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This North and West Vancouver puppy pro is raising the bar in dog training

Ann Jackson's Puppy-Perfect Start is the favourite for dog training in the North Shore
Ann Jackson, owner and leader of Ann Jackson’s Puppy-Perfect Start. photo Paul McGrath

“We’ve been named top trainer in the North Shore News Readers Choice Awards for the 4th time, and we are really happy about that,” says Ann Jackson, owner and leader of the Ann Jackson's Puppy-Perfect Start team.

With a combined experience of over 70 years, her team of instructors is committed to providing individuals and families with the most successful, up-to-date motivational training and behavioural modification.

Jackson started nearly forty years ago when she found that her own dog lacked proper canine training. Her veterinarian encouraged her to conduct behavioural research, and she soon discovered she was “overindulging [her] dog and not acting like a leader, but instead giving the dog everything it wanted.” 

Following this revelation, Jackson was inspired to learn more and went on to study at the University of Guelph in a program focusing on canine behaviour, nutrition, and the psychology of dogs. 

Taking the lead

Jackson and her dedicated team focus on creating a friendly, comfortable atmosphere that sets up the owner and their dog for success, with one-on-one training or group classes, as well as at-home sessions. 

 “We want to help people raise their dog so it is comfortable in our growing community and able to adjust to its environment, including areas with bikes, pedestrians and other dogs,” she explains.

“A dog must be a good family member and know its place. A lot of the recent training says never to say no or correct the dog, and, on occasion, we disagree.” she describes.

“For example, if your dog is putting you, others or itself in danger - a correction might be warranted. We believe in structure. During COVID, people were always home and often didn’t leave their dogs alone. A dog needs to know it can be by itself when you go out without becoming hysterical.” 

But how does one address that? 

“You start carefully leaving it in a separate area, teaching it to be on its own, an hour here and there every day, building up the time.”

A new ‘leash’ on life 

Left to right: Ann Jackson, Caroline Gheseger and Alison Craddock, Keeva the Labrador and Cornell the Newfoundland. Photo via: TwinLens Photography.

For puppies, especially, learning these habits and instilling a steadfast routine is crucial, particularly with socialization.

“The prime time for socializing a puppy is best between 8 and 13 weeks of age , — and then don’t stop!,” says Jackson. “Puppies pick up commands right away, and it is amazing to see.”

For those debating getting a dog, Jackson can help you make the most informed decision by discussing your family dynamics, lifestyle,and financial commitment.

Jackon’s philosophy echoes a simple but effective idea: “Dogs want to work. They want to be of service. Just like all of us.” 

If you are interested in lessons, Ann Jackson Perfect Puppy Start locations include: 

  • Mollie NYE House – 940 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver
  • St Agnes Anglican Church – 530 12th ST East, North Vancouver
  • St Francis Anglican Church – 4773 South Piccadilly Road, West Vancouver

To learn more, visit or call 604-922-3851.