Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) is a registered charity that provides professionally trained assistance dogs to persons with physical disabilities or hearing loss who reside in the western provinces of Canada.  We also place service dogs with veterans with PTSD who live in the Greater Vancouver area, Kelowna and Calgary and accredited facility dogs with professionals who work with vulnerable populations across Canada.

In our work, we aim to uphold the standards of Assistance Dogs International (ADI): to share its common goals and interests which are best achieved by uniformly complying with local, provincial and federal laws as well as ethical, moral and legal policies, practices and procedures.



The Instructor’s Assistant (IA) is an entry level position in the Training Department (at the PADS Burnaby Campus), assisting an experienced, progressive team committed to working together to train assistance skills and make placements with clients. The IA assists with the advanced training of adult dogs, the training and support of volunteers, and the maintenance of facilities on campus, under the direction of the Supervisor. This position provides support to the Training Department as the employee works through the IA tasks and curriculum to attain skills and knowledge over 6 to 12 months. After that time, the employee may be eligible to enter the Apprentice Level 1 position.  The IA curriculum includes training in PADS’ mission, organizational structures, canine handling and training.

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 adult dogs. The development of skills as a dog trainer requires hours spent working dogs.

This position may involve travel, including out-of-province travel.

Main Responsibilities

The Instructor’s Assistant handles these responsibilities for the Society:

Canine Training

  • Conduct obedience training and proofing of dogs in advanced training
  • Teach introduction to advanced skills to dogs as assigned
  • Assist training staff with fieldtrips and training tasks
  • Participate in the maintenance of up-to-date, accurate and complete records regarding training and medical care of PADS dogs
  • Learn and comply with PADS’ procedures to meet ADI minimum standards and ethics for training, placement and use of assistance dogs


  • Screen Advanced Sitter applicants
  • Arrange Advanced Sitter volunteers for advanced dogs
  • Provide initial training to Advanced Sitters
  • Relay training instructions to Advanced Sitters, and assist in problem-solving training and behaviour struggles that arise when out of kennels
  • Assist with training and progress updates for puppy-raisers and sponsors of dogs in Advanced Training.

Supporting Transition from Puppy-Raising to Advanced Training

  • Review dog medical files prior to turn in to ensure everything is in order
  • Assist with adult dog assessments
  • Coordinate turn in of dogs to advanced training along with the Kennel Coordinator and Puppy-Raising Program staff.

Supporting Transition from Advanced Training to Client

  • Review dog medical files prior to placement to ensure everything is in order
  • Prepare paperwork for client/dog placement
  • Assist in Team Training of clients and dogs

Canine Grooming and Care

  • Participate in grooming and medical care of advanced dogs as assigned
  • Transportation of dogs to and from: fieldtrips, vet visits and volunteer homes

Kennel and Outdoor Yards Maintenance

  • Assist the Kennel Coordinator with kennel cleaning and maintenance as assigned

Clerical and Administrative Duties

  • Respond to general enquiries about PADS and its training of assistance dogs
  • Assist with outreach events, when assigned (1-2 times a year)


The Instructor’s Assistant (IA) shares workspace and equipment with other employees and volunteers at PADS’ facilities. There is daily interaction and physical contact with dogs in training for certification as mobility service dogs, hearing dogs, accredited facility dogs and PTSD service dogs. The position involves daily physical work outside in all weather conditions (including rain, snow, sun).


  • High school graduation is required.
  • Successful applicant must be organized, professional, calm under pressure, a good communicator (verbal and email), a lifelong learner, and resilient in the face of stress and change.
  • Demonstrated calm under pressure and ability to support volunteers and clients during a stressful time
  • Dog training or grooming experience is an asset
  • Satisfactory results from the applicable Provincial Ministry’s Criminal Record Check: both at the time of an interview for this position and throughout the duration of employment at PADS
  • Demonstrated capability and interest in completing physical tasks indoors and outdoors
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. of food products and carry for up to 200 feet and 80 lbs over 10 feet.
  • Efficient use of a computer, the Internet, MS Word, Excel, and Outlook. Ability to learn new software and databases
  • Valid BC or AB Driver’s License, depending on province of work, at a minimum level of Class 5
  • Use of own vehicle may be required on occasion
  • Travel for training field trips and to veterinarian clinics as assigned
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends and weekday evenings, if assigned with notice.


This position pays $19.35/Hr with extended benefits after the probationary period.