Testimonials

Darcie is a God-send! I was having tremendous trouble with my rebellious 7 month old puppy, Malia. Darcie made me aware of so much more than just getting my dog to obey me. She taught me how to understand and communicate with Malia. Malia and I became teammates and now we understand each other in a way I could never have dreamed of before. Darcie is a guru of dog’s body language and how to use your own body language to communicate. Thank you Darcie for all of your help that is continuing on today.
Sarah and Malia, 7 month old Doberman X

 

A huge thank you for changing Buddy from a totally non-responsive and unruly 2 year old, Jack Russell Terrier, into an unbelievably well behaved and responsive companion. How you achieved it in just five sessions is truly amazing. It has been well worth travelling from East Sooke to Sidney every time to achieve this result. I cannot recommend you highly enough to anyone who has what they believe is an untrainable dog. Your expertise, professionalism and dedication shines through and shows how much you understand dogs and their owners. My previous dog you trained (an English Springer Spaniel) was relatively easy. Buddy, on the other hand, was a challenge that had me beat, until I brought him to you! I guess what I am trying to say is without your help, I would still be getting dragged along on the end of a rope and not daring to let him off leash. Once again, a huge thank you, Darcie.
Neal & Buddy, 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier

 

India, Mike and I can’t thank you enough Darcie. I left the dog park in tears a month ago because I did not know how to handle India’s excessive resource guarding. Totally out of control, she had me, other dogs and people all chasing her to get their toys back. She thought it was great, but it was making other people mad and me upset. Now 6 lessons later, today we went to the dog park ourselves. India’s behaviour was 100%. We were both ecstatic, I could tell she was pleased with herself too. We have the knowledge and confidence to go to the park and be able to play and get her needs met and listen to commands all while other dogs, people and toys are around. Every dog owner will benefit from your excellent training skills. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Donna and Mike Lafleur & India, 1 year old Bulldog

 

As our two year old Boston Terrier, Charlie reached maturity he suddenly became extremely aggressive and fearful of certain people (mostly men) and certain dogs. He became very protective of us, his owners. To add to the mix he is one of the most prey driven dogs we have ever met. Although he had not bitten anyone, as responsible dog owners we did not want his behaviour to progress further than it already had. We had successfully put both of our Boston terriers through puppy classes with Darcie (CommuniCanine) and I had also heard MANY amazing stories of how she has helped people I know with their dogs, especially aggression issues. While I would say we are knowledgeable and responsible dog owners, we wanted to have the correct tools to approach Charlie’s behavioural issues. We didn’t want just anybody helping us and so we looked to Darcie for help.

Fast forward roughly five months later and through our own hard work but mostly the astounding expertise of Darcie we now have a dog that I can take on walks in downtown Sidney without the fear he will try to bite someone or something. Darcie is so experienced, patient, kind and caring towards her clients, both human and dog! It is through those positive attributes, and many more (too many to list) that we not only feel like better dog owners, but Charlie is a better member of society. He, like any dog will always be a work in progress but with Darcie’s help he was brought forward to become such a good boy and we now have the tools necessary to upkeep his good behaviour training! I would 100% recommend Darcie of CommuniCanine to anyone needing any kind of canine training. Whether it is your new puppy learning his first commands, a tune up on basic training, or a dog you consider to be unmanageable. Thank you so much to Darcie of CommuniCanine!
Sarah Ball, Mitch Wiebenga and Charlie the Boston Terrier

 

When Zoe and I first came to Darcie, we had been to 3 other trainers and I was almost ready to give up. Zoe and I had very little bond and my patience was maxed out. She’s a Beagle/Lab cross…with severe anxiety, separation issues, guarding food, aggression to other dogs, counter surfer with the ability to jump a 6ft high fence and enjoyed bouncing off people.

Darcie gave us hope, reminded us every visit we were working in the right direction, responded to my panic texts and emails with clear directions on our next step or new method to try. She never gave up on us, and today we are forever grateful. A bond has been created between Zoe and I like I have with my other dogs. A new dog sits before me (and by sits I mean sits!), a dog who wants to learn, a dog that thrives on a challenge.

