Private and virtual professional dog training

Certified Dog Training and Behaviour Modification

in Edmonton and Area

Fear Free Certified Professionals

Positive Dog Trainers and Animal Assisted Therapy Providers serving Edmonton, Morinville, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Onoway,  and surrounding communities.

Book Appointment

Register today for November and December training dates!


Providing Gentle, Effective Dog Training for All Aspects of a Canine’s Life.

Private Online Force Free / Fear Free Ethos Dog Training

Diamond in the Ruff Inc. is led by highly sought-after dog trainer and behaviour specialist Colleen McCarvill. We provide industry-leading dog training services in Edmonton and surrounding areas. As one of the first force-free trainers in western Canada, Colleen and her team have helped thousands of dogs become well-behaved, happy pets.

Virtual Private Training Sessions

Virtual Private Training Sessions

Specializing in behaviour issues, Separation Anxiety, Resource Guarding, Reactivity to people and/or dogs (Aggression), and other challenges that require professional help. Our techniques never involve pain, fear or intimidation.

Virtual Puppy Comes Home Training

Virtual Puppy Comes Home

We use the science learning theory and force-free & fear-free current behavioural modification techniques when working with every dog and every issue. Our commitment – Training with our Hearts and Minds…Not our Hands.

Group Classes

Group Classes

Group Classes are a fantastic learning tool for dogs and owners alike.

Puppy Classes and Therapy Dog Classes are available!

Private Dog Training

Private Dog Training

Whether you have a puppy, an older dog, or several dogs, private dog training is a fast, effective and proactive approach. You and your dog will love our positive, rewards-based instruction.
Private Puppy Training

Private Puppy Training

Pump up your puppy training with this hybrid training option! Whether you are a first time dog owner or raising a puppy for the first time, this program will help you to get started on the right paw.

Online Force Free / Fear Free Ethos Private Dog Training Packages

Flexible options for you and your family to train from the comfort of your home.

Proudly serving Edmonton and around the GLOBE

Need Help with Basic Obedience and Good Manners?

Would your dog benefit from a refresher on basic commands and good manners? Our virtual dog training can help!

Self-Instruction Not Working As Expected?

Does your dog have bad habits? Is he reactive? If you don’t have the time or knowledge to train your dog, our sessions are for you!

Just Welcome a New Puppy or Rescue to Your Family?

Nobody will argue that training a puppy is tough work! Colleen and her team have a very high success rate and can help you train an obedient dog.

Want To Develop A Closer Bond With Your Canine?

Dogs are incredible and loyal creatures. Our sessions will help you develop that desired bond with your dog.

Training with our Hearts & Minds, not our Hands

Internationally Certified Edmonton Dog Trainer with over 30 years of Experience


Meet Colleen McCarvill

Internationally certified professional dog trainer, behaviour specialist and Animal Assisted Therapy provider, sought after by dog handlers and dog trainers across western Canada.

Colleen has been training animals for over 30 years and lives with 12 of her own, feathered, furred and hoofed family. Many of her own critters are Animal-Assisted Therapy trained. She is certified in Service Dog training, Therapy, Canine Good Citizen, Canine Good Neighbour, and has worked with everything from pet store Beta Fish to zoo Elephants.

Colleen and her team are here to handle all of your dog training needs in Alberta and since introducing the new digital format option, we have made this training accessable internationally via extremely effective live online video conferencing classes in Zoom

Our methods produce reliable, permanent results.


Certified FORCE FREE Dog Training in Edmonton and Area

We’re proud of our high success rate and the level of satisfaction our clients, and their pets, come away with every time – guaranteed.


Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Edmonton

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement methods are based in science and do not require the use of punishment, ever.
Force Free Dog Training

Force Free Dog Training

We do not use prong/pinch collars, choke chains, physical or verbal punishment.

Certified Mentor Trainer

Certified Mentor Trainer

Colleen is a Certified Mentor Trainer (Trainer of Trainers), and she is building a team of educated and dedicated trainers to serve the growing needs of the Edmonton area.
Edmonton Dog Training

Edmonton Dog Training

Positive Dog Trainers and Animal Assisted Therapy Providers. Serving Edmonton and area.

What Our Pet Parents Are Saying!

