About Us

The Good as Gold Touch

Here’s what sets us apart:

Expert, credentialed dog training

In an unregulated industry, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. With us, you have the peace of mind of working with Calgary’s most highly credentialed trainers.

Extensive experience & education

With over 20 years of experience, the best education available to dog trainers, and a commitment to ongoing professional development, you’re in the best possible hands.

Science-based, humane dog training

To achieve strong, lasting results for your dog without compromising your peace of mind or your dog’s well being, we use only scientifically sound, humane training methods.

A true human touch

For us, it’s not only about the dog. We believe the core of good dog training is taking care of the human client who lives with and loves the dog.

Puppy & dog training services that fit your life

Our clients are busy Calgary dog lovers, so we’ve designed a range of programs to help you meet your dog training goals, from classes to simply handing over the leash to our trainers.

Meet Our People


Owner, Dog Behaviour & Training Expert

Barbara has been training dogs for over 20 years, ranging from working in a vet clinic to animal shelter work (she was Department Head of Behaviour at the Calgary Humane Society for 16 years) to teaching group training classes and providing private behaviour consults. She is also a sought-after expert speaker in the dog training and shelter industry, and serves as an expert witness in dog bite and aggression legal cases.

Barbara’s behaviour work runs the gamut, but she focuses her energy in two key areas: Serious behaviour issues, including aggression and leash reactivity, and puppy training and raising. While the two may seem worlds apart, Barbara sees them as critically related. Her many years of shelter work made clear that early puppy training is the key to avoiding serious behaviour problems in adult dogs, and the tragedies that often result for dogs and humans alike.

Just as important as her training acumen is Barbara’s dedication to and skill working with human clients. Barbara believes the key to successful dog training is proper support of the humans who love the dogs. And so Barbara has dedicated herself to developing teaching, coaching, and support skills to set our human clients up for maximum success.

Barbara’s qualifications include:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), via the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Certified Behaviour Consultant Canine Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA)
  • Associated Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant (ACDBC)
  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
  • Fear Free Certified Practitioner
  • Tellington TTouch Practitioner, Level 2
  • TAGteach Level 1
  • Brene Brown Brave Leader Certified
  • John Maxwell Certified Speaker Coach
  • Member, Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
  • Member, Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)

Barbara’s speaking engagements include:

  • Petlynx Seminars, 2008
  • Saskatchewan SPCA Animal Welfare Conference, 2010
  • OPSCA Conference, 2014
  • CAAPDT Conference, 2015
  • Urban Animal Summit, 2015
  • Humane Canada (formerly CFHS) 2017 & 2018

Barbara can’t get enough of training, so her free time is largely spent training and competing with her own dogs. She has CKC Obedience Trial Championship titles on 5 dogs, earning over 30 High in Trials, and even a perfect 200 score. She and her dogs have also earned titles in field, rally, and agility. Barbara currently enjoys living with three Goldens, a Cornish Rex cat, and a Papillion, who rules the roost.

Ellen Kovar, KPA CTP, RAHT

Dog Trainer, Class Instructor

Ellen shares her love of and success in competition obedience with students in our competition obedience classes. She has previously taught agility at a competitive level as well. Her own competition accomplishments include multiple CKC Obedience Trial Championship titles, earning multiple High in Trials, including one at the Canadian Cocker Spaniel National Specialty. Ellen thrives on helping our students accomplish their own goals, be they high-level competition or just having a good time out with their dogs. Ellen also works as a Registered Veterinary Technologist.

Ellen’s qualifications include:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
  • Registered Veterinary Technologies (RVT)
  • Member, Alberta Veterinary Technologist Association
  • Member, Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)

In her spare time Ellen runs a hobby kennel breeding CKC Registered Cocker Spaniels. She also continues to compete with her dogs, both for the joy of it and to keep her skills sharp for our students. Ellen’s personal menagerie includes multiple Cocker Spaniels (surprise!), a Chihuahua (actual surprise!), and a Persian cat.

Jennifer Richards, BSc, DVM, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

Dog Trainer, Veterinarian, Owner of Sundance Animal Hospital

Our partnership with Dr. Jennifer Richards is a natural fit. Dr. Jenny shares our commitment to behavioural health via behaviour modification and early puppy training, and lends her unique perspective as a veterinary doctor to both serious behaviour cases and puppy raising and training.

Dr. Jenny works hand-in-hand with training expert Barbara Walmer on severe aggression and anxiety cases for which medical intervention has been shown to aid the speed and effectiveness of training. She also assists in many of our puppy training classes, and hosts our Platinum Puppy Plus day school program at her Sundance facility. Not only does that mean lots of experienced hands involved in your puppy’s training, it also means puppies who grow up loving to visit the vet!

Dr. Jenny is one of just a handful of veterinarians in Alberta who is also a certified dog trainer.

Dr. Jenny’s qualifications include:

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), with distinction from Western College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), via the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
  • Fear Free Certified Practitioner
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology and also in Primatology from University of Calgary, Alberta
  • Member, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)
  • Member, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour (AVSAB)
  • Member, Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
  • Member, Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)

In her limited time outside of work and academic studies, Dr. Jenny enjoys training and competing with her own dogs in competitive obedience and field work. She and her four dogs (two Labs and two Goldens) have teamed up for multiple obedience, rally, and field titles. She and the dogs also share their home with a very bold cat.


Dog Trainer, Class Instructor

Lindsay has been working as a dog trainer since 2014 and quickly discovered her enthusiasm for helping people learn about their dogs and improving the human-animal bond. Lindsay has a passion for animal shelter work and spent three years working in a local rescue’s behaviour department. While there, she worked with thousands of dogs of different breeds, sizes and temperaments.  Her experience includes developing training programs, overseeing behaviour departments, teaching classes and conducting private training consultations. Lindsay has dabbled in canine agility, the sport of barn-hunt and Nosework classes. She has personal experience living with and working with a reactive dog so understands the patience and positive guidance that is required to achieve long-lasting behaviour modification. Lindsay lives with her senior rescue dog, Lemon, her husband, daughter and new baby girl!

Lindsay’s qualifications include:

  • Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA), via the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers
  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)
  • Working towards Tellington TTouch Practitioner, Level 1


Social Media Coordinator

Alex Smerchinski is the Social Media Coordinator at Good As Gold Training, where she is responsible for content creation, website design and client communications. Alex graduated from SAIT from the Journalism program and followed a career in social media and communications. After working at the local animal shelter for six years she fell in love with leveraging social media to help pet owners understand their animals better. Alex is passionate about everything social media and digital marketing and uses her skills and knowledge of the digital space to create strategies that engage followers and grow brands online. She knows the importance behaviour training can have on a dog and is eager to share this information with as many people as she can. 

Alex has a cat at home and recently adopted a puppy, so you just might see her at a Good As Gold Training class! 

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Ready for results and relief?

Phone: 587-579-5954| Email: help@goodasgoldtraining.ca

Private Calgary dog training and dog training classes, private Calgary puppy training and puppy training classes, agility and competition obedience classes in Calgary.