About Unleash the Pawsitive
We use modern, reward-based training methods to build better communication between dogs and their parents, one paw at a time.
Rewards don’t have to be just treats; they can be toys, praise, going for a walk or playtime. We work with each individual dog to find out what suits them best!
Think of it as if your boss was offering you a bonus to get a task done – you will work harder to get it done. Well, dogs are the same; they work harder if they know a reward is coming!
Our motivation is helping you create an unbreakable bond between you and your 4-legged friend!
Why choose Unleash the Pawsitive?
Training dogs is not a hobby for us; it’s our profession, our life and our passion. Most of our clients are referred to us by the veterinary community or word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.
We strive to build a fantastic relationship between you and your dog to create the best family pet that they can be!
About Our Founder, Melissa MacKinnon, RVT
Growing up, Melissa had a passion for animals. This grew into a career when she graduated from St. Clair College in 2007 as a Veterinary Technician. After registering with the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians, she worked in small animal practices in Burlington, Thunder Bay, Kincardine and Port Elgin.
She started to become interested in behaviour in 2011 when she got a golden retriever puppy named Oaklee, and was told during puppy class to jab him in the neck for playing too hard. Having previously taken positive based training with her older dog, Hemi, she knew that something else needed to be available.
She started teaching puppy classes in spring 2012 through the Port Elgin Veterinary Clinic, and her classes have grown from there!
Melissa has taken numerous seminars on group classes and behavioural problems. She is currently enrolled in the Academy for Dog Trainers, taught by world renowned dog trainer Jean Donaldson. The program is also known as the “Harvard for Dog Trainers”.
Melissa lives in Port Elgin with her husband Corey and son Brantley; two dogs, Hemi (10 years old) – her “purebred mutt” as Melissa likes to call him – and Oaklee, 7 years old; and two kitties, Chao’s (11 years old) and Gina (9 years old).
In 2016, Melissa was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Brass awards.