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  • Welcome

    The Caring K-9 Institute is committed to offering professional services in the field of therapy dog program implementation, education, training and services. We create and host safe and playful training seminars for those wanting to use their own animals in professional settings. We believe all breeds of dogs have the ability to do therapy work, our job is to give the dogs and their handlers the skills and opportunities to become working professionals.

    Latest News

    December 2nd, 2016 Kitimat's Ozzy and Leisl

    see facebook page for details

    January 28th 2015 Therapy Dog Helps Victims in Court

    see facebook page for details

    October 30th, 2016 Oliver graduates from Level I

    see facebook page for details

    October 20th, 2016 Max meets Theo Fleury at the Healing through Learning Conference:Max was a presenter and guest barker on the topic of trauma and good listening.

    see facebook page for details

    July 21st, 2016 Max attends a PTSD Awareness Event

    see facebook page for details

    July 16th , 2016 Henry and Max attend the VLA Community Picnic

    March 13, 2016 Max named a Hometown Hero


    20 November 2015 Max attends Court with Child Witness

    Huffington Post

    January 27, 2015 Max is admitted to the Court House

  • The Caring K9 Team!

    Building on the existing relationships between owners and their dogs the Caring K-9 Institute trains people on how to develop their dog’s skills and provides an opportunity and outlet for a K-9 team to be of service to different groups of vulnerable populations who could benefit from positive interactions with a fun-loving, patient and friendly dog and their human. The training is offered in various modalities including classroom settings, outdoor adventure challenges, public locations and basic internet course work and e-training. We welcome dogs and people of all shapes and sizes and know that each dog can bring a different skill set to therapeutic interactions. Though not all dogs may have the right temperament for therapy work, we believe ALL BREEDS have the potential to become therapy dogs.
    Click here to hear from our happy customers!

    The Training Team

  • About Our Services

    Crisis K9 Program Development

    Crisis K9’s take the work of a therapy dog to a new level. They work with Victim Services agencies in Police stations across Canada and the USA and they provide emotional support to people who give statements to police and who are victims of crime; provide on scene support to clients in distress and they can even attend court with victims and witnesses. This is very specialized work and training for both a handler and a dog; both need exceptional communication skills, empathy and compassion. Learn the ins and outs of policy, program implementation, costs and required training.


    Safety First: This course is offered to children in a school or daycare setting and will concentrate on the safety of children with animals. It will look at animal behaviour, how to approach dogs, games, and how to safely interact with dogs and have respect for animals.
    Pet First Aid: Learn the basics of how to care for your dog in an emergency.
    The 5 W’s: This course is directed at agencies who encounter dogs in their line of work so that they can safely interact and even build relationships with the dogs they meet.
    Several more courses are in the development phase including online course offerings for distance education purposes!

    Therapy Dog Program Development

    In the counselling, medical and social work fields there is a great opportunity to connect with children utilizing a therapy dog in the interview/treatment process. If you or your agency are interested in learning more about how to create a program please contact us to schedule a consultation. We take into consideration your client base, the environment and regulations and can assist you in getting your dog trained to the acceptable industry standard.

    Creating Dog Friendly Offices

    Many businesses are welcoming dogs into their offices and if you are a progressive business who wants to make this happen we can help you create a policy and guidelines for how to make this happen. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.

  • Background


    History Animals have played a significant role in the lives of humans for thousands of years with the relationship between canines and humans dating back to the domestication of dogs by Native Americans over 30, 000 years ago (Brodie &Biley, 1999). With this lengthy history in place, utilizing dogs to aid vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly has slowly been increasing in popularity.

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    K-911 Prince George

    Murdoch Veterinary Prince George

    Ospika Pet and Farm Supplies Prince George

    Canadian Federation for Animal Assisted Interventions

    Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum Prince George

    PGWebhost Prince George

  • Contact Address

    Caring K9 Institute

    Prince George BC.
    Telephone: 250-613-2721

    Contact Form

  • Privacy Policy

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  • Therapy Dog Training Program Level I

    8 weeks every Wednesday from 5:15–6:15 pm
    Next Session: starting Sept 13th Sold Out
    Next Available Session: January 2018 TBA
    Pre-requisites: You and your dog will need a basic understanding and aptitude for obedience skills. Your dog should be able to sit when asked, walk beside you without dragging you and make eye contact with you. Topics:
    • Mastering who’s master
    • Techniques
    • Being polite in public
    • Starting your “go” bag
    • Exposure to different environments

    Homework: Daily practice sessions with your dog
    After completing level one, the handler team will need to complete 10 volunteer service hours as a team in order to move on to the next level. Location assignments will be given based on availability and interest.

