Qualified Dog Daycare Staff

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Canine Kindergarten Qualified Staff

Qualified Staff in Dog Daycare, Dog Training, Dog Grooming

Our Staff

Maxine Fernandez-Cert IV Dog Behavioural Training


I first started working with animals many years ago at the RSPCA, Yagoona. I developed a passion for dog training and especially behaviour and started offering puppy classes, which I did for many years. During this time I completed my Veterinary Nursing Certificate and Certificate IV in Dog Behavioural Training.

I was also lucky to have worked at the Veterinary Specialist Centre, in Sydney as a senior surgical nurse and completed my Diploma in Surgical Nursing. During this time I continued to run training classes and established CANINE KINDERGARTEN.

Owner of a a french bulldog named Evie.

My qualifications include:

  • Dip.CBST-Diploma of Canine Science and Technology (casinstitute.com)
  • Canine Good Citizen (CGC™) instructor, accredited through the Delta Society of Australia
  • Certificate IV in Dog Behavioural Training
  • Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
  • Diploma in Surgical Nursing
  • KPA CTP-Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
  • Completed 12 months study at the grooming school in Newcastle with Christine Speerin ICMG

Niki O'Connor


Niki is our senior supervisor and has been with Canine Kindergarten since the beginning of 2015.

She currently holds a Diploma of Canine Behavior at the Canine Animal Science Institute, Certificate IV in Companion Animals, Certificate III in Captive Animals and Certificate II in Animal Studies.

Niki owns a King Charles Cavalier called Bambi and will continue to pursue and study her love of positive reinforcement training.

Amanda Maynard


Mandy is our very experienced dog groomer. She has been with Canine Kindergarten since it opened. Before starting at Canine Kindergarten, Mandy spent most of her working career as a qualified Veterinary Nurse.

After being a general practice Veterinary Nurse for 11 years, Mandy went on to work at the Veterinary Specialist Centre. Mandy was introduced to grooming whilst working in general practice, but has spent the last three years dedicated to dog grooming here at Canine Kindergarten.

Mandy recently completed a refresher course with the Grooming School in Newcastle to expand her knowledge and update her skills in styling dogs.

Mandy's canine family includes a Westie named Fergus McKenzie, a Havanese named Lola and Saffy the cat.

Sophie Byrne


Sophie has been with us since February 2014. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservative at Macquarie University.

Sophie has previously completed Certificate II Animal Studies at Taronga Training Institute and Certificate III-Captive Animals.

Sophie has a Kelpie X named Mossie.

Demi Ward


Demi is one of our newest members, starting with us at canine kindergarten in June 2017. Demi has completed her Certificate II in Animal Studies and has recently completed studying her Certificate IV in Animal Companion Services. She plans to continue studying towards Animal behaviour and training in the future. Demi has a 12 year old shmoodle named Mesha.

Chelsea Cosgrave


Chelsea joined Canine Kindergarten in 2015 after working at a local animal shelter. She holds a Cert II in Animal Studies, Cert IV in Companion Animal Services via Delta Society and she is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.

Chelsea owns a Pug cross Tibetan Spaniel named Banjo and a cat named Pepper.

Sammy Daniels


Sammy has been with us since the beginning of 2015 and she holds her Certificate ll in Animal Studies at Ultimo TAFE Sydney and currently completing her Certificate lll in Captive Animals at Taronga Training Institute. She wishes to pursue a career in ethology and animal training. Her fur babies consist of Lily, a Staffy cross German Shepard and two cats Eddie and Poppy.

Amy Callaghan


Amy has been with canine kindergarten since February 2014.

She Currently holds certificate 4 in veterinary nursing and certificate 2 in animals studies and in future is keen to open up her own dog walking business.

Amy has a 9 year old female English staffy called Gidget and will continue to pursue more animal/dog training courses.

Charlie Starkey


Charlie started working with us in August 2016. She's completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training through the National Dog Training Federation. Charlie has a deep love of animals and training, and has put her skills to use volunteering at an animal shelter and being a foster carer for a number of years.

She currently has a 2 year old Pomeranian mix named Pikachu, and together they compete in flyball, agility, scentwork and obedience. She also has a cat, who competes for the best spot on the couch.

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