Please tell us how we’re doing by sharing your review.

Based on 69 Reviews
Jocelyn Fall
May 17, 2024

So amazing and great to work with. She goes above and beyond for her clients and is all around an amazing person who I'd recommend to anyone. She has helped our rescue and soo many animals in need when others wouldn't give us the time of day. She's super busy but always tries to be accommodating. She truly is a diamond in the Ruff.

Leslie Parsad
February 2, 2024

I highly recommend Diamond in the Ruff for all training. We started our Golden Shepherd, Bear, in the puppy classes with Colleen and Jenna. We continued with advanced training, private sessions to work on dog-dog reactivity, and have just completed Therapy dog training. The techniques DITR uses and the support they give their clients has made a huge impact on Bear and I and I am so excited to start our adventures as a therapy dog team! It would not have been possible without the foundation DITR has given us!

January 18, 2024

I have nothing but amazing thigs to say about DITR/Colleen. We went to her almost 9 years ago with our first dog and she helped strengthen our bound with our dog and teach us so many things! Now I have gone back with our two newest pups, and a reactive program for my Aussie. She has taught us with genuine patience kindness and love. She is with us for every up and down. 10/10 I would recommend DITR any day, whether it is a new puppy, or an old dog they will help you reach your goals!

dillian Carnegie
January 12, 2024

Colleen cares more about animals than anyone I have ever met. She helped saved a life recently and has become a vital part of our future. This organization is beyond incredible Dillian

December 17, 2023
Tanya Tinney
August 14, 2023

We would definitely recommend Diamond in the Ruff Inc. CDBC, cpdt-ka. We had both Colleen and Jenna as trainers. Both were excellent. Always willing to answer questions and help solve any issues we were having with our puppy. We took both the puppy class and the therapy dog class and can highly recommend both classes. We now have a much better behaved dog that we enjoy taking out with us. I was very happy with the force free methods they used for training. Our Australian labradoodle responded very well to the force free methods used in class.

Brittany Gammon
May 20, 2023

Hiring Diamond in the Ruff was the best decision I have ever made. We started with private training at my home for some behavioral concerns I had regarding him losing his mind going through doorways. Her training had him waiting nicely and listening attentively for his commands. He was exiting the door in silence without announcing his presence to the neighborhood lol. He still requires guidance with treats but we've noticed such a big difference in him after just a couple weeks. Even his general demeanor was more calm just from the little bits of regular training. We had some credits leftover and DITR let us use them towards therapy dog group classes. We are about halfway through and so far they have been fantastic. He's learning lots of new tricks, he's been desensitized to crutches, wheelchairs, crowds and other distractions. We're very excited to continue working with our pup so hopefully he can bring others as much joy as he brings us ❤️

January 28, 2023

Thirteen years ago, Colleen taught my family the importance of training our then 10 week old golden retriever the emergency recall. The training was like a game with amazing treats for our puppy, so it was fun for her. Over the years, we had to use the emergency recall twice, in very different situations and it worked perfectly both times. To say we were so grateful to Colleen is an understatement. We had 12 and a half wonderful years with our golden and we now have another golden retriever puppy. The emergency recall training was first on our list to start training her. That, and to reach out to Colleen again for more of her puppy training wisdom. We are enjoying reconnecting with Colleen, it's just over Zoom this time!

Will Lumsden
January 27, 2023
Carly Barth
November 18, 2022

I took my dog to puppy classes and then to therapy classes, I can’t even tell you how amazing the experience was. Colleen has a wealth of experience and knowledge and is so supportive. The whole experience was so very helpful and I am grateful. I have my new puppy enrolled and can’t wait to get him started. The emergency recall is truly a lifesaver! Thanks Lianne

Alia Schamehorn
October 18, 2022

We love training with Colleen! We want to do right by our puppy and she is helping us learn so much!

Marika Jane
September 23, 2022

Update. After having an open and honest conversation with Colleen, the owner. I would like to amend my review. 4 stars is a better representation of what you get from her. I was angry in my initial review and acted in haste. Colleen is an absolutely wonderful trainer and I did truly have a wonderful time in her classes! She is kind and attentive and works so well with the dogs and their people. I reacted in frustration over the price. As I did find other classes that gave the exact same lessons for less cost. I did feel that there is better value out there. This however, does not mean that Diamond in the ruff was bad in any way! The emergency recall is priceless and has saved our dog. Colleen is loving, caring and easy to work with trainer. In the end it is a high quality class, with a high quality rate.

