and innovative ways to further PADS mission and achieve Strategic Plan objectives.

Duties and Responsibilities

Ensures ongoing commitment to excellence in dog breeding, training, and placement by providing overall coordination, input, and guidance into all canine programs. Accountable to ensure improvement of client experience (which includes but is not limited to improvement of quality and volume of production). Responsible for development of leadership for each program area (Breeding, Puppy Program, Advanced Training, Client Care) across all regions. Working collaboratively with senior leadership (CEO, Director of Fund Development, Communications Manager) to ensure that there is understanding of organizational as well as regional goals that align with the annual and 4-year Strategic Plan objectives:

  • Monitoring and measuring results of programs and activities as they relate to strategic plan outcomes
  • Develop and implement production schedules for annual operational plan including budget forecasting and reporting
  • Lead the day-to-day functions including planning, implementation, and refinement of processes and standardizing operating procedures
  • Develop and/or expand the PADS apprenticeship programs as applicable (including: Advanced Training, Puppy-Program and Breeding).
  • Accountable for the creation, coordination and scheduling of apprenticeship priorities and focus areas, while working collaboratively with department managers to incorporate their areas of oversight and expertise
  • Oversees, develops, and monitors policies and procedures to ensure adherence to ADI standards, competencies and accreditation benchmarks
  • Program planning to ensure delivery of quality product while monitoring and balancing costs and service levels
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships across departments and teams to build organizational cohesiveness

Strategic Leadership

Foster a culture of continuous improvement

  • Participates, in conjunction with other members of the Sr. Management team and CEO, in the preparation and monitoring of the annual plan & budget and strategic plans
  • Develops annual team operational plan & budget aligned with PADS strategic plan and resources
  • Employs a variety of measurement strategies to evaluate results and future investment of resources
  • Partner and collaborate with departments to determine problem issues, align processes, and recommend enhancements.
  • Builds and maintains strategic relationships and partnerships that benefit PADS programs and services

Human Resources

With support from PADS (contracted) Human Resources Firm:

  • Manages staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, sets objectives, establish priorities, conduct annual performance appraisals, and recommend salary adjustments
  • Support managers and supervisors to be fully trained on all aspects of people management and planning including recruiting, retaining, training, mentoring, and motivating staff
  • Ensures ongoing development of staff to meet the goals of PADS
  • Plans for and provides developmental coaching and training for staff
  • Mentors and develops staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis
  • Monitors workload and processes and ensures efficiency
  • Assigns staff to projects and functions, monitors, and guides results
  • Evaluates volume and staffing requirements according to the annual plan
  • Foster a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality


  • Participate in team and staff meetings and provide ideas for improvement.
  • Contribute to projects at the Sr. Management team level
  • Share in handling workload for positive results
  • Work to build collaborative relationships with PADS staff
  • Liaise and collaborate with other departments

Other tasks and projects consistent with the above as assigned.


Directly supervises the Canine Programs Management Team, which currently includes a Breeding Program Manager, Puppy Program Managers (2), Training Program Manager and Client Care Manager. The Canine Programs Team currently has 20+ staff across the four departments.

Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with established PADS policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


Competitive Salary & Benefits Package (commensurate with experience).


We’re an organization driven by passionate people – that change lives every single day. We expect excellence of ourselves and our team, but we have fun too.

Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) breeds, raises and trains fully certified assistance dogs. Our service (mobility & PTSD) and hearing dogs provide life-changing independence to those with disabilities other than blindness. Our accredited facility dogs work with community professionals, such as teachers, RCMP and psychologists to help support wellness in our community.

We’re proud of the fact that we were the first fully accredited member of Assistance Dogs International in Canada.


We serve communities that are greater and stronger because of their diversity. What makes YOU different is worth both celebrating and cultivating.

PADS is committed to equality across race, gender, age, religion, identity, ability, and experience. We invite you to bring your whole self to our team, helping us to change lives, one dog —and person—at a time.



Submit your CV and cover letter below before July 15th, 2022

Accommodation will be provided in all parts of the hiring process. Applicants are asked to make their requirements known in advance.

We thank all applicants for their interest and will contact only those applicants selected for further considerations. Please note that submissions will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, and therefore early submission is encouraged. The position is available immediately. 

Applications are now closed. Thank you for your interest.