    Sample of Testing Criteria:

    Sit, Look, Lay, and Stay with distractions, * Successful Socialization environments maintaining a loose lead, record keeping and appropriate appearance.
    Register Here
  • Therapy Dog Training Program Level II

    8 weeks every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm
    Next Available Session: starting Sept 13th
    • Knowing your partner and anticipating
    • Record keeping and logging your interactions
    • Developing your skills and your partners abilities

    Loose Leash behaviour
    Polite in Public
    Homework – daily practice sessions with your dog
    After completing level two, the handler team will need to complete 10 volunteer service hours as a team in order to move on to the next level. Location assignments will be given based on availability and interest.

    Sample of Testing Criteria:

    Polite behaviour out and about, Loose leash walking and turns, Reactions to other dogs, distractions and more distractions and supervised isolation

    Register Here

  • Therapy Dog Training Program Level III

    8 weeks every Wednesday from 7:45-8:45pm
    Next Available Session: starting Sept 13th
    • Canine Stress
    • Emotions and senses
    • Mat Work
    • Specialized environmental training

    Homework – daily practice sessions with your dog

    After completing level three, the handler team will need to complete 10 volunteer service hours as a team in order to move on to the next level. Location assignments will be given based on availability and interest.

    Register Here

  • Therapy Dog & Crisis K-9 Certificate Program - Distance Education & Training

    3 hour session from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
    Cost:$50 per session / $300 per level
    Next Available Session: Call for more information and to book training sessions (250-613-2721)

    For professionals interested in participating in the Therapy Dog & Crisis K-9 Certificate program from other communities, classes are available via Skype and online learning. These sessions have the added bonus of one-on-one instruction and can expedite the training program.
    Register Here

  • Therapy Dog & Crisis K-9 Certificate Program - Private Training

    3 hour session from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
    Cost: $50 per session / $300 per level
    Next Available Session: Call for more information and to book training sessions

    For those interested in participating in the Therapy Dog & Crisis K-9 Certificate program who would like a more personal and one-on-one experience as well as expediting the training program and progressing at your own pace.
    Register Here

  • Trick Training

    3 hour session from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
    Next Available Session: June 11th

    Teach your old (or new) dog a new series of tricks! This 3 hour afternoon session will give you the information and skills needed to do some advanced and fun training with your pooch. Learn different tricks and some games that you can teach your dog and make your dog (and the dog’s amazing trainer: you!) the envy of all other dogs and dog owners. Some tricks we can work on are dancing, twirling, roll-over, play dead, jump through a hoop and take a bow to name a few.
    Register Here

  • CLASS Training Program and moving through the levels

    3 hour session from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
    Next Available Session: June 11th

    Does your dog have what it takes to earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PHD degree? This APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) sponsored training program allows your dog to develop and test his/her skills while earning degrees in the process. Future class dates and evaluation dates to be announced shortly.
    Register Here
    CLASS logo

  • Therapy Dog Training Program Level IV

    session from 5:30 pm
    8 weeks every Wednesday
    Next Available Session: Sept 14th
    • fine tune all the previous skills they have learned
    • Specialized environmental training
    • Dogs in Therapy Sessions
    • Play Therapy options
    • Understanding trauma and trauma responses in your dog

    Homework – daily practice sessions with your dog

    Register Here

  • Pre-school for Puppies with Potential

    Pre-school for Puppies with Potential - 6 weeks, every Sunday from 10:00am-11:00am
    Next Available Session: Sept 17th 2017

    This class is for people and puppies who would eventually like to do therapy dog work. During the class, basic socialization and polite puppy etiquette will be a focus while examining the basic requirements for graduating into the Therapy Dog Program. Puppies and their human partners will get an opportunity to meet, learn, train and socialize using positive reinforcement techniques.

    Register Here

  • Reviews

  • Our Team

    Krista Levar, M Ed.