Aalo Duha
September 8, 2022

Colleen and her team are amazing! My pup Sasha and I bonded during the classes, and Sasha learned good behavior through positive reinforcement! She loves being a good dog and I love being with her! Sasha will now provide lots of loving healing through her pet therapy.

C. Smith
July 1, 2022

Colleen loves dogs and uses fear and force free methods to help dogs and their humans learn and to establish positive, life-long friendships. She doesn't just train companion animals (pets). She also has programs for emotional support animals, therapy animals, and service dogs. She has a soft heart for all creatures, is well educated and has the experience to help families who want the best start for their new family member or who need help to help an anxious pup feel more comfortable and at ease.

Julie Mooney
May 17, 2022

My dog and I were way out of our depth when we started the dog therapy training course with Diamond in the Ruff. I have a very friendly and enthusiastic dog who kept pulling on the leash to go meet all the other people and dogs in the room, when she was supposed to be sitting nicely beside me. When we did get close to the other people, my dog would often jump up on them. I love my dog's enthusiasm but I did not have a good handle on her behaviour. I thought to myself, it's going to take more than 7 weeks to change these pulling on the leash and jumping up on people habits. Over the 7-week course, the trainer, Colleen led classroom activities designed specifically to address the needs of the dogs and humans in the course. I learned so much from Colleen's demonstrations and guidance. By the end of the course, my dog was able to sit still at my side, loose-leash walk by my side, stay and come on command, not jump up on people, plus a number of other tricks we learned. This course has enriched my relationship with my dog and made going for walks and visiting with people so much more enjoyable for both of us. And we graduated as a certified dog therapy team! I'm so glad I took this course and I'm so proud of my sweet dog. I look forward to volunteering in the community as a dog therapy team.

Lu L.
January 16, 2022

Boba and I really enjoyed our time at DITR. All of the staff we worked with were positive, encouraging and worked with us to make Boba the best she could be. Colleen and Don were accommodating and offered good advice on how to bring out the best in Boba. Boba is working as an on-site therapy dog at a school:)

Elizabeth Ng
November 14, 2021

Best dog trainer I've ever had! We have a reactive dog (Sam) and was starting to feel hopeless when we started with Colleen. Just the first session made me feel confident that we could change Sam's behaviour. Colleen gives clear, actionable, step by step instructions, and works with you to make sure you get it right before you leave. She also motivated us by settings expectations correctly so we knew what type of 'signs' meant Sam was doing better. 4 sessions in (over the course of a few months), and Sam can now walk past people on the sidewalk without snapping and jumping. Before, we would have to cross streets to avoid people, and every walk was stressful. It's easy to see that Colleen just loves the animals and their carers, and she's a great translator for us and Sam.

Henry Li
November 14, 2021

Colleen just makes sense. The way she explains what is driving our dog's behaviour or why her training methods work is way better than any other trainer we've had. She has the dog's best interest in heart, and is so patient. Even if she disagrees with something we've been doing, she explains it so that we understand how it affects our dog. She also does it in a super non-judgemental way that just shows how much she cares about the dogs. She builds so much trust, and it makes us feel like we're all on the same team to make our dog's life better. We've been feeling so frustrated and exasperated with our reactive dog and even after the first session, we felt at ease. She makes us feel confident in ourselves to train and have confidence that things will get better. Then they do!

Karen Anstead
August 4, 2021
Anjana Sekhon
July 10, 2021

We have loved our experience with Colleen. We started with the puppy classes and moved on to the reactivity class as our pup started displaying some anxiety. 3rd class in, we started noticing considerable difference in his behaviours! Can't thank Colleen enough! We are on our way to nice walks with no pulling, lunging or the puppy going just going nuts. All of the methods reinforce positive experience and they work! Highly recommend the classes here 😊.

Adam Malenczak
June 3, 2021

Our trainer (Colleen) was amazing! Incredibly accommodating, and she really helped us with our new dog. I can’t recommend their services enough.

