Helene Lawler2

Hélène (she/her) got her first dog, a border collie named Jake, in 1989 and has been training dogs ever since. Over the years, she has explored obedience, search and rescue, protection sports, rally, tricks, and freestyle, among others. She discovered agility in 2004, and herding in 2005. Herding quickly became her passion; she was so excited about it that she took lessons for a whole year without a dog!

In 2006, Hélène bought her first herding dog — a border collie named Hannah. Hannah was an amazing partner and teacher, and together had a very successful career in both agility and herding. They won the Ontario novice herding championship in their first year of competition. They proceeded to go all the way to Open in USBCHA herding while simultaneously competing at the Masters level in agility.

Hélène has also been very active in rescue over the years, giving her the opportunity to work with a wide variety of dogs and challenges. It was through working with rescue dogs that she discovered and became committed to using positive reinforcement-based training methods.

Her passion today is finding practical, hands on ways of applying the science of learning to training working and sport dogs. Additionally, she is exploring new understandings of arousal and finding innovative ways of putting that learning into practice.

Hélène is also deeply committed to natural rearing as a critical component of dog training, believing that a clear, sound mind and a strong, healthy body are integral to a calm, confident, eager-to-learn animal partner.

Today, Hélène lives on a mixed livestock farm in rural eastern Ontario with her team of Border Collies, two Maremma guardian dogs, and an Australian Kelpie. She teaches private and group lessons, workshops, seminars, and online classes in herding and dog sport foundations.

Hélène can be reached at

 Pronouns: Hélène goes by she/her.

Helene's Current and Upcoming Courses

DS400: Herding Flatwork Foundations

  This course is designed to give you the tools and understanding you need to prepare yourself and your dog for herding. Flatwork is the set of skills dogs need prior t...

October 1, 2024

Contact Information

Have a question about an upcoming course taught by Hélène?  Not sure if your dog is suitable for a specific class? Please contact her to make sure the course is suitable for you and your dog.

Click here to contact Hélène.

Student Testimonials

"Hélène is an incredible teacher with incredible attention and support to all of the students, I think she goes above and beyond what would be expected in terms of feedback. She is very generous and positive and optimistic and never sounds critical, she really teaches her students with positive reinforcement and is a tremendous leader."

"Hélène is a wonderful instructor! Her training games are really suited to my dog and it resulted behaviors with a doggy smile and a spring in her step. My girlie loved it! We are looking forward to Hélène's next class."

"Hélène seemed to take each and every question, comment and video submission seriously and always provided positive and helpful comments/advice. There was no doubt she wanted her students and their canine partners to succeed in their endeavors."

"Hélène was GREAT with her feedback on the Gold spots, very detailed responses with screen shots of your video. She is truly vested in her students."

"This was a fantastic class. I loved the various topics and gave me lots to think about regarding work and arousal. Her review of gold students was very detailed and spot on. She always took the time to really understand the student and dog."

"Hélène was a great instructor and fabulous representative for FDSA. I would not hesitate taking another course instructed by Hélène."

"Hélène has an amazing eye for detail. She picks up little nuances in the video to help you communicate clearer. I would definitely be happy to work with her in the future."

"I thoroughly enjoyed this course. There was tons of interesting learning material presented in a really easy to understand way with lots of visual aids. I love the detailed analysis that Hélène gives to each of the students videos. There was a lot of handler thinking and self-analysis required for this course - which was great, but really required serious engagement from the students. I would love to do another class with Hélène in the future."

"Hélène, you were wonderful and I hope you know how much you made a difference for Hope and Me. I hope you offer more classes. How about a class for keeping dogs on their stations while your training other dogs? Thank you Fenzi for having Hélène as an instructor and offering other sport classes. Look forward to more learning."