MEET THE MY DOG ROCKS TEAM!
Hi, I'm Diane Holmes, owner and trainer of My Dog Rocks
Owner and Head Trainer
I want you to be able to say "My Dog Rocks"!
Whatever your issues are, we are here to help.
In 2009, I started My Dog Rocks so I could help people overcome their frustration with their dogs in a way that wasn't being addressed in the marketplace. I'm so proud of the people and dogs that I have served over the last 11+ years!
In 2010, as I was working with my dog Jake, I remember the moment that he and I truly began to work together, and I turned to him and said "dude, you rock". I remember feeling so in tune with him, so proud of him, like he had figured me out and I, him. This was the feeling I wanted every dog owner to have.
I found that there was a gap of training in real life situations. I want to help people be happy with their dogs, not stressed and worried about taking them outside. Or for some dogs, inside! You want a dog you can take anywhere, and not have to worry about walking them when no one is around. That's why we work in real life situations, so you learn how to work around any and all types of distractions. Because let's face it - most dogs will come to their owners when nothing is around. You want your dog to come no matter what else they see and hear!
Most of my clients have worked with other trainers. Many have been kicked out of other training classes. I have not turned clients away due to behavioural issues, nor have I kicked a dog out of class. My goal is to help you, whatever it takes.
When I moved to Barrie in 2013 I became involved fostering for Finding Them Homes, a Barrie rescue that brings dog south and into foster homes from remote northern Ontario communities. Since then, I have become heavily involved in training for the fosters and the foster dogs, and almost 3,000 dogs have been adopted since that time, a great mix of puppies and adults. I have also fostered about 35 dogs myself. I have extensive expertise working with feral and street dogs, fearful dogs, new rescue dogs and helping them adjust into the home.
Over the past 13 years I have worked with hundreds of dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds. I have worked with dogs starting out in training, but many of my clients have behavioural issues that they need changed. Whatever your reason for training is, we work together towards your goal.
In 2022 I enrolled in Ivan Balabanov's Training Without Conflict Certification for Dog Trainers. This is a highly intense course to learn Ivan's unique play based training. Ivan is a 2 time World Champion and one of the world's highly respected trainers, and I am so excited to bring this to my clients. We must keep learning in order to continue to grow!
I live in Barrie and we serve Barrie and surrounding area.
I am continuously looking to learn new things that I can bring to my clients. I bring something new home to my clients and their dogs with every workshop that I attend. I believe it's important to have continued education in dog training. You can never stop learning!
2022 Ivan Balabanov's Training Without Conflict Certification Course. As of now I have passed the certification exam, and still need to pass the handling exam to be fully certified.
Hustle Up School of Dog Training 2009
BodyTalk Access for Animals Workshop
Injury Prevention and First Aid Certification
Pack to Basics Dogmanship Workshop 2014 and 2015
Pack to Basics Advanced Socialization Workshop 2016 and 2017
Dealing with Difficult Dogs (3D) Workshop
Canine Behaviour and Communication with Nelson Hodges 2014, 2015 and 2016
Koehler Novice ISTA 2015
Shadow program with Chad Mackin July 2015
Trainsmart Workshop with George Cockrell and Heather Beck August 2015
E-collar Certification with Karen Laws, Ontario Dog Trainer 2016 Level I and Level II
Tyler Muto Dogmanship and Problem Solving Workshop 2016
Canine/Human Relationship Institute - Level II Advanced Behaviour Workshop April 2017
Play is the Way workshop with Jay Jack June 2017
Training Between the Ears Workshop with Mark McCabe August 2017
Puppy University with Nino Drowaert 2017
Puppy Primer with Linda Kaim 2018
Over the last 5 years I have raised approximately 150 puppies of various ages, I really enjoy watching them grow, absorbing new information. The way their personalities grow is amazing! I have 2 adult dogs who have both been in training , I strongly believe in starting training from an early age, helps the puppy enormously by giving them clear expectations and more importantly helping the owner achieve the well balanced dog for their family. It pays off in spades as they grow and develop, and can help save much stress as they mature. I have also been fortunate during this time to be able to foster for a local rescue, helping their puppies get ready for their forever families.
I have had a love for dogs for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I would always beg my parents to get a dog but they didn’t budge. Well, what’s the first thing I did when I moved out? I got a dog! A little female pug/boston terrier mix, cute right?! Well yes, she was cute - but also a handful! She destroyed my house, would run away every chance she got, barked at everything that moved, etc. In that moment I realized dogs were more than just cuddly creatures and I felt I was way in over my head and I was failing her. I made a promise to both of us that I would try my hardest to find a way to get us on the right track, and I did! 8 years later, she is my side kick and we are 100% in tune with each other.
I now have 4 dogs, 3 of them rescues, and each of them has forced me to learn new things as they all have different personalities and things they’ve had to work on. On top of this, I have been volunteering for Finding Them Homes dog rescue for over 6 years. During this time, I’ve had the pleasure of having over 40 foster dogs come through my home. Between my personal dogs and foster dogs I’ve dealt with things like leash aggression, house and crate training, fearful dogs and stray dogs who have never been in a house before, just to name a few.
Diane has taught me most of what I know about dog behaviour and I also know what it feels like to feel defeated and overwhelmed, I’ve been there many times! That is why I am beyond thankful and excited to be able to help other people get to a place where they can be proud and take their dog anywhere, without having to worry about who or what they will encounter.
Most of my dog experience comes from volunteering with a dog rescue in the Barrie area. I have fostered and helped other fosters and in that time I have learned much from these dogs. I have taken classes with my personal dogs at My Dog Rocks from Puppy to E-collar. I currently have 3 of my own dogs and I am always learning from them. They have all taught me different things. Jade taught me that stubborn dogs will be some of the most rewarding when they get something. Lupo taught me that you don’t always have to grow up and you can always be learning. And Kaden, who I got at the age of 10, taught me that old dogs can in fact learn “new tricks”!
I'm a huge dog lover but like many, didn't get into professional training until I had a dog with issues. I had heard of some tips and tricks from Diane while fostering, but didn't get the full the experience until I adopted my problem child. Lilo was a foster I fell head over heels for, but had some serious anxiety issues, lacked all basic manners and commands as she was a stray in a remote community. Together we took the foundation's class and e-collar with Diane, where we both we able to learn so much about ourselves and develop a trust in each other. Lilo is now a fantastic dog that I can trust off leash and I became a more confident dog owner.
Over the years of fostering upwards of 50 dogs I've been able to use some of the confidence and training I received in these classes, along with added guidance from Diane, to help northern dogs, my own dogs and myself become better versions. To say I've learned a lot from the dogs is putting it mildly - every day they teach me something new or remind me it's okay to just kick grass at something and walk away.
I have had dogs my whole life, but I really got into training in the last 2 years. I first started training with my own dogs but as I started to foster other dogs and train with them, I found I truly had a passion for it. I was discovering how the smallest changes I made were making a huge impact on the dogs and their ability to really learn/retain the information. It was like magic the way we clicked. So naturally when Diane asked if anyone was interested in becoming an assistant I jumped at the opportunity.
Well really I dove head first. I started reading books about training, joined seminars and watched countless videos. Diane has really taken me under her wing and showed me the ropes. She is teaching me how to be successful in this endeavour both for myself and for the dogs. I’m so excited to be part of this team, to share what I have learned, to help families get the dog they have always wanted and above all else help the dogs learn the things they need to become a really awesome part of the family.