David Lee
May 10, 2021

Colleen's passion and love for dogs shone through right from the get-go. She's never hesitated to go the extra mile to ensure the pups and parents receive the best training and advice. We feel very blessed to start this journey with her support.

Leanne Blais
April 1, 2021

Colleen and her team are amazing! Colleen is highly skilled and professional. Her classes provide a wealth of information and we always leave with some actionable strategies to use at home. Because Colleen approaches training with energy and enthusiasm, her classes are fun, too! Colleen's force-free instruction is effective and easy to follow, even for young children. Her Emergency Recall method was a literal life-saver. My son accidentally set our 6-month-old pup free from her leash near busy traffic. He used the recall method we learned in class and within seconds our pup came back to him. Because of Colleen's training, our family avoided a potentially tragic situation. Colleen's admin team are friendly and accomodating. They are always willing to help. I highly recommend Diamond in the Ruff. Thank you, Colleen and staff!

Nadine Gunputrav
March 16, 2021

Colleen is beyond knowledgeable, professional, personable and everything that one could hope far in a trainer/educators!! Not only is she great qith animals, she can help us (pet parenta) learn SO much that will help the health of relationships with furkids! I will always recommend Colleen and her business as a top-notch person and enterprise!! #ThankYou #BetterForIt #HighlyRecommended

Annika Jarman
November 30, 2020

Like many other people, I got a puppy at the beginning of COVID. Coming to DITR, I was anxious about raising a puppy for the first time and I had a relatively fearful puppy. We first did virtual zoom sessions, then completed the Therapy course. Colleen has been amazing to work with and has set us up for success through her individualized training, and later with the group class. She provides insight that's easy to digest, and has helped immensely with Lilo's fear of various stimuli. With her guidance, we have built a strong foundation in training and are continuously building our bond through positive reinforcement. The emergency recall is a really great tool to have, I've used it once and was shocked at how quickly she recalled. Colleen always trains with love and compassion, and we are so thankful to have been pointed her way. I would highly recommend Colleen and her team to anyone! Her instruction is fun and she always considers your dog's experience to help them live their most stress free, fulfilling doggie life.

November 6, 2020
Shirra Letendre
September 22, 2020
February 21, 2020


Beth MacPhail
November 5, 2019
Cher B
October 22, 2019

Colleen is a world class trainer! Her passion for animals and knowledge is like no other! I have had the wonderfully experience to have Colleen work with myself and my dog .We struggle with some confidence issues and reactivity . From our first session with Colleen we have seen results! She has provided us with the tools to use to be able to practice and build skills with my dog . She was able to know exactly what my dog needed from day and was able to help me build my skills to work with my dog .I would highly recommend her and any of her trainings or classes!

Katelyn Lowen
September 23, 2019

When I came to Diamond in the Ruff I had a very fearful puppy. I grew up walking dogs with a choke chain and until I met Colleen and her team I didn't know any different. Despite my dog running out the door on the first class, I was reassured this behavior can be resolved. Using positive reinforcement, my dog Becky has overcome so many obstacles related to anxiety, overall fear of the world, resource guarding and allowing me to cut her nails. I recommend DITR to anyone that genuinely loves their dog and those who can understand that animals have feelings too. In order to get the most out of this training you must put yourself in the pets shoes. Colleen and her team care about their clients. Despite your frustration and anger towards your pets behaviors, they will walk you through it and give you tools for success.

Katherine Holowachuk
September 17, 2019

My pup Indy and I just finished the in-depth Therapy Dog classes. I LOVED the positivity and constant encouragement from Colleen towards us dog owners. I appreciated all the “most likely” scenarios covered that a therapy dog may encounter such as wheelchairs, walkers, food temptations, etc. The absolute best was having our graduation class at a seniors home!!! The constant support and question answering between classes was second to none. We have taken both of our dogs through Diamond In the Ruff’s puppy classes and were so impressed that making the hour long drive for us each week never even came into question. If you want a quality program, an insanely knowledgeable trainer, and long lasting support, this is the place for you!!! Thank you Colleen!!!

Laura Chidley
September 7, 2019

I am so beyond pleased with the training my pup Piper received at Harvard Paw. The trainers Colleen, Donna and Angela were so loving, patient, caring and so well versed and skilled in what they do. My border collie/lab pup learned so much in the two short weeks that she was there and I couldn't have asked for anything more than what we received! The trainers went above and beyond, explaining and modelling what they worked on after hours and continue to keep in touch to ask how Miss Piper is doing today. If you're looking for dog training, Harvard Paw is the way to go! I know we will for sure be back for more training in the future. Thank you!!!!

Justin William
September 4, 2019

We had the best experience working with Colleen! We took our dog (border collie x australian shepherd) through one session of private training, puppy class, and therapy class all with Colleen. She, and her wonderful helpers during the classes, helped our family to learn how to train our puppy effectively and with all positive behavioural modifications. The classes are just as much about teaching your dog to be a good canine citizen as it is about training you to be a good and responsible dog owner. Before starting training with Colleen, I was unsure about whether I would be able to handle such an energetic and hyper dog. After leaving the classes, I am confident that I can redirect any negative behaviours into positive ones. I could not be happier with how my dog training has turned out and would recommend anyone and everyone to bring their dog to train with Colleen.

Samantha Jones
August 30, 2019

Colleen is amazing! Patient, kind, caring and attentive. Took the time to listen and narrowed it down to what we NEEDED. Can't wait for the rest of our sessions!

N Irving
August 24, 2019
Darice Stefanyshyn
August 23, 2019

I contacted Colleen to help me help my dog who had started refusing to get in the car. Colleen had lots of ideas for how to approach it, and really good insight on what might be going through my poor dog's head. It took a lot of practice (like, soooooooooo much practice) before my dog starting to come around, and Colleen was 100% supportive the entire time. I could always count on her to be there with humour and encouragement at the moments when my patience and sanity were wavering. My dog is doing better now and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Colleen's services to any caring dog parent.

Jaclyn Zelke
August 22, 2019

If you are looking for instructors and staff who truly care as much about your puppy’s well-being and successes as you do, Diamond in the Ruff is for you! Right from the moment we emailed Jordon to inquire about classes, we knew this was the place for us. The customer service has been amazing, and our little pup is thriving in Colleen's class—we are constantly asked by strangers on walks and by friends where our puppy classes are! Colleen’s instruction is unique, kind, and extremely clear and easy to follow! Through our “ rough n’ tumble “ classes with my 4 month old puppy, I have felt we truly have learnt at least 16 cues and any puppy concerns or unwanted habits we had were also addressed. I also felt the love from Colleen and all instructors as they individually spent time with my puppy and I during every single class. We can’t wait to continue our training and learning with Colleen and her staff!! I mean at the end of the day, any place with an instructor who greets my puppy every week by exclaiming “ hi, boo-boo!!“ in the most loving tone imaginable, is where I want my pup to learn!

Shelly Nunweiler RDH
August 4, 2019

Colleen & team with Diamond in the Ruff have given us such a wonderful positive puppy training experience! It is clear that Colleen is passionate about training & animals - she is incredibly knowledgeable. She was always available when we had questions and everything she taught us made perfect sense. We get comments all the time at how well behaved Kona is, and we owe it all to Colleen. Her classes are paced well & cover a wide variety of valuable information. I’m not sure what we would have done without you Colleen, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Matthew McFadyen
July 31, 2019

We just our new Cavalier, Palmer, through the Diamond in the Ruff Training with Harvard Paw, and his behaviors and training were first class. The emergency recall is the best idea we've ever heard of, and it will come in to use many times and gives us the peace of mind with our new puppy. It would be impossible for us to state how much we recommend Colleen and her services. Top notch and first class all the way.

Paige Rutherford
July 21, 2019
Anna B
July 15, 2019

My dog and I had a VERY bad training experience at another place where they held him off the ground with a choke collar causing damage to his throat and fears/reactions to other dogs. I was terrified to try another training facility BUT Colleen made me and my dog feel so comfortable, cared for, supported and encouraged. He now doesn’t react and focuses so well on me! Between private and group lessons with Colleen in a short few months I practically have a new dog! I’m now so excited to do many more classes with him and he LOVES going to class! Colleen and her team are so amazing and dedicated and will do ANYTHING to help you succeed! I can’t describe how happy I am to be doing lessons with Diamond in the Ruff. ❤️

Susanne Martin
July 2, 2019

Great experience. I am much more confident with my best friend now. I see him growing every day with more attention to the lessons we learned. Thank you so much for caring about the therapeutic twosome and the work we can do.

