dog trainer

Joyful Hound’s owner and head trainer, Shira Moir-Smith, is the only local dog trainer certified by the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, a world leader in positive reinforcement training. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Canadian Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She holds a BA in adult education and a diploma in Fish & Wildlife from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Shira’s commitment to using the most current, humane, and effective training methods is demonstrated through her continuing professional education. Some recent highlights include:

puppy and dog trainerCanine Legacy Chicken Camp 2011, Chaining and Criteria Chicken Camp 2012
dog trainer langleyNicole Wilde’s 3-day seminar, Working With Fearful Dogs
training dogKaren Pryor Academy Clicker Expo 2012
how to train a dogKathy Sdao 2-day seminar 2012

“No matter the issue, Shira has the knowledge and skills to help you and your dog.”
Ann Gunderson, Canada’s first certified Nose Work Instructor
Owner/Head Trainer of Qs4K9s Dog Sport Training

A resident of Langley, B.C. for over 20 years, Shira brings a life-long love of dogs and
education to her work as a professional trainer.

Our Guarantee

As a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Shira has pledged to uphold its code of ethics, including the following statement: “Members will refrain from giving guarantees regarding the outcome of training because there is no sure way to guarantee the cooperation and performance of all parties involved and because the knowledge of animal behavior is incomplete.”

Though guarantees about behavior results are unethical, Shira and the other professionals at Joyful Hound Ltd. proudly guarantee excellent customer service, training plans tailored to you and your dog, the use of 100% positive training methods, and a commitment to continuing professional education.

As a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, I, the owner and lead trainer of Joyful Hound, have signed the following pledge. I will:

spacial classes for dogsTeach and train using the force-free techniques taught in the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA);
best dog trainerConduct myself in a way that upholds the values and principles associated with the KPA brand;
we give best training Value lifetime learning by continuing to improve my skill as a teacher and trainer;
puppy trainerWork with the Academy to maintain high standards of teaching and training KPA Certified Training Partners

dog training classes

Shira, Quigley and Terry Ryan on Shira’s last day of the KPA Training. Terry is the Chicken Camp instructor.


Shira’s Heart Dogs

A heart dog is one of those special animals that comes into your life and makes such a difference that you can’t imagine never having known them. Have you had a heart dog? Write to about your dog and we’ll post a picture of your dog and his story on our website.


our dog trainerBlizzard’s Tanana Vavilov (Tana) was Shira’s first dog, a Siberian Husky that Shira earned with her own money at the age of 15. Shira joined Junior Kennel Club and learned how to show and train dogs with Tana’s endless patience and forgiveness. Tana was the first Siberian Husky in Vancouver to achieve a CD obedience title.


best dog trainerPiper, a Bouvier/Old English Sheepdog cross, was a loving companion during a difficult time when Shira’s 3-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her son survived and throughout all the hell or treatments and recovery, Piper remained a calm and dependable friend.


top training classes for dogGriffin, a purebred Bouvier, was another dependable companion who walked many, many miles at Shira’s side, watching over Shira’s children as they grew up. When Shira’s kids began to pursue their independence, Griffin grieved and so Shira got Griffin his own puppy, Finnigan, a Fox Terrier whom Griffin treated like a “son.” The two were inseparable and enriched Shira’s life in many, many ways.


dog trainerQuigley, one of Shira’s two current dogs, is a Miniature Australian Shepherd who had a very rough life before Shira adopted him when he was two years old. Quigley was anxious, afraid to make eye contact, and aggressive toward other dogs. Shira did everything she could to help Quigley’s behavior issues and over the past eight years he has become a calm, confident and playful dog. He’s Shira’s beloved daily companion and prized teaching assistant.


dog trainerMia, also a Miniature Australian Shepherd, is Quigley’s unofficial “little sister.” She’s had a wonderful influence on Quigley and she’s the treasure of Shira’s heart. Mia is an exceptionally intelligent dog, calm, focused, and operant. She loves to do anything Shira wants to do: hike, bike, or take long rambling walks, and to participate in agility, nosework and other dog sports.