    Krista Levar is a subject matter expert on Crisis K9’s and has several years’ experience as a professional dog handler and now as a therapy dog trainer. Her Master’s degree thesis project, Animal Assisted Crisis Response and Creating Connections has been published on The Canadian Foundation for Animal Assisted Support Services website as a potential model for victim serving agencies implementing therapy dogs. She is a CLASS evaluator through the APDT and is a certified Therapy Dog Trainer through the International College of Canine Studies. She recently presented on the topics of Therapy Dog Program Implementation and Utilizing Dogs in Child Interviews at the well-received and praised Trauma Informed Conference for Northern BC. She was the policy creator for the RCMP’s Victim Services Therapy Dog Program in Prince George and has provided consultation to several other victim serving agencies with regard to program implementation both provincially and across Canada. Krista was recently chosen by the Honourable Shirley Bond to be a guest speaker and inspirational woman for her work with Crisis K9’s and the RCMP during the Prince George International Women’s Day annual breakfast.

    Leah Dodd

    Leah Dodd owns K-911 specializing in fearful and aggressive dogs, as well as working dogs. She has studied animals and animal behaviour while receiving extensive hands on experience. She has completed her level one and level two Animal Health and Welfare Certificates through Thompson Rivers University in 2014. She received her Dog Temperament Assessment certification through the BCSPCA, along with hands on training. She has completed her Associate Dog Trainer Diploma through International Canine Studies and continues to further her education.


    Daisy is our Youth Volunteer Training Assistant for our Puppies with Potential class. She has been a dog lover for a very long time and has been a friend of Max's for several years as she was partnership. Daisy is working with Yogi during the puppy class as well as providing excellent socialization for all the furry pups as they get used to being around people young and old.


    Max is a handsome and distinguished older gentleman of the yellow lab variety. He is 9 years of age and has had a vast and impactful career as a professional Crisis K-9 for the RCMP Victim Services Unit in Prince George, BC. He is a celebrated local celebrity who is recognized everywhere he goes as a caring and compassionate lover of people and treats. He has a mellow personality in the office, but a playful, mischievous streak after hours. He has a good work ethic and looks forward to putting on his vest in the mornings and heading out to work. His days in victim services are spent attending meetings, court cases and working with clients. He is particularly fond of break time because he gets to hang out in Tim Horton's, having coffee and timbits. In his off hours, he enjoys snowshoeing, jogging, napping and walks to pretty much anywhere. His favourite snack is cheese or pepperoni - preferably at the same time


    Henry is a calm but slightly scruffy young fellow of a Schnauser/Shitsu background. He is not even a year old but he has started his work as a therapy dog trainee. Though quite shy as a puppy he has blossomed into an outgoing, and a little bit bossy, confident young boy. He is also a very hungry little guy who will do anything for a treat…which is a good trait in a dog who’s being trained as he’s easily bribed. He enjoys getting chased by his brothers and barking wildly at his neighbour cows.


    Yogi is happy and energetic young Pug and also a therapy dog trainee. He enjoys chasing his brothers, eating things he shouldn’t and getting as much attention as possible. From birth he has been a feisty and confident young fellow who is adventurous and fearless. He absolutely loves training and picks up on his tricks very quickly. When lounging around the house he enjoys jumping on things he shouldn’t, digging in the garden which he shouldn’t, and tearing things up which he shouldn’t. He loves chicken burgers and duck treats as well as his stuffed tiger that he drags everywhere.


    Hank is a handsome, affectionate miniature dachshund who is a therapy dog in training! He loves going for big hikes, playing at the lake and then sleeping off his big adventures. Hank loves people but sometimes comes down with a case of ‘little dog syndrome’ and feels he has to prove himself by talking back. He enjoys licking your face to ensure you know he loves you, chasing his feline cats around the house and being chased back. With the nose of a hound, Hank is very food driven and will do anything for a treat!

  • Our Team

    Leanne & Gabi

    In Level One, they enjoy facilitating groups for FAMILIES of BCSS and would eventually like to do pet therapy at the Hospice House. Gabi, a Chinese Crested, is rarely seen without a cozy sweater and she loves people, sitting in laps and cuddles. She is really enjoying learning hand signals and is working on stay.

    Denise & Dudley

    In Level Two, their goal is to bring smiles and laughter, ease stress and anxiety and brighten people’s days. Dudley, a golden doodle, loves to run, swim, fetch, sit, watch birds and chase squirrels but he is not a fan of blueberries, bananas or lawn ornaments. He loves training and is motivated by love, pets and hotdogs.

    Brian and Gunner

    These two just passed Level Two of our training program and they are building a strong companionship and want to help others in times of need. Gunner, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and our youngest training student, likes people (especially kids), his sister (same breed), retrieving, training (because of all the treats), playing with his toy collection and problem solving.