Vita Midyette
June 25, 2019

Colleen at the helm of Diamond in the Ruff is an amazing dynamo package of expertise and ability! I've seen her sooth a reactive dog in minutes, I've seen her train my spirited puppy in seconds! I've had the pleasure of home visit training sessions with Colleen twice for my mini dachshunds (stubborn by nature) and she's got the theory to get what we need out of the breed all with positive training tactics! Colleen has also volunteered countless hours for the rescue For the Love of Danes and we get dogs that have issues into the rescue. She has given time and suggestions and made herself available; she makes sure the dog is the priority and truly cares that we get them the best help to ensure a forever home that sticks. The rescue is so appreciative of Colleen and the trainers she has at Diamond in the Ruff. If you want a trainer with actual hands on talent and an innate way of "talking" to your animal; you need Diamond in the Ruff. Whether you have a piglet, a lion or a dog, Colleen not only has experience; she delivers.

Kristin Clark
June 8, 2019
Whitney Pageau
May 11, 2019

Colleen is so skilled and passionate about her work, her enthusiasm is boundless. I love having a positive training method, not only because I believe it’s better for the quality of life of my dog, but because it’s more effective. I thought I wouldn’t be able to find a trainer let alone such a great fit, because I live in a rural area, but we have been able to work successfully over video chat. My pupper learned the emergency recall skill quickly, exactly as laid out in the training guide, and I feel much more secure knowing that my girl will always come charging back to me when it really matters. If you want to forge a better relationship with your furry family then this is the trainer for you!

April 19, 2019

Brought our rescue to a puppy class with Colleen. We showed up to the incorrect class, but she let us stay anyways. We were having a few behavioural issues with the dog, and Colleen was available via text with support. After having the dog for a week, there was a bite incident which required us to return the dog to the adoption agency. Not only was our money refunded, but Colleen called to see how we were doing and offered to connect us with some other resources for a new puppy when the time comes. When we do have a new puppy, we will be returning.

shannon cardinal
March 27, 2019

An amazing company and team of people. They do not use force training in any way. It's all very positive. Colleen is very kind and respectful. She has excellent training ideas and they work. Even my senior dog is able to learn things. And I have learned a lot! The Emergency Recall method is excellent. She truly understands dog behaviour and holds a wealth of knowledge and expertise. I have had private sessions and also group training for my puppy from Colleen. I have used 3 other trainers in the past for two other dogs that are now passed. These places were good too. But to compare, Colleen takes it up that extra notch to excellence. Great with my dog family and my husband and me. Happy dogs and happy customers!

Kelsey MacLeod
August 2, 2018

We had used other companies for puppy training classes but this one is superior in their style and the education background of the trainers. The most important thing they taught us was the Emergency Recall which can be used in the event of an emergency and when we have had to use this it's flawless. Our dog comes sprinting back towards us no matter what and we can't thank the team at Diamond in the Ruff for the amazing skills Enni has learned and the training techniques she taught us. HIGHLY recommend!!! We are going to sign up for their therapy training when our puppy is a little older. THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!! 🙂

Lupe K
July 9, 2018

My husband and I recently just adopted a 4 month old golden labradoodle, and we were searching for puppy classes that could accommodate us. We were looking for classes that focus on positive reinforcement and that would teach US multiple cues. What we got out of Diamond in the Ruff, far exceeded our expectations. Colleen’s extensive knowledge on our particular breed, but as well as many others, helped us in the learning process. We highly recommend this puppy class (Ruff n’ Tumble) to anyone who wants to learn with their pup in a loving and friendly environment. Thank you Colleen and Diamond in the Ruff for this wonderful experience. L & A

Why Work with Colleen and Diamond in the Ruff Inc.?

Colleen and her team have a very high success rate and continuing education with many credentials to her name.

Fear Free Certified Professional

Fear Free Certified Professional

CKC Member - 1478486

CKC Member - 1478486

CGC Evaluator - 2103-003

CGC Evaluator - 2103-003