We know our training is lifelong, new goals will be set everyday. It wont always be easy, but when even the smallest task is completed successfully it’s a good day. Darcie will always be my go to trainer. We will follow through with her group classes and know when a freshen up is needed, her support is there.

Thank you Darcie!!!
Stephanie & Zoey, 1 year old Beagle/Lab Mix

 

We have a 4 year old Husky and he is not our first, so we have had many experiences with dog training, puppy training and behavioural training with or beloved Huskies over the years. Chris and I couldn’t agree more that Darcie was the one who made the difference in having a happy and mutually respectful relationship with our guy. She is loving with your dog BUT she gives you insight and skills on how to have a long, happy future with your family member. She is a wonderful human being for all that she does on her OWN time to make the world a better place for all dogs and I couldn’t be happier than to recommend her. She is a busy lady, so check out her website as she has group classes, although private family lessons with our 3 children made the difference for us, so I would also recommend those. And she has a package that I found was key in having some consistent training. Enjoy the fun and the education on dog communication.
Tara, Chris & Slush, 4 year old Siberian Husky

 

Darcie is a fabulous dog trainer and I highly recommend her! I have just completed the Puppy Superstart Class which was great for socialization and learning basic commands but also, understanding your dog’s body language and how to communicate with him/her. I’m a first time dog owner and already feel a lot more confident. I strongly believe training will give you and your canine a more fulfilling relationship throughout all the years of your adventure together. I’m planning a lot more training in the near future and I’m looking forward to it.
Sarah Cousineau & Swell, 4 month old Pitbull

 

My wife and I are immensely grateful for the time we spent learning from Darcie at CommuniCanine, and were blown away at how well she was able to quickly understand and help Fern, our recently rescued Saluki.

Even after spending the first year of her life as a stray on the rough streets of Doha, and having been recently attacked, Darcie was able to give us direction and tactics that immediately worked, and have already begun to help us calm and better communicate with our new family member.

Our time with CommuniCanine far exceeded expectations, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Darcie to anyone.
Austen & Crystal Kenzie and Fern, 1 year old rescued Saluki

 

Darcie! I’ve tried a couple of different trainers in Victoria and I’ll always come back to you. Good recall. 🙂
Mila and Rupert, 4 year old Chihuahua X

 

I contacted Darcie because I have a high strung dog with anxiety that is exacerbated when his people are not around. He is a 4 year old, well mannered dog that we adopted over a year ago. I wasn’t looking for sit, stay, heel type training. Rather, I wanted some feedback as I found I was struggling with the anxiety which I knew myself and my family were unwittingly contributing to.

Darcie came in and spent some quality time with us and our dog and made some suggestions that dramatically changed the family/dog interaction right there in the room during that one session. My dog, that paces non-stop all day with energy and stress, for the first time in over a year actually sat, lay down and even fell asleep in the room, something he could never do while there were things going on around him before unless he was completely exhausted. I cried when I saw it happen. Darcie tuned into our dogs needs, as well as those of mine and the family as a whole. She is committed to helping us follow up on the changes and is checking in on our progress since we met. For us, it was the perfect way to “hear” our dogs needs and help us all listen to him in order to make his life the best it can be.
Ann Watley and Marshall, 4 year old Weimeraner

 

I have been to a number of dog trainers over the years and I have to say that Darcie is excellent. Her greatest asset, among many, is her ability to listen carefully to you, your dog and your particular problem. So many trainers are just waiting to tell you their views without being prepared to tailor their approach to the individual person, dog, time and place. Keep it up Darcie!
Sue Nightingale and Kate, 8 year old Labradoodle

 

Thank you so much Darcie!!!!! You have such a gift with people (after all, you are really training the human side of the equation) and, also with the dogs. I learned so much about what Enzo considers rewarding. We are still a work in progress. You have inspired me to figure out my most “natural” approach by educating me on my dog. I cannot wait to see you in the spring for the Trails course. In the meantime, maybe we’ll see you as we sit calmly and quietly for a lovely cup of coffee in Sidney.
Ali & Enzo, 3 year old Labrador Retriever

