Kim Cooper

Kim is the owner and senior instructor at Best Friends. She has been training dogs for over 35 years,

and has been instructing training classes for 29 years. She earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Royal Military College and served for 14 years as an officer in the Air Force before making a non-traditional career move and becoming a professional dog trainer.


Kim actively competes in obedience, agility, tracking and other sports with her dogs. In the winter, she can often be found skijoring on local paths and trails. But her true passion is training search and rescue dogs. She has trained and handled 6 exceptional SAR dogs over the years, and revels in the special partnership that exists between a working dog and its handler.

Some of Kim’s accomplishments:

Certified 4 SAR dogs to OPP standards (only 20 dogs have ever achieved this certification, Kim is proud to have coached 14 of them, and partner to 4)

Certified 1 SAR dog to RCMP standards

Certified as a FEMA Canine Search Specialist (1 of only 2 Canadians to ever achieve this certification)

Certified 4 cadaver dogs with IPWDA and NAPWDA

Handled multiple dogs on the deepest water find by dogs in Canada (218′)

Veteran of over 300 searches for missing persons

Founder, Ottawa Valley SAR Dog Association

Founding Director, Ontario SAR Volunteer Assn

Featured in CBC Podcast “Someone Knows Something” and National Geographