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Dale M. Ward, BAHon, MA

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Dale graduated from Carleton University in 1990, where she earned BA Honors and master’s degrees. She spent the next ten years in the corporate world as an information technology consultant and senior business analyst, where she gained extensive experience in teaching and training adults.

After moving to the US in 2002, Dale’s focus shifted to working with dogs. As with everything she undertakes, Dale immersed herself in all things dog. She completed her academic training and then sought out ways to gain practical, hands-on experience with dogs in multiple environments. Dale worked in boarding facilities as a Kennel Manager, Playroom Supervisor, and Grooming Assistant. She also worked in an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital setting for 3 years. Dale was Head Volunteer Trainer for over 4 years at Portsmouth Humane Society (PHS) in Portsmouth, Virginia, an open admission shelter, where she designed and implemented training programs that demonstrated an incredible increase in the adoption rate. A staggering 100% of the dogs in her program were adopted out to loving families. Dale trained over 400 PHS volunteers in basic canine handling and training skills and implemented a highly successful program based on Karen Pryor’s Bark Free Shelter protocol, that reduced kennel stress. She was awarded Trainer of the Year in 2012 in recognition of her work.

Dale now has almost 15 years’ worth of education and experience in the dog training field. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and a graduate of Animal Behavior College (ABC), a certified/licensed Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT), a member in good standing of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), a licensed Family Paws Parent Educator (FPPE), a Certified Fear Free Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Animal Trainer under ICAN (International Companion Animal Network) and is also certified in Canine First Aid and CPR by the American Red Cross. 

Dale opened Dale’s Dog Training Academy LLC in 2007 and offers classes, behavior consultations, and private lessons. She is a contributor to the Positively Expert Blog on She is a noted presenter on a variety of topics including Volunteering in a Shelter: Win/Win/Win, Setting Up a Bark Free Shelter Volunteer Program, So You Adopted A Dog, Canine Body Language, and more. 

Dale’s latest venture, her first book entitled Raising the Worst Dog Ever: A Survival Guide, has been in the works for over 5 years. This book is unique in that it weaves a memoir of Dale and her dog Wylie and the life they shared, along with essential training information for new puppy and dog owners. Each tale Dale tells about Wylie’s antics is followed by advice on how to deal with that particular problem. This book is entertaining: funny, touching, poignant. This book is informative: practical, detailed, full of tips and instructions. It is available via IngramSpark’s global distribution network in both eBook and paperback formats. Look for it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Books A Million, Powell’s, Indie Bound, and more. It is also be available on

Dale currently resides in South Mills, North Carolina with her husband Tim, and Rhubarb, their black Labrador retriever.