 

I wanted to thank you so much for all your help over the first year of Trigger’s life! You truly are an amazing trainer and were very encouraging when I felt like I was never going to be able to change to help Trigger grow up to be a well behaved dog. Now he is 2 and we could not love him any more!  We leave him out of the crate at night, let him in the front yard (he doesn’t run away), let him off leash at parks and he comes when called! Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Marissa and Trigger, 2 year old Golden Retriever

 

I can’t rave enough about how the Trail and Recall classes have helped with Buddy. He’s still not the best listener when we first get to the park but he’s pretty good about staying within sight, staying on the trails, and coming to find me when I hide. I trust him not to bolt or get himself lost when we’re on empty trails. It’s been great being able to enjoy hiking with him!
Melissa and Buddy, 10 year old Boston Terrier

 

Darcie was recommended to me as a fantastic trainer from numerous acquaintances and colleagues who are dog owners. She is sincere, dedicated and knowledgeable. We discussed the behavioural aspects of my dog, Sophie, that I wanted to address, in length, and decided that private sessions would be most beneficial because she is a reactive dog. After our first session, I noticed improvements in my dog, and I left feeling empowered and prepared to handle situations that could arise. Darcie provided me with many tools and tips to help with day-to-day situations. After five lessons, Sophie is a different dog. Training never stops, and requires dedication, but Darcie guided us through that process successfully. Sophie is now able to enjoy walks without growling and barking at dogs. She is confident on walks, and she is able to make wise choices on her own. The most amazing part of the journey was when Darcie brought her three dogs along for a walk with Sophie. My dog was a little uncomfortable at first, but warmed up to her dogs, walked with them, played with them, and there were no issues at all! Two months ago, that would never have happened! My expectations were certainly exceeded with Darcie.

Thank you for all your help! Not only will I recommend you to those needing a great dog trainer, but I will use your services again in the near future!
Melissa and Sophie, 2 year old Chihuahua

 

Hi Darcie! I HAD to write to tell you what an awesome dog I have (yes, this is ME talking).  The last two times at Cy Hampson have been quite remarkable….just came back tonight with my head held high!!  He came when called 9/10 times – all when interacting with other dogs, near and far.  Just thought you’d LOVE to hear of his progress and your MARVELOUS training tips!!
Colleen and Jaxon, 1 year old Shepherd X

 

Darcie, Chickie was chosen for major motion picture role to be the decoy for the “bad guy.” I was nervous, of course. I wasn’t sure if she would react and behave properly (never done this before)… thanks to your training, she was exactly the dog for the movie. She was natural, well behaved, trusting to all of the crew that passed her around, good on leash and did what she was supposed to on command. Thanks for the great training!! She even showed a bit of fear when the gun was almost at her head!!!
Jenny and Chickie, Chihuahua X

 

Darcie, Kenia continues to impress me every day with her development! After one walk of actively counter-conditioning (rather than just redirecting), she sees a dog, she looks at me, looks back at the dog, looks at me. We had out of town guests over all weekend (often had four additional people over), including one solid 6’4″ man with a hat and she did beautifully practising what you showed us Thursday. Within five minutes she was off leash, accepting treats and she barely got one bark in the whole time! A few surprised barks over the weekend (e.g. my friend put on her glasses), but she recovered quickly and we counter-conditioned. This week it has been obvious that her socializing with dogs, and exposure to new people / experiences / objects is making a positive impact.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you how well she is doing because she has met her forever family!! I will be sorry to see Kenia go (seeing her develop these past two weeks made me really want to hold on to her), but I truly feel like they can provide her with a much richer life and I am just so thrilled for her. So THANK YOU for helping us get her here. It was such a pleasure to learn from you and this month of working with Kenia has been really therapeutic in working out my guilt and grief from my last dog. It meant a lot to me to see a dog make so much progress with a happy ending! I have high hopes for her now.

