About us

Wild At Heart Dog Training, Courtenay and Comox Valley BC

Emily Priestley, CTC, CDBC, SAPT

Emily Priestley, CTC, CDBC, SAPT is a multi-certified dog trainer having graduated from the renowned Academy for Dog Trainers and is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the IAABC.  Based in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, she has been working with and handling dogs professionally for over a decade. 

Certified and in good standing with:
-The Academy for Dog Trainers
-Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the IAABC
-Michael Shikashio's Aggression in Dogs Master Course
-BC SPCA's AnimalKind program
-Julie Naismith's Separation Anxiety Trainer Program 
-Certified Death Doula to assist with pet loss

As well, Emily's long career with the BC SPCA has allowed her to have a proven track record, having personally handled over 2,000 dogs. With experience with a magnitude of breeds and all problem behaviours, Emily has worked with dogs who are in desperate need of intervention and behaviour modification.

As well as being an Academy for Dog Trainers graduate, she is also accredited by the BC SPCA's AnimalKind program and is certified as an SA Pro to help humanely and effectively guide you and your dog to recovery from separation anxiety.

She is committed to using current, scientific and kind techniques and continuing education to ensure that you’re in the hands of the most advanced methods out there.

Emily will always provide a nonjudgmental, kind, and supportive atmosphere for both dogs and their guardians and will always be transparent about methods and techniques, allowing you to feel comfortable handing over the leash.


Reactive to proactive PROGRAM

1 month of professional reactivity support

Select this option if you have a reactive dog who struggles on walks!

Do you want to go from reactive to proactive?

Join the long list of clients who are finding relief from their dog's reactive behaviour. Lunging, barking, hackles up, pulling and even lunging at cars and bicycles can all make for frustrating and upsetting walks. Many people struggle to control their dogs, many do not enjoy their walks and others are concerned about what their dog would do if they managed to break free.

Imagine walking with empowerment, control, an engaged dog and less stress. My reactive dog sessions give you the power to get back on your walks, manage the behaviour and work to end it. You'll also receive emergency tips, ongoing support and access to our client support group!

The Reactive to Proactive sessions are virtual, effective and tried and tested. You'll have a 1 hour virtual session with Emily, Wild at Heart's behaviour consultant followed by a month of in depth support and a mid point check in.

Get help for one of the most common complaints and get back to enjoying your relationship with your dog!

-1 hour virtual onboarding behaviour consult with Emily

-30 minute mid point check in consult

-1:1 email support, feedback and troubleshooting 5 days a week

-unlimited video review and assessments

-access to our client support group via Facebook

-detailed and personalized plans and information.

$349 CAD

Board and Train - Wild At Heart Dogs, Courtenay and Comox Valley BC

urban sheepdog program

1 month of support for breed related challenges

Select this option if you have a herding breed with issues, including reactivity!

Herding behaviour on a farm or ranch is amazing to see.  Dogs selectively bred to move livestock, fully in tune with their work and loving their lives.  These invaluable farm hands are great at their jobs and are an invaluable member of the team. 

Very quickly, we've taken these dogs from ranches and farms and put them into cities and condos.  They are so many things that we would love them to be.  Smart, athletic, affectionate and yet, so many of them are struggling.  Their skillset that has worked so well for over a century isn't needed anymore.  They react to cars, people, dogs.  They struggle to get enough enrichment and exercise.  They try to use their breed behaviours on the wrong targets.  In some cases, they are labeled out of control, over the top or untrained.  In extreme cases, their breed behaviours lead to rehoming, problems in the home or much worse.  

Perfect for border collies, Australian cattle dogs, Australian shepherds, shelties, kelpies, shepherds and many, many more. 

-Learn to understand your breed

- Learn to understand what motivates the behaviours

-Find out how they see the world and embrace the herder in your dog

-Learn how to give your dog legal outlets for their breed behaviours

-find out if your dog is struggling from a deeper issue, such as compulsive disorders

You will get expert eyes on your case and spend one month receiving unlimited email and video support from Emily. 

We will meet for 2 zoom sessions and deep dive and unpack your case.  You'll receive plans, tips, games and videos to change your relationship with your herding breed dog.  

Go beyond "your dog needs a job". 

-1 hour virtual onboarding behaviour consult with Emily

-mid point check in consult

-1:1 email support, feedback and troubleshooting 5 days a week

-unlimited video review and assessments

-access to our client support group via Facebook

-detailed and personalized plans and information.

$349 CAD

Private Virtual Behaviour - Wild At Heart Dogs, Courtenay and Comox Valley BC

Fear/aggression package

Professional support for fear and aggression

Select this option for fear and aggression cases, including those with a bite history.

When dog behaviours clash with the peace in our home, it can feel like you’ll never restore harmony.

Get supportive help for:



-resource guarding

-destructive behaviour

-jumping up

-impulse control issues

-Assessments for municipalities and bylaws

and much, much more. 

Using force free, up-to-date techniques, you will receive personalized plans, 1 month of umlimted support and 2 zoom consultations.  This virtual service is available in both Canada and the US!

Specializing in fear and aggression, Emily is committed to providing a supportive environment as you work towards a better life for you and your dog.

Reserved space is available for vet and trainer referrals.

You receive:

-1 hour zoom session to unpack your case and start you on your plans

-1 30 minute follow up zoom session

-unlimted email/video support 

-access to our private Facebook group for clients

-personalized plans and information

$349 CAD 

Techniques and Training

Because dog training is an unregulated industry, it's very important that our dogs are handled by those who are educated and accredited.  Wild at Heart is both- Emily is certified through The Academy for Dog Trainers, considered the best in the world for our industry.  She is also accredited through the BC SPCA's AnimalKind program, vetted and tested to meet high standards so you feel comfortable handing over the leash.

At Wild at Heart, we’re committed to being 100% transparent, non-aversive and current on techniques.  We promise never to hurt, scare, punish or intimidate you or your dog- something that “old school” dog trainers want you to think is part of “balanced training”.  Emily will use scientifically proven methods and will engage your dog and work with him to get more of the behaviours you want and less of those you don’t.   

Flooding, dominating, shocking, physically correcting and punishing your dog is not what any of us want and we promise to get results without the use of these techniques and tools.  We feel so strongly about this, you’ll receive 15% off your initial service if you trade in your shock collar, bark collar, prong collar or electric fence.   

If at any point you’re uncomfortable about a trainer, a technique, a method or a tool, you have the right to ask for the leash back.  At Wild at Heart, we are committed to doing no harm, but as this profession is unregulated, anyone can call themselves a trainer, behaviourist, whisperer or dog psychologist.  For that reason, ask questions, feel comfortable with the answers and feel free to ask for clarification on how techniques will be done and why they work.  If you’re ever uncomfortable or the trainer you’re working with can’t answer your questions, don’t walk, run!



Request our services