Meet Our Headliners

Allison Foley

Allison Foley grew up in the sport of dogs, showing her first Miniature Poodle in Junior handling when she was 7 years old.  Being successful in Juniors, Allison went to work for professional Handlers Ted and Earlene Luke when she was 12. At age 14, she won her first all breed Best in Show on an Afghan Hound, her parents bred. Later that year she went to work for the famous Susan Hillman and it is here that her grooming, handling and knowledge of the care and training of show dogs increased dramatically.  

 In 1987 Allison moved from Victoria, British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario and began her career as a professional dog handler. Fast forward from there to her winning more than 550 All-breed "Best in Shows" on various breeds, but Poodles are her passion!   

 Allison has piloted three different dogs to #1 All Breed Status including two standard Poodles. She has won with Poodles at Westminster KC, The World Dog Show, Poodle Club of America and even grooming the Crufts Best in Show winner, “Ricky”. Allison has won Best in shows on breeds from all 7 Canadian Kennel Club groups, has bred a Westminster Best of Breed winner, is licensed by the American Kennel Club to judge Junior Showmanship and is currently the owner and founder of the world’s first “video on demand” dog show school “Leading Edge Dog Show Academy”.  

 Having been a professional dog handler for 30 years, Allison not only brings a wealth of knowledge to her lessons but also her whimsical view on life. Allison is the President of the Canadian Professional Dog Handlers Association (CPHA), the Vice President of the Canadian Kennel Club Foundation, the Junior Handling Representative for the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) in Nova Scotia. She also writes for several dog magazines, worldwide.    

Jac Harbour

Jac has been breeding Standard poodles for conformation, obedience, companionship, therapy and service dogs under the pre-fix Tudorose since 1972. She has bred some of the most genetically diverse standard poodles in the pool today. She is a world class trainer of service dogs, hunting dogs and is a mentor to many.  

 Jac founded” Hearing Ear Dogs” and developed “Special Skills Dogs”, both now under the umbrella of the Lions Foundation of Canada, and for four years worked with “Trainers 2 the Rescue”. Jac co-founded Key Companions Service Dogs, which helps families train their own service dogs and is a field rep for “PAWS with a Cause”. She is the current owner/trainer of “Paws 4 Performance LLC”.  Among the numerous honours she has been awarded, notable are Woman of the Year in Hamilton Ontario and the Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada in 1991. Jac’s contribution to dogs in North America includes her ground-breaking puppy rearing and testing protocol.  Jac's Seminars are a Recipe for a Performance Pup

Anders Rosell

Anders Rosell of Avatar Kennels, is a Graphic Designer and Art Director by profession. Anders is also a world-renowned breeder of Standard and Miniature Poodles under the prefix 'Avatar'. 

Anders has been involved with Poodles since the mid 70′s and bred and owned many Top and Best in Show (BIS) winners. As a small scale breeder Avatar has bred champions in 20 different countries all over the world. The Avatar dogs are to be found behind top winners all over the globe. At prestigious shows such as the PCA (Poodle Club of America National Show) his dogs have produced BIS,  BIS puppy, BIS Veteran, 3 different Winners Dog, many Award of Merit  winners as well as BIS Stud dog and BIS Brood bitch. Anders is the only European Standard Poodle breeder who has bred/owned four generations of American Top Producers. Six different stud dogs bred or owned by Avatar have produced Group winners in North America. He has also bred and owned World Winners in Europe, Junior World Winners, Veteran World Winners, Dog of the Year Winner in Australia, as well as Top Poodle Bitch in Canada.   

Anders is also a licensed grooming judge and has judged at competitions such as Intergroom in America, the Oster Invitational Tournament in Germany, Groomania in Belgium, Artero International Championship in Spain, and Scandinavian Master Groom in Sweden. As an educator he has held many grooming seminars and workshops for Poodles, which includes countries such as the U.S, Canada, England, Australia, Russia, Israel, Scandinavia as well as numerous countries throughout Europe. He was the co-owner and publisher of the famous breed magazines The Scandinavian Poodle Magazine and Scandinavian Sighthounds – The Journal.  Anders is currently living and working in Malaga, Spain.  

Myra Savant Harris RN

Myra Savant Harris RN bred Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in the past, and is an expert on pre-and post-natal care of the bitch, whelping, and everything to do with newborn puppy care. Myra's books have sold in every English-speaking nation on the planet. She is busy working on her fourth book as well as videotaping her entire seminar on a 4 DVD set that will be available on her web site along with her books and many useful tools used in whelping and rearing puppies.  Much of the work Myra has done has pioneered crucial concepts about the canine reproduction system. Myra co-founded a large canine repro group on Facebook and encourages anyone who feels that a group would be useful in their endeavors in breeding their dogs.  She is easily reached at her email address:  myrasavant (at) and through her website at:  

Natalie Green Tessier Of BetterBred

 Natalie has owned and trained standard poodles since 1987 and bred her first litter in 2006.  Along the way she learned the confined gene pool was responsible for health issues in standard poodles, as well as other breeds. This inspired her to search for unusual pedigrees for her program, which began a quest to preserve this historic breeds traits through genetic diversity.  

Natalie is one of the founding members of the Standard Poodle Project and was advisor to Dr. Niels Pederson of UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab. Read the research paper here. Most recently she designed a software programme  which analyzes the database of hundreds to thousands of dogs using genetic information gleaned from the aforementioned study. This significant piece of software can be used to assist a number of breeds facing genetic bottlenecks including Akitas, English Bulldogs, Dobermans and Havanese to breed with diversity. Mating choices can now be based on genetic makeup, which leads to healthier lineage.  