Marlene who runs the rescue will probably be in touch, too, but I just had to thank you again myself. If and when we adopt another dog I will definitely be calling you, and will recommend you to anyone. A pleasure to meet you and your pooches. 🙂
Lesley & Phil (foster family) and Kenia, 1 1/2 year old Terrier X

 

Thanks again for the great classes. Cooper and I have lots of fun things to practice and play with over the summer. Your methods, with the small steps, are easy to teach and hopefully with more practice Mr. Cooper and I will perfect them. We adore Cooper and credit you for helping us shape him into the dog he is. Puppy class really gave us the techniques and support we needed. Family Manners and Tricks helped to deepen our relationship with him.
Tina, Jon and Cooper 1 year old Lab X

 

Charlie is doing great! The biting/mouthing is not really an issue any more. If it does happen, it ends pretty quickly without any drama- it’s great! I bought a 20ft rope which I let him drag around in the yard , it gives him some more freedom and we are able to play more. He hasn’t tried to jump the fence. Yeah! He is such a great dog. Thanks again for your help.
Janette and Charlie, 3 year old Pit Bull Terrier

 

Thanks for all your help with Charli and being so patient with us (mostly me!) as we transition to this new style of training. I found your advice really helpful, and we both saw the wisdom in it. We’re both really excited about moving forward with this. As an aside, Charli certainly looked happier than she’s ever been in a training class – she even seemed to be enjoying herself and that’s a big relief for everyone.
Jenn, Andy and Charli, 4 year old Lab/Shepherd X

 

Thank you so much for taking on the challenge of training our little girl, Tia. You are the only one we had total trust and confidence in.
Ulla, Doug & Tia the Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier, 5 1/2 months old.

 

As I have a high drive dog, I have had many challenges curbing her energy and focusing her on a goal that is mine, not hers. Darcie is right on top of Sam’s every move, never missing a prick of the tail or a locking of her eyes and in the most positive and skilful way, redirects and refocuses Sam. I’ve had a lot of advice about how to handle my dog; Darcie challenges me to learn and practice positive, clear, direct and also subtle skills to help me get the very best out of my dog. Darcie has taught Sam and I how to play on the same team! Thanks so very much for the amazing classes you gave to me and Sam!!!  A highlight of our summer.
Lenora & Sam the German Shepherd, 7 1/2 years old

 

Molly and I are doing well together. Thanks much in part to you, we are improving a little bit every day — the past two days Molly has began initiating fun play with other dogs on her own and even though I still have to watch her on the leash, I find that I am able to read and understand her so much more than what I did before. I feel like our communication has really grown and want to thank you for your role in helping facilitate that.
Maria & Molly, Collie X

 

Riley, a two year old Wheaten Terrier, had been making life miserable for the older dog in our daughter’s home, so we offered to take her.  She’s a pretty sweet girl, but was poorly behaved on walks and especially when we came in contact with other dogs.  We are fairly new to Sidney , but I saw Darcie’s cards at Sidney Feed Barn.  Riley and I attended the Basic Family Manners class and also had a couple of one-on-one sessions with Darcie.  I am so pleased with what I have learnt in these sessions, and Riley now seems like a totally different dog.  I think she is much happier knowing what is expected of her and I feel more confident in her behaviour when we are out in public.  She’s become very sociable with other dogs and we now meet regularly off-leash with other dogs and new friends.  I would highly recommend Darcie’s classes or helpful one-on-one sessions to anyone who would like to improve their confidence and enjoyment of their ‘best friend’. Thank you Darcie!
Diana & Riley the Wheaton

 

Thank you so much for the many insights you gave me into my body language and physical communication with Wookie. I know I will need corrections as I lapse into old habits but hopefully Wookie will be patient with me as I work to become a better communicator. I can’t thank you enough for the huge difference it has already made and I look forward to more learning with you and especially the opportunity to learn agility from you. Thanks again from Wookie and I as you have helped us attain another level in our being together.
Daphne Panter & Wookie the Lab X

 

Thank you Darcie, everyone has sure noticed a big difference in Cyan.  Our tenant who takes Cyan out sometimes can’t believe it is the same dog. Big paws to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Kelly & Cyan the 1 ½ year old Boxer X

 

