About Us

Pawsitive Canine Academy is one of the nations most effective and respected dog training services providing no-nonsense, "Real World" training methods throughout the Pacific Northwest. Serving dog owners from Portland, Or, Seattle, WA, Missoula, MT Spokane, WA and Canada in our multifaceted, secure and 24/7 staffed Canine Academy in Colbert, WA.

Our trainers and staff have a basic understanding of ethology. Ethology can be important in animal training because considering the natural behaviours of different species or breeds enables the trainer to choose the individual animals who are best suited to perform a required task. It also enables trainers to encourage naturally occurring behaviours and help animals 'un-learn' or rehabilitate from undesirable behaviours.

We will train any dog, regardless of breed, shape, size or history. We work to fix all dog behavior issues including excessive barking, growling, snapping, nipping, dog aggression (fighting), human aggression (biting), child aggression, pulling on leash, leash aggression, leash reactivity, skateboard/bike reactivity, resource guarding, jumping on people, and fear issues.
We also specialize in anxiety issues, separation anxiety, chewing and destroying household items, running away, not listening, door bolting, stealing food, getting into the trash, cat aggression, chasing game, and killing animals/game. We have a renowned reputation specializing in obedience training, which includes heeling and walking properly on a leash, sit/stay, down/stay, place, recall training (come to owner), and crate training.

Our Training services include Board and Train Behavioral Modification, 1 on 1 Training, Obedience Classes, Puppy Training programs, and Day School. Pawsitive Canine Academy has a reputation of being able to handle the most challenging dog behaviors and often times other dog trainers will refer their more serious cases to us.
Our Areas of Research, Study and Education include:
Emotions - compassion, embarrassment, guilt, joy, loneliness, love, pride, sadness, shame, excitement
Motives - empathy, morality, revenge, seeking
Social Behaviours - co-operation, friendship, generosity, group feeding, mourning, play, altruism
States of Mind - optimism, pessimism, pleasure, pain
Awareness - consciousness, self-awareness/recognition, modesty, sentience, theory of mind
Cognition - intelligence, memory, judgement, rationality, self-consciousness, perception, problem-solving
Culture - cultural transmission, learning, family dialects, 
Sensory Perceptions - visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, sonar, infra-red, electro-magnetic, gustatory, vibrational

Meet the trainers

Monique Smith

Monique Smith is the Owner and Head Trainer at Pawsitive Canine Academy. Monique attended Veterinary Technician School and completed her Internship with Jerry Ponti of Ponti Veterinary Hospital. Monique also attended Washington State University studying Animal Sciences. Monique completed Dog Obedience and Training from Penn Foster and furthered her education by becoming a Certified Master K9 Trainer from Canada West Canine Center. After attending LHU, Monique completed her Bachelors in Canine Behavior Science and is currently finishing her Masters in Canine Behavior Science.

Monique has also trained with world renowned trainers and experts, which has expanded on her already existing education in dog psychology and behaviors. Monique has a love for German Shepherds, she currently has many german shepherds ranging from newborn to 10 years. Monique and her husband Dave have had German Shepherds their entire relationship together, over 20 years. All of Monique's German Shepherds have one or more specialties in Protection, Tracking, Scent Detection (Narcotics and Explosives), Obedience, Agility, Confirmation or they are retired.

Monique creates and develops training plans for individual dogs. She makes sure that all dogs are succeeding in their training plans. Monique enjoys working on business development, creative education, business growth, website, marketing and social media.

Monique works in the field as a Certified Explosive and Narcotics K9 Handler and continues to pursue other business opportunities and community development and education pertaining to Narcotics and Explosives Detection needs. As an Instructor for American Society of Canine Trainers, she certifies and trains K9 Handlers through in class settings and practical applications.

Her big passion is in the development and training of K9 Handlers as dynamic working teams. Teaching and instructing is a passion she has and highly enjoys.

Makyla Carney

Makyla has extensive experience in the animal world. She has worked with horses for over 16 years. She took to dog training naturally. Makyla has recently enrolled in school to receive and complete her Bachelors in Animal Science. She will have a specialty in Equine Studies and Animal Care and Training.

Makyla has attended and passed her ASCT Basic Handler Course with excellent scores in her written and practical exams. She is also holds certifications with DLE - Dogs for Law Enforcement.

Makyla is the Head Trainer for Board and Trains and the Working Dog Program. She oversees all of the detection work and Tracking. She prepares all of the dogs for their testing and certifications, she has certified with many of the dogs she has trained. She maintains all of the training records and implements all of the dogs training plans.

Makyla also begins all of the Behavior Modification Board and Trains and helps create their overall training plans, their progress reports and their 90 day go home plans.

Makyla is an invaluable asset to the company, the dogs and the dogs owners.

Dave Smith

Dave is the Day School Bus Driver and Assistant Trainer. Dave makes sure everything is running smoothly, assists with clients and their dogs and helps with classes. Dave has always had a love for German Shepherds and loves the Working Dogs.

Dave is also a Certified Explosives and Narcotics K9 Handler.

Latanya Santiago

Day School Trainer
Kennel Technician Supervisor

Lovita Kuhns

Kennel Technician and Apprentice Trainer