Helen Prinold, Lead Trainer, B. Comm., M.Sc. - Animal Behaviour and Welfare, University of Guelph

Member:   International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE), Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB)-  Animal Behavior Division

A champion carriage driver and professional dog trainer who has spent years learning about animal behaviour, our lead trainer Helen is committed to creating great relationships between dogs and their people. She is a certified Dog Behaviour Specialist, Pet First Aid Training Instructor, and licensed presenter of the internationally recognized dog bite prevention program Doggone Safe - "Be a Tree" for school-aged children. She is also well-respected for giving back to her community. In 2010 she received the Ontario Equestrian Federation's "People Make A Difference" award for her dedication to improving horse sports and over ten years of organizing competitions, seminars, events and sitting on association executives. When not helping clients develop well-mannered family dogs, Helen enjoys training her own animals and spending time taking professional development courses in learning from other dog training experts about dog training, attending seminars that strengthen her training skills and keeping current on the latest scientific literature. She proudly supports the CAPPDT Code of Ethics - and has made a professional commitment to do her work based only on humane training methods. Read more about her below, including a list of the most recent continuing education she has attended. Dog Friendship's assistant trainers are specially chosen to support our program and have received training that supports them in delivering excellent service.


Erika received her B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology in 2008 at the University of Guelph.  She first learned about training as a kid training dogs in her backyard and then later as a teenager training horses for hunter and jumper competition.  Her interest in dog training was renewed when she adopted her first dog, Kalli, who turned out to be more of a challenge than she had bargained for. 

From there, she has expanded her professional work with dogs and has earned certifications in dog training from Animal Behaviour College and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.  She is currently working as a RVT in a small animal veterinary hospital.

Erika competes with her two dogs Falcor (German Shepherd) and Stella (Lab X Newfie) in CKC and CARO events with great success. In her spare time she takes the fur kids for long hikes, camping trips and rides and trains horses. 

Helen - in her own words:

I’ve always had a strong interest in working with animals - from helping puppies and foals learn how to be great people partners, to showing dogs and training horses and Welsh ponies. After attending University of Guelph, traveling throughout North America competing in carriage driving (combined and pleasure) taught me even more about animal behaviour.  In 2007 my team and I won the Ontario Combined Driving Association Grand Championship and I went on to represent Canada in International competition. In 2010 I received the "People Make A Difference" Award from the Ontario Equestrian Federation.  

My own dogs have taught me a lot as well -  I've recently rehabilitated a shelter-adopted miniature American Eskimo.  Shelby is now a happy five-year-old dog who enjoys the new dog sport of Treibball and who - like her owner - loves meeting people and having fun while learning new things. 

And I'm committed to building a community of certified dog training professionals in Ontario.  I have completed many of the requirements to obtain a North-American-wide professional designation as a CPDT-KSA or Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed.  This involved over 75 hours of training with a trainer who is a CPDT-KSA and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.  In this role, I assisted in teaching puppy classes, taught classes for dogs recovering from behaviour issues and assisted with dog behaviour cases (aggression and more.) I also taught at seminars including 'Instant Recall."

I'm also deeply committed to continued education and learning, to remain up-to-date on the latest advances in the fields of dog training and behaviour.

Here's a sample of the type of continuing education seminars I have attended:

Managing Separation Anxiety  (American Animal Hospital Association) - August, 2011

Preventing Problems in Puppyhood  - November 11 - 13, 2011

First Aid & Critical Care (Ontario Veterinary College) March 31, 2012

Bad Behavior and The Veterinary Practitioner (Dr. Ian Dunbar) (8 hour intensive) June 13,2012  

Psychology of Dogs & Humans - Common History and Bond (Dr. Stan Coren) - June 14, 2012

A Recipe for Behavior Modification Success: Behavior change for dangerous problems using antecedent control - (Angelica Steinker) - September 25, 2012

New Advances in the Management of Otitis Externa (external ear canal infections) - Veterinary Dermatology - Virbac Animal Health - April 3, 2013 (AAVSB RACE -1.0 hours)

Conference Attendee - SPARCS (Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science) International Conference on Dog Behaviour, June 28-30, 2013

University of Guelph - Humanely Working with Animals - July 2013

Urinary Incontinence - When Good Dogs Leak - August 9, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Your Teaching Experience - University of Guelph - August 29, 2013

Presenter - 7th Annual Animal Welfare Symposium - Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare - May 14, 2014

Conference Attendee - 12th Annual Meeting - International Society for Applied Ethology (Animal Behaviour Science) May, 2014

Conference Attendee - SPARCS (Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science) International Conference on Dog Behaviour, June 20 - 22, 2014

Parasitology - Zoetis, July 20, 2014 (aid in better understanding the common parasite symptoms found in dogs/puppies and cats)

University of Edinburgh, UK - Certificate in Animal Behaviour and Welfare:  July - August, 2014

Maddie's Fund & Jean Donaldson - Behavior Problems and Long-Term Housing of Shelter Dogs - September 12, 2014

Compassion Communication - Angelika Steiner - Pet Professionals Guild - October 7, 2014

Social Learning in Dogs - Jan Casey - Pet Professionals Guild - October 14, 2014

Virtual Conference Attendee - SPARCS (Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science) International Conference on Dog Behaviour, June 19 - 21, 2015

Virtual Conference Attendee - International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants - April 9 & 10, 2016 - sessions on Resource Guarding (Sheila D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB), Euthanasia (Miranda Workman,MS, CABC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA), Working with Clients, Taking a Case History (Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB), Safety and Defensive Handling (Michael Shikashio, CDBC), Longevity/Health (David Waters, DVM).

Cooperative Dog Training Principles - Dr. Jessica Lockhardt, Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Dr. Daniel Hestepp - July 20, 2016