Connection, Clear communication, Confidence, Understanding, Joy, Unconditional Love

Whether you have a brand new puppy, a newly adopted rescue dog, or a challenging dog that needs behaviour to be guided in a different direction, we are here to help you. Our dedicated trainers will work with you and your dog to facilitate a powerful bond together through training, socialization and exercise.

We are conveniently located in central Nanaimo at 1680 Northfield Road. During the day, our training centre operates as Dog n' Suds Small Dog & Puppy Daycare. We arrive at 5 pm for an evening of classes. Classes and private lessons are held at the training centre Saturdays and Sundays as well.  Private lessons are avaialable during the week in our upstairs lessons room.

Our classes are taught in our 2000 square foot training centre and we are the only dog training facility in Nanaimo with 1/2 inch sealed rubber flooring for cleanliness and your dog’s safety - there’s no chance of slipping or worrying about getting wet and dirty at our classes! Our large training area allows for lots of space for playing and training with your dogs and also affords us the luxury of being able to create distance from other dogs and people for those dogs who are reactive or become overstimulated easily. We even have a separate, smaller room that we can use if needed.  

Even though we have plenty of space, we want to set all of our students up for best success, so keep our class sizes small - a maximum of 6 dogs.

As of February 2022 we are now merged with DAWG Pet Care and Training!  Two great businesses become one to serve you better with classes in town and out in the Cedar area.

If you would like to talk more about joining the Best Paw Forward team, please send us an email to with a current resume and cover letter that details your dog training history, experience, and goals.

Meet The Team



Having a family dog by her side for most of her life, Jen finally discovered her deep love of dog training in early 2019. A sweet and smart Golden Retriever named Bailey joined Jen and her husband's life and changed it in the most incredible way. Bailey reminded her fast paced humans what it was like to play, and taught them how to slow down and enjoy the little things, like exploring new trails and watching for other creatures outside.

During the first several months of their lives together, Jen and Bailey spend their days training and bonding. What else is there to do when you get laid of from work in the Winter and then a pandemic hits? Dive into some Dog Training courses! Once the first set of lock downs were lifted, Jen joined Robyn at Best Paw Forward to begin her journey of professional dog training. She teaches the Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Manners classes and is certified in Dogsafe Canine First Aid. You will see her regularly at puppy private lessons and our classes - she is very helpful !



Angie has always had a strong connection with animals. Growing up she was immersed in the world of horses; owning, training, and competing in dressage riding since she was 8 y/o. She house sat for years managing barns with a variety of animals from goats to mules to show horses.

As she began raising her family she had to put aside her love of the equine world, and then 7 years ago the family got their first Golden Retriever, 6 month old Beau,  Angie quickly realized canine behaviour was a new language to learn. Seeking out the best of the best when it comes to learning about dog behaviour, Robyn and her Best Paw Forward staff quickly became the family’s lifeline, helping them connect and understand Beau.  

Angie and her daughter Callie have attended many Best Paw Forward classes over the years, volunteering and helping whenever they could. She has done a great deal of dog sitting which has furthered her understanding of dog behaviours and enhanced her love of the language of dogs. Recently Angie and her family welcomed Sherman, now an 8 month old Golden Retriever to their family and she’s thrilled to put her skills and knowledge to use. She has assisted in many Puppy Social and Kindergarten classes and is certified in DOGSAFE Canine First Aid. 

Angie especially LOVES watching the connection between dog and owner blossom. She will be your biggest cheerleader and looks forward to helping you develop a special connection with your dog. 


Pro Dog Trainer

Adriana has been a dog training enthusiast from a very young age.  She started out teaching her own dogs the sport of dog agility and her enthusiasm for training has grown from this. She is a certified dog trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy and has also completed her Pro Dog Trainer and has completed her Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers certification.  Adriana is passionate about agility, dock diving, trick training and helping dogs learn strong foundation skills to excel at being good dogs for life!


ABC Certified Dog Trainer

Shelby has just completed her dog training certification through Animal Behaviour College. She is a fantastic dog person and loves to attend seminars and dog sports events!


Training Assistant

Domestic or wild, Emylia has always had an interest and passion for all animals, especially canines. She started volunteering at Best Paw Forward in January 2021. Together, Emylia and her English Mastiff x Bernese Mountain Dog, Karma, have completed Puppy Kindergarten and Canine Good Neighbour classes at Best Paw Forward to help further themselves towards a furry future. In their free time after training, it’s all about snuggling together and keeping a strong bond. For someone wishing to follow down the biology/zoology path in the future, dog training is a perfect way to kickstart a blooming career.



Sarah is our behind the scenes administrative guru.  Sarah has never met a dog she doesn't love and is passionate about helping them succeed in life.



Bernadette is a CCPDT certified trainer who has completed more certifications than we can begin to list!  Her specialties are dogs with behaviour struggles.  She loves to teach everything from puppy classes, scent work, and agility to behaviour modification.



Linda is a KPA-CTP, Pro Dog Trainer and CTDI who loves to teach people and dogs to build a great bond for life.  She has an extensive background in dog sports and training as well as grooming.  Currently she is owned by a pack of Chinese Crested (hairless and powederpuffs) and a couple of small mixed breeds. All of her dogs have competed and titled in a wide variety of dog sports including scentwork, agility, disc, rally obedience, and more!