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Lower Mainland dog training company becomes BC SPCA-approved

Head and Heart Training is the 33rd business to be AnimalKind accreditated in B.C.
Kathleen Higgins is the owner of Head and Heart Training, which received its AnimalKind accreditation from the BC SPCA in 2023. (Head and Heart Training/Special to The News)

A Maple Ridge dog training company has made the list of BC SPCA-approved companies after receiving its AnimalKind accreditation.

Head and Heart Training, which relocated to Maple Ridge earlier this year from Burnaby, becomes just the 33rd dog training business to be AnimalKind accredited in all of B.C.

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Lorie Chortyk, chief communications officer for BC SPCA, explained that the AnimalKind program is essentially the stamp of approval for animal-related businesses.

“The BC SPCA AnimalKind accreditation program recognizes dog training companies that are committed to using evidence-based positive reinforcement training methods and promoting animal welfare,” said Chortyk.

“Companies that receive AnimalKind accreditation undergo a rigorous auditing process to verify they follow AnimalKind dog training standards.”

Kathleen Higgins, owner of Head and Heart Training, said she’s happy that this program exists and is honoured to be one of the newest recipients of the AnimalKind accreditation.

“It is absolutely necessary that we have an authority certifying which trainers are using science-based and ethical methods, and I am so grateful that the AnimalKind accreditation program exists to do this,” said Higgins.

As a former conservation biologist herself, Higgins is well-versed in using science-based methods to help train animals and has used her expertise to start a business offering training services throughout the Lower Mainland.

“It took some courage to change fields, but I realized that dog training wasn’t that different than what I had originally set out to do – use science to improve the lives of animals,” she said.

Head and Heart Training offers behavioural consulting for dogs, private training classes, and low-capacity boarding, with more information available at

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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