Christine Scruggs VMD

Christine is the owner of Deep River Animal Hospital in Connecticut and breeds standard poodles under the prefix of Tivin which she founded in 1991. Christine started her kennel between college and veterinary school, however her relationship with poodles started in early childhood as her mother bred poodles under the prefix Tiva. She graduated from Smith College in 1991 and worked at International Canine Genetics for several years before entering the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine, from which she graduated in 2000.  

Christine breeds for the total dog as she competes in performance events as well as conformation. Several of her puppies have gone on to become therapy and service dogs. As a veterinarian she is intimately familiar with the health challenges faced by the breed. One of her areas of expertise is canine reproduction, including ovulation timing, surgical and trans-cervical inseminations, frozen semen collection and storage, and overall canine fertility. Christine is also the author of multiple articles published in various journals.  

In addition to being a breeder and veterinarian, Christine and her husband Dave are the proud parents of 16 year old twin boys, one of whom also competes in agility with their poodles. As a lifelong poodle enthusiast, Christine enjoys giving back to the breed that is such an important and integral part of her life.  


REGRETFULLY Monica Segal is unable to attend and present at this year's conference. She is certified in Animal Health Care through the University of  Guelph (2000) with studies in animal nutrition, physiology, diseases and  parasites, as well as pet care. She has been a regular guest on Talk  640 Radio, interviewed on Breakfast Television and City TV in Toronto,  KFWB in Los Angeles and Pet Talk hosted by Mitch Wilder.
 Monica writes featured articles in many publications throughout North  America, has been interviewed by other writers for several magazines,  and conducts seminars and workshops by invitation. She hosts an Internet  discussion group called K9Kitchen on Facebook and Yahoo. Monica has  authored a book called K9Kitchen, Your Dogs' Diet: The Truth Behind The  Hype and another called, Optimal Nutrition  which includes a foreword  written by Ana Hill DVM, PhD and was published in 2007.
Monica lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband Morley and their dog, Hudson.
Nutritional Philosophy:
Each dog is an individual and needs to be fed that way. Itchy skin,  runny eyes, gastrointestinal problems and a myriad of other complaints  can often be traced to dietary sensitivities. Certain breeds and  individuals are predisposed to particular ailments that may be addressed  by dietary modifications. Addressing disease may require a unique  change in diet plans. Respecting the needs of individual dogs translates  to feeding a diet that supports uniqueness. The notion of there being  one perfect way to feed all dogs is a myth. Some will thrive on an all  raw diet, others will do best on cooked foods, and yet others will do  well eating a combination of both. The choice is based on the dog  owner's comfort level with a particular method of feeding and the dog's  tolerance level of that choice.

David Silversides DVM Ph.D.

David has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry, his D.M.V., and a Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology - Endocrinology. Additionally he is a University Professeur at the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire at the Université de Montréal. He lectures to dog enthusiasts frequently, and is co-owner of the Montréal genetics lab LABGENVET.  

Gayle Watkins Ph.D.

Gayle is a consultant on dog breeding, puppy rearing and evaluation who presents Avidog International LLC seminars around the continent.  She also works with pet, performance and  working  dog breeders around the world to design breeding strategies  that produce healthy, stable, long-lived dogs. Gayle serves on the boards of Cornell’s Baker Institute for Animal Health and Canine Health Events.

 Gayle’s professional life included 22 years of service as a US Army   officer (retiring as a Colonel), teaching, speaking and publishing, and   conducting research for the Department of the Army as well as many corporate and non-profit organizations. Her education includes  biology, business and sociology degrees from Harvard, Stanford and  Gettysburg College.
Gayle has been breeding golden retrievers for over 35 years and has  bred  over 60 American and Canadian Conformation, Tracking, Obedience  and  Agility champions, plus Qualified-All Age and Master Hunter golden retrievers.  These dogs include the second National Agility Champion  golden retriever and the youngest Champion Tracker golden.

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Gayle who received the prestigious Breeder of the Year Award from the American Kennel Club!

Olga Zabelinskaya

Olga is a Nationally and Internationally Certified Master Groomer. She has groomed competitively throughout the U.S. since 2004 and has multiple “Best in Show" and "Best All-Around Groomer" wins as well as 2 prestigious “Winners Circle Champion " titles. Olga was awarded a Lynn Carwer Memorial Award “Best All Around Stylist 2009".  Olga was born in Russia where she earned her Master’s Degree in Engineering and finished law school. After her family moved to the U.S., Olga found a job in a grooming business. Within 5 years, she went from a self-taught newbie to becoming a Groom Team USA member 2008 through 2014. Olga was a member of the traveling Groom Team USA in 2011, 2013 and 2015 while aiding her team to wins of 2 Silvers and a Gold. She also is acknowledged as being one of the TOP FIVE World Best groomers.        

Olga was the proud recipient of some of the Grooming Industry highest achievements; the 2009 & 2010 Cardinal Crystal American Groomer of the Year Award and the 2009 Congeniality Award.  Both honors are categories of the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards, which recognize excellence in the field of competitive and professional grooming. One of the highest honors attainable by a professional groomer, the American Groomer of the Year award is the grooming industry version of the Best Picture Oscar. Olga owns and operates two grooming salons in New Jersey “Elite pet Spa & Boutique" and “Grooming Gallery" which won Cardinal achievement award in 2010.  Her grooming experience includes styling dogs for prestigious Westminster and Eukanuba dog shows as well as for celebrity customers.  Olga participates in charity events and does grooming seminars for professional groomers and pet owners worldwide.   

Canine Advantage Resources and Education

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