Can a dog teach Leaders new tricks?

May 5th, 2016


Can a Dog Teach Leaders New Tricks?

May 4th, 2016

Can a Dog Teach Leaders New Tricks?

Delivering Innovative Leadership Training Using Rescue Dogs

You and a learning partner will be paired with an AARCS dog in an unforgettable experience.  This planned, yet always surprising time with Dog is an eye opener with applicable learning to life, work,  and your personal brand.

COOLdog Coach Sherri Olsen and AARCS are introducing this novel workshop.

DATE:  Apr 23, 2016.  Choose either  8:30- noon, or 1 – 4:30 PM.

Where: Montgomery Community Association, 5003 16 ave NW.

Cost:  By donation; half of proceeds supporting AARCS

To register:  Call Sherri Olsen 403-519-5998, or email

Sherri is a Leadership and Turnaround Coach, and dog educator, and who recognizes the authenticity and wonder of dog as teacher. 

Why this course?

After many years of teaching leaders how to coach/communicate in the workplace, it struck me how the most important ‘skills’ for leadership aren’t really skills at all.  I pondered why I and many of my clients worked harder and were happiest with some Leaders over others.  The answer was what I call the ‘human’ factor, where a Leader led through demonstrating personal attributes  or values like integrity that really cannot be ‘taught’ in the typical classroom setting.  It seems great leaders demonstrate this non tangible aspect.  And I wanted to teach this seemingly un-teachable thing.  Just when or how does a person decide to care about how they lead others? To decide to lead others without ego, without worrying about power, control or being right?  Instead to lead by creating trust, respect, and open communication?  I didn’t know…until I got a dog…

Just how DOES a dog know what attribute we need to embody, that if we learned it, would benefit not only work, but our quality of life?   Let’s see what your dog unfolds for you.

Pet Expo Passes, Puppy Raisers, and Guide Dogs

March 20th, 2011

March 2011


For someone who does Career Coaching for a living, it is funny to me that it has taken me so long to bring dogs back into my life.  After all, I wrote to Ann Landers at 10 with my dilemma of wanting a dog career but didn’t like blood so couldn’t be a vet, didn’t want to breed because there were too many unwanted dogs already, and didn’t think I could leave my Mom to take Guide Dog Training in Ontario!

Lucky for me, I saw an advertisement in December for Alberta Guide Dogs seeking a Puppy Raising Supervisor.  By now I have clued in a bit to take a variety of dog training courses, have my dog certified by PALS to be a therapy dog, and write an off leash dog training book, called COOLdog, a Guide to Safe Off-Lease Fun.

I was hired.

Off I go to BC to learn from the Guide Dog Instructors, which included a blind fold walk.  Folks, I can’t tell you in words how that experience impacted me.  I was paired with Rory, who took me through a parking lot, through doors, away from clothing racks in the middle of the aisle, and to save my hide from a sure collision by moving to the left and stopping.  Coming straight for me were three people not noticing Rory and I.  Her careful maneuver  saved me from colliding that was so close I could feel the air move between the fast walkers and I.

By the time we arrived at the restaurant, I was so in awe of this little black dog I was moved to tears.  Rory of course, took it all in stride.  Just another walk for this Guide Dog in training!

Rory is featured in the Spring episode of Modern Dog; and she has now passed her advanced training with BC Guide Dogs (

Well, better late than never.  After 20 years of People Coaching, I can now add official Dog Coaching to my portfolio of skills.  It is indeed a privilege to be a part of an organization that is all about helping others.

That includes of course, the volunteer Puppy Raisers!  Their willingness to raise a wee puppy for up to 18 months before they go to big dog Guide School is incredible.  The time, effort, and love they give to our dogs is crucial in order to have a Guide Dog for the Blind.  Thank-you!

Currently, we are looking for some Puppy Raising Volunteers in Calgary.  You are: full of love, devotion, and patience! ,  are willing to attend obedience classes twice a month, have numerous training outings with me, and are not working(or working from home).  Our pups can only be alone for a few hours at a time.  It is best that only one other dog is in your household.

The rewards are great, the time is steep, and the love is deep.  Call Sherri Olsen at Alberta Guide Dogs for more information at 403-612-7878, or email me at .

I hope to see you at the Calgary Pet Expo Mar 26 and 27!   I still have some passes available. Please email/call and I will provide!


Sherri Olsen

Puppy Love

December 5th, 2010

I had the pleasure of accidently being nearby a fellow with his new 8 wk old puppy who walked right up to me when his owner turned.   Having a young pup walk right up to you, lick your face, the smell of puppy breath, and little teeth, and puppy licks…ah! the joy.   I savoured the moment for as long as I could, and let in the pure feelings of love and bliss fill me like only a puppy can do! 

Ashley reading to Bear

December 2nd, 2010

Dec 1, 2010

Bear and I volunteer at the library and small kids read to him.  Today I was surprised when I saw a small envelop presented to me that said “Bear” on it.  It was from six year old Ashley.  It was the cutest Christmas card EVER with 2 doggie treats and the words WOOF WOOF written, some pictures of presents, and lots of hearts.  She sat down with her book, Bear laid down with his head on my leg, and we enjoyed our time together.

Little did I know that she was the one who was too afraid to come in on our first gathering.  She sat outside and cried.  The library coordinator said when Ashley left she said, “I’ll try to be brave next week and come in.”

Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes!  From being too afraid to come in, to sitting with us, chatting and reading, I had no idea she was the shy girl from weeks ago.

What a priviledge to share time with Ashley.  And how precious to receive such a thoughtful card.  I realize today how much I enjoy giving service to children.  Having coached adults my entire life, this is a whole new realization for me. I get why kids are so precious!  Thank-you Ashley.

Welcome to COOLdog Blog!

October 7th, 2010

We’re just getting settled in here, so please be sure to check back for new posts!