Della Burkitt, Owner/Certified Mobile Dog Trainer
Certified Dog Trainer/Instructor
CAPPDT Professional Member
APDT Professional Member/Instructor
Pet Partners Pet Therapy Team Evaluator
Medical Office Assistant with Veterinary Specialties
My name is Della Burkitt and I am a Wife and Mother of 4 children! My interest with dogs has been a constant throughout my life from my first dog at the age of 6 years old (Lady my golden Labrador), to my present two German shepherds Ruger and Kibo. I grew up on a farm outside of Schuler, AB and that is where my big love of animals really stuck. Our farm consisted of chickens, geese, doves, dogs, everyone's cat they didn't want (drop offs) as well as cattle. I would always be caught sneaking into the corals and sitting in the middle of the feeder bales so I could have the chance to meet every cow and calf. On our farm we had working dogs as well as companion dogs. From German Shepherd/heeler cross, Heinz 57s, Australian Cattle dog, Labrador, and the occasional neighbors dog who would come visit. My love for helping and teaching came when my family rescued a black lab, Lucky, who we found on the side of the road with a nasty looking eye. We took this pup to the SPCA and that’s where we found out that someone tried to burn his eye out with a cigarette. Well we kept calling to see if he was adopted and sadly he had no interest. My parents then showed me what rescuing an animal meant when my mother called and said that we would take him. We took Lucky to obedience classes at Gas City Dog Club that was located under the overpass. To see how the instructors helped everyone and every dog was fantastic and I was bitten by the dog training bug. This lead to helping our dogs grow and friends dogs as well. I started my research with going over multiple dog trainers, behaviorists, and kennels and took little bits and pieces from all that I agreed with and then added my spin and made it my training method. At this time I met my husband and he had this guard dog, Buddy. Everyone had to keep in line when Bud was around until Bud met me. Buddy became mush when he was around me. He learned that children were good to have around and my children learned how to respect Buddy. My husband said I had a natural gift and should think about professionally training. Well I took him up on that offer. So I decided to contact Gas City Dog Club and after talking with Sterling I started sitting in on Saturday’s socialization classes. Interacting there with dogs and owners was great and I remember this one dog that was very under socialized. This dog would bark and go after the other dogs and those where the dogs I liked to try to help with. Well after 4 months of coming and with my help this dog finally played for the first time! How I felt in that moment was pure joy and I knew that I was definitely on the right path which lead to becoming the Large Bred Instructor for Gas City and I taught on and off there for the next 3 years. This experience was fantastic and truly was a factor of my going to further my education and to go for it. My love for German shepherds runs deep so when I lost my girl I started German Shepherds of Dunmore and Area. I started an annual walk where like minded people could meet and share their love of the breed, with us having 15 to 25 German shepherds all off leash and having a blast! I remember one lady coming for the first time and she was so afraid that her dog was going to attack the other dogs, by the end of the walk her dog had a blast and I could see a weight being lifted. People then saw my two dogs and how they act with other dogs as well as people and I was asked who trained them. I smiled and said I did. So I started with Burkitt shepherds however with all the knowledge and experience I had that seemed to not be enough and with the name it was assumed that I only trained German Shepherds. So I attended school through ICS College to get certified as a Dog Trainer/Instructor and passed with Honors. Again being bit by the education bug I continue to increase my knowledge, which I still continue to do today. I changed the name of my business the to Della’s K9 Connection and I have now added all of these to my background: Professional Member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT), APDT Professional Member and C.L.A.S.S. Instructor, Top Dogs Dunbar Academy Member, Gas City Dog Club Member, Leerburg University and Canine Therapy Team Evaluator through Pet Partners. And you would think that was lots, it wasn't. I also attended Medicine Hat Academy of Learning and graduated as a Medical Office Assistant with Veterinary Specialties. I was asked in the beginning of the class by the instructor why am I taking this class and I replied,” I want to better educate myself on canines and would love to have the knowledge of how to run and organize a business.” I am super excited for what the future will hold for DK9C and what education I can get next! The future goal for my business is to open my own facility and to specialize in Puppy training and companion dog obedience with mobile assistance! So now that you know a little more about my journey to where I am now, here is a bit about my philosophy. My philosophy is that you and your dog can enjoy training and have it become a positive in your life and to allow yourself to experience all the great rewards. I pride myself on offering coaching and classes that are fun and real world practical for both you and your dog. Being a mother of 4 the importance of proper dog ownership and dog handling is HUGE for DK9C. This is where my slogan comes from "Helping Both Ends of the Leash" I believe wholeheartedly that when there is a problem or if something is not right there is 2 sides of the leash to look at. That is where I come in. Being a responsible DK9C Member is to understand that training doesn't end after a Welcome Home Puppy or after Loyal K9 class; training lasts a lifetime! I can promise you with patient, understanding, education and consistency you and your dog will be forever changed!
My Dogs Past and Present