About Us

Maddisen Phelan

Owner/Founder, head trainer and groomer

Maddisen's Credentials at a Glance

  • KPA-CTP: Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner

  • CTDI: Certified Trick Dog Instructor

  • Canadian Kennel Club member

  • Certificate in Animal Care, Sheridan College

  • Trish Loehr & Michael Shikashio Aggression in Dogs and Defensive Handling workshop

  • Ontario Dog Groomers Association member

  • President's Choice SuperDogs cast member

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Training Philosophy


"We'll train you, and your best friend too!"

Wizard of Paws uses only the most up-to-date science-based, motivational methods to help individuals and families raise and train well-rounded pets. We teach dogs to love doing what our clients want them to do, so that they can feel good about their training results and how they were achieved. As a teacher, Maddisen is known for her patience and ability to make training easy and fun. Maddisen is determined when problem-solving and strives to get to the root of each problem.

How Wizard of Paws Got It's Name

Maddisen's interest in training began when she taught herself how to train her family's Miniature Schnauzer, Chester. She often found herself making jumps and obstacles out of objects found in the garage to teach agility in her backyard. A few years later, Maddisen learned of a dog training facility just down the road from her home. Her parents told her it was too late to start training an older dog, that he was over-weight and he wouldn't be able to do it, and to add to it, Chester was reactive towards other dogs, but Maddisen was determined, and she had her parents sign her up for obedience and agility lessons, which led to competing. Wizard of Paws' mascot is Chester, after he gave Maddisen the inspiration and confidence to pursue her dream of working with dogs.

Years later, she acquired a Border Collie, Rev, and began teaching him various tricks and behaviours through watching youtube videos, knowing over 300 today (one of which earned them a viral video). She began titling him in trick training and not long after that, he earned the title of "Trick Dog Champion" at just 4 months old. Since then, Rev has earned many Rally-Obedience titles and awards, became one of the top 3 finalists in World's Most Amazing Dog, has his own facebook page of nearly 40k followers, and has been in numerous commercials and media appearances.

What Maddisen Does Now
 
Maddisen began assisting puppy training classes at Campaign Dog Academy and has worked with various shelter animals, from grooming the animals, to creating enrichment, and implementing behaviour modification plans using positive reinforcement. Maddisen has successfully completed the Karen Pryor Academy, one of the most widely recognized and arduous programs for dog trainers. Maddisen's central focus is helping dogs and their people enjoy each other to the fullest. She makes training simple, and teaches her clients how to train their dogs by incorporating simple training skills which aid in forming a stress-free environment for the family. She excels at finding fun, creative, and flexible ways to help her clients reach their training goals. Maddisen makes herself readily available to clients throughout the training process via email or phone. Maddisen is committed to quality over quantity when it comes to her work.
 
She enjoys learning about new behaviour and is continually seeking out new opportunities while staying up-to-date on the latest scientific understanding of canine behavior and training techniques by watching online seminars, reading books, and participating in continuing education seminars and workshops by leaders in the field.

She a member of the President's Choice SuperDogs and spends her weekends traveling  Ontario performing at various venues with her three dogs, Rev, Fidget and Havoc, while educating the public about positive reinforcement training. She is most well known for her trick training and musical freestyle dance performances. Maddisen has made many media appearances and been on the set of many commercials, films and print ads working as a wrangler and trainer for various animal species. In addition to her three dogs, Maddisen shares her home with two cats, Momo and Turbo.
 

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Ready to work with us?

Meet Our Staff

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Meet Emma,
 

Emma is passionate about canine learning and behaviour. She is one of our private training instructors. She has an MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University Guelph, and is a student at Jean Donaldson’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers. As an instructor of agility and obedience classes, Emma has helped dogs of all breeds learn to work as a team with their people. While learning the practical side of dog training by apprenticing under experienced mentors, Emma also earned a BSc in psychology from the University of Toronto, where she focused on studying canine cognition. She has a smooth collie named Tristan who goes with her almost everywhere, and together they have competed in rally obedience and agility. Emma is always eager to share her knowledge of science-based training with you.

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Meet Marlo,
Working professionally with animals since 1998, Marlo Hiltz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). She attends courses, seminars and hands-on workshops given by industry experts to continue her education. Her love for animals has led her to volunteer with rescue organizations, and open her home to foster dogs. Marlo resides in Terra Cotta with her husband Murray and their ever evolving furry family. We are very lucky to have Marlo as part of our training team!

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Meet Michele,
Following 20+ year career in the corporate world, Michele decided to pursue her life long passion of working with animals. Michele’s research led her to the renowned Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behaviour where she earned her certification as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). The Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional program has allowed Michele to demonstrate a high level of technical knowledge and hands-on skill both training dogs and coaching people. Michele is passionate about teaching people how to deepen their relationship and communication with their dogs by using positive training methods. She loves watching pet parents and dogs have their “ah-ha” moment when their faces light up as they hit success points and learn how fun training can be. Marley is Michele’s 11 year old Portuguese Water Dog who was her training partner at KPA. Marley is a wonderful example of what your dog can achieve and learn at any age with positive reinforcement training.

"Didn't take more than a couple hours"

Brought our 8 month old Bernese puppy here for a groom and he came out looking wonderful :)
It was not hard to get an appointment and they were right on time! Didn’t take more then a couple hours.
They did a great job, considering he can be a handful at times and hates baths lol! Thank you Wizard of Paws! Will be back again.

-- Shannon M.