ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Puppy Program Trainer (Okanagan)

The Organization

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 physical disabilities other than blindness. Our accredited facility dogs work with community professionals, such as teachers, RCMP and psychologists to help support healthy communities. PADS was the first school in Canada to be fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International.

We have a team of 25 dynamic staff members and 500+ active volunteers working across 4 regions (Calgary, Okanagan, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island) and two provinces (BC & Alberta). We use creativity, communication, technology and travel to connect our team to drive success within our growing organization.

The Organization

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 physical disabilities other than blindness. Our accredited facility dogs work with community professionals, such as teachers, RCMP and psychologists to help support healthy communities. PADS was the first school in Canada to be fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International.

We have a team of 25 dynamic staff members and 500+ active volunteers working across 4 regions (Calgary, Okanagan, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island) and two provinces (BC & Alberta). We use creativity, communication, technology and travel to connect our team to drive success within our growing organization.

The Region

The Okanagan Puppy-Raising region is PADS’ newest puppy-raising program, and has an active, dynamic group of volunteers, and regional program coordinator. There is an active engaged community of supporters within the region as well, including donors and several PADS working teams.

The Opportunity

You’ll have the opportunity to partner in supporting the volunteers and adorable PADS Puppies-in-Training in the Okanagan puppy-raising region, centered in Lake Country. The PADS Puppy-Raising program is centered on the belief that scientifically supported operant, and classical conditioning training methods—in a reward-based system—builds successful, confident working dogs. You’ll be part of a multi-region puppy-program team of like-minded individuals that are passionate about solving challenges and helping volunteers and dogs reach their full potential.

You will teach puppy classes and support volunteers using the lesson plans and activities provided. Not to worry, these will be taught to you through in person training as well as our online “Hydrant” portal.

Other responsibilities include:
· Meeting with raisers one-on-one to help them and their puppies to be successful;
· Performing PADS assessments and submitting reports on dogs in your care;
· Updating the puppy program manager and other team members on what is happening in the region and with each pup through written reports and bi-weekly conference calls;
· Educating proactively with volunteers, the public, supporters, etc to educate on PADS program, Assistance Dogs and the legal rights of people with disabilities who are partnered with them;
· Assist with PADS outreach events, as required

You’ll have regular interaction and physical contact with puppies and dogs in training to change lives as certified PADS service, hearing, PTSD and accredited facility dogs. On occasion, you’ll get to meet and interact with PADS clients and their dogs. Some of the job is physical and requires working outdoors in a variety of weather.

You will report to and learn from PADS’ Puppy Program Manager and work alongside the Okanagan Program Coordinator and the rest of the PADS team. We value learning and team building, so you will sometimes travel to other PADS locations for training or development.

About You

You have a can-do attitude, love to support people and teach in front of a group and on a one-to-one basis. You have graduated high-school and can demonstrate through a combination of education and experience that you bring to the role a solid understanding and ability in:

  • canine learning theory including puppy behavior and development (with a demonstrated interest in continual learning and education)
  • marker and clicker training
  • puppy health, nutrition, anatomy and physiology
  • the human/canine relationship
  • problem-solving, reasoning, and organizational skills
  • adult education, with top notch skills in motivating and encouraging adult volunteers of all skill levels how to train (always adorable, but sometimes frustrating, smart, silly, bitey, rambunctious) PADS puppies
  • working with individuals with disabilities, including familiarity with terminology, medical requirements, psychological and social factors that impact our clients

You are a team player that sees the best in people, and loves helping them overcome obstacles to reach their potential, to do this you:

  • Use clear and receptive verbal and written communication style while conversing with individuals, in groups and the public at large
  • Effective time management
  • Work well even in busy, noisy or chaotic environments.
  • Proactive communication and conflict resolution skills.
  • Can handle earned trust, appropriate confidentiality and sound judgment

The other details

  • Because you will sometimes work unsupervised with our clients, volunteers and puppies, you’ll need to provide a criminal records check prior to and periodically throughout your employment.
  • You’re comfortable hefting 50lb bags of puppy food for up to 200 feet or one of our full-grown dogs (80lbs) up to 10 feet (hopefully only in an emergency – we recommend the 15lb puppies for cuddles!)
  • You are comfortable with modern technology – including the use of PC’s, the internet, Microsoft products (excel, word, etc) – you’ll be comfortable learning new software, because we use a few to keep us organized and effective.
  • You hold an unrestricted and valid Class 5 (minimum) BC Driver’s License
  • You will have a reliable personal vehicle that you can use within the Okanagan region (don’t worry we’ll reimburse you for mileage at a rate of .55/km) to meet volunteers, get to class and attend field trips and events.
  • You can work a flexible schedule. Our current classes are held Wednesday from 9am-Noon with the possibility of adding evening classes in the future.
  • Daytime work hours include conference calls with other puppy program staff, lesson plan prep and one-on-one training (on an as needed basis).
  • This role is permanent part-time (6-10hrs a week to start with expectation of growth), and compensation starts at $16-$19/hr based on your experience and education.

Does this sound like you?

Apply today by uploading a resume and cover letter. You can include anything you like that will help us get to know you better (links to videos, certifications, things your mother brags about, etc).

Apply Now

  • Please upload your resume and cover letter in .docx, .pdf or .pages format.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, pdf, pages, png, jpg.