    Christine and Elsie

    In Level Two, these two enjoy being with people (mostly kids!) and brightening up the days of those they encounter with Ellie’s joyful disposition. Ellie, a Bernese Mountain Dog, loves cuddling, popcorn and playing and her favourite training tricks are Watch Me, Sit, Down and Twirl.

    Christine and Hank

    In Level One, they like to cuddle and enjoy peaceful, quiet times. Hank, a German Shepherd, likes playing ball, giving High Fives, popcorn and carrots.

    Sheila and Nani

    These two just passed Level One and they eventually want to work together within the school system helping children and staff alike. Nani, a King Cavalier Spaniel/Bichon/Poodle, loves people, baths, walks and playing fetch. She doesn’t care for having her belly pet but otherwise enjoys a good cuddle.

    Lenna and Daisy

    These two have passed their Level One and ultimately want to finish the whole program and get their full certification. Daisy, a Bernese Mountain/German Shepherd cross, loves car rides, snow and her little sister Lili. She likes to make sure she is fed on time and she loves to see her Mom’s clicker when she pulls out the treat belt.

    Ruth and Aggie

    These two have passed Puppies with Potential and though Aggie is still young, her goal with her Mom is to train to be a Crisis K9 therapy dog and to do court work for Victim Services. Aggie, a West Highland White, enjoys destroying and trying new things, cuddling, playing fetch and meeting new people. Her favourite training activity in class is “go play!” And all the other pups in classes have a big crush on her…especially Yogi.

    Elora & Simon

    These two are in Level One and are working on building a stronger bond with each other and building confidence. Simon, a Catahoula Cur, loves eating his leash and is learning to be patient while getting his head pet. He loves sitting and giving High Fives.

    Chanel & Teala

    Heading into Level Three, these two enjoy learning together. Teala, a Chocolate Lab, is very dedicated to her mom and can’t take her eyes off her which makes “Watch Me” an excellent trick! She likes food, swimming and balls as well as learning new tricks like waving hello and playing dead.

    Coralita & Icey

    Just having completed Level One, these two are going to be visiting senior citizen’s homes and hospitals to provide therapy. Icey, a Great Dane Harlequin, is a beautiful gentle giant who loves treats and working. She enjoys the training, mostly because she gets to spend time with her mom and eat treats.

    Holly and Cassius

    These two have finished Level One and ultimately want to work with people in need. Cassius, a Golden Retriever, loves everything and is a very happy dog. His favourite trick is waking up the kids in the morning – ‘Up, Up’ and he hops on the kids beds and provides licks and love.

    Tara and Baxter(and Phil)

    Having passed Level Two, this trio are working on enhancing their relationship and becoming better connected. Baxter, a Greyhound/Border Collie, loves to get other dogs to chase him at the dog park, mountain biking, cross country skiing and generally, running in the woods. He hates water and doesn’t even like drinking it but what he loves: Performing!

    Linda and Oliver

    Finishing up Level Three, these two are becoming old pro’s. Linda, a School Principal with School District 57, created the pilot project for the Special Education department for the School District and her goals with Oliver are to develop acceptable norms for therapy dogs in schools. Oliver, a Petite Mini Golden Doodle, is a fluffy little guy who loves to play fetch, cuddle and find socks and when he gets one he steals it and runs like he won the lottery. He's also an excellent catcher.

    Becky and Pipsqueak

    In Level Three, these two are breezing through their training and they plan to help ease anxiety for those they encounter. Pipsqueak, a Yorkshire Terrier, loves to get tons of pets and cuddles, play with her favourite teddy and her educational barn toy. She is a very loyal girl and loves all parts of training because she’s spending time with her mom.

    Nicola and Seppi

    Having completed Puppies with Potential, these two are moving into Level One Therapy Dog Training in May and are having a super time! Seppi, a Golden Retriever, loves playing with the snow and classes when he's the only big dog so he can get all the cuddles (and barks - 'hi, Malekai') from the little dogs. He is really enjoying the off-leash training and loves cross-country ski trips.

    Renee & Malekai

    These two have completed Puppies with Potential and are planning to move into Level One training as soon as possible. With a long term goal of involving Malekai as a therapy dog to help with Costumes for a Cause, Malekai, a Chihuahua, isn't a fan of his bigger dog classmates but he is very social and loves pets, new toys and lots of love. His favourite tricks are sit, down and stand.