After one hour with Darcie, our lives were changed dramatically. Our beautiful Golden Retriever Paddy learned very quickly that pulling on the leash is not much fun when wearing a Halti. We learned to respond positively to all of the good behaviour that Paddy began to show immediately. Three months later we are doing even better, having moved beyond treats and rewards. Now we are able to enjoy safe and wonderful walks together. Darcie’s approach and teaching style is fantastic and just short of a miracle!”
Debbie & Herb Katz, & Paddy the 4 year old Golden Retriever

 

Dear Darcie……..thanks for all the help you gave in making our new dog Riley become a welcome member of the family…….we adopted Riley from the CRD Animal Shelter and despite his lovable looks, he came with a few issues we felt we had to deal with quickly.When we inquired about a trainer, your name was recommended and your “Gentle, Reward Based” training was discussed………We decided to invest in our new pet by getting some one-on-one private training. This is the best thing we could have ever done.
Keith, Kristine, Cole, Josie & Riley the 1 year old Mastiff X
Hi Darcie, just thought you might want a progress update. I am very pleased to report that Buddy is making great progress and is well on his way to being a happy little dog. Since we saw you, he has learned many tricks – sit, down, spin, crawl, speak, etc. He has learned to bark when he needs to go out, and we have established a pretty good routine. Now that the weather is nicer, we take him out into our garden with us each day and he is becoming less and less afraid of his surroundings when there are other people around. He isn’t quite there yet with other people, but his confidence grows daily. We were happy to see him rolling in the grass like a normal dog this past week and to come and sit quietly by my side while I talked with someone at the beach.  He was unleashed so the decision to come was voluntary. 
Rose and Buddy, Mixed Breed

 


PUPPY SUPERSTART

I have taken classes from several different dog trainers and this was one of the best classes. Thank you.
Lisa & Bentley the 5 month old Chihuahua

 

The positive reinforcement that was emphasized throughout the training became very important to me as I noticed I could become frustrated and sometimes negative at home. This all changed with greater understanding of what was going on for Cody. The patience you modeled was excellent. I appreciated the follow up on my questions and the informative handouts. I enjoyed the training more than anticipated! You have a nice, contagious demeanour. Thanks.
Lorraine & Cody the 5 month old Yellow Lab.  

 

I just wanted to say how much my nine year old daughter Thea enjoyed your class, and what a difference it made in her relationship with our puppy. She has continued the training at home and doesn’t seem to encounter the frustration that children sometimes encounter with puppy training. The difference with her sister, who didn’t go through the training is very apparent, and we are looking forward to now bringing both dogs to you. Thank you for offering such an upbeat, basic approach. It clearly works for all ages.
Heather Warren 

 

I wanted to let you know that we really loved the classes we did with you. I am glad to see that you still have us on your mailing list and encourage you to keep in contact with us as we would like very much to continue learning how to train Bella to become the wonderful doggie she wants to be…lol. Keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
Christopher and Bella, 4 month old Border Collie

 


FAMILY MANNERS
 

Just wanted to thank you. Your expertise has helped us both!! It was a great class!You have a wonderful gentle way with the dogs and owners and are very knowledgeable……we learned a lot.
Johanna and Charlie the Havanese, 2 years old 

 

We’ve had many training sessions with Darcie and we love her! Our puppies really respond to Darcie and with her help we now have well behaved dogs. She inspires us to have confidence in our dogs ability to learn. The classes are fun and relaxed and we look forward to every class.
Kim Hicks  & Maddie the 10 month old Shepherd X and Avaleigh Hicks & Pedro the 6 month old Border Collie 

 

Since participating in your classes Monty has grown from a high strung stubborn dog who understood only to sit, to a dog who knows how to come, stay, lie down, and be more and more like a family member. His favourite activity is to be with us, whether at home watching TV or out on a trail off-leash, where he is now both comfortable with other dogs and people. Thanks Darcie.
Birgit, Ritchie & Monty the 2 year old Pug 

 

Thanks for the great education you provided to Rio and I! He is our first puppy experience and I think we are blessed with an amazing canine pal (a great companion to our 12 1/2 year old rescue Dalmation!)
Stephanie and Rio the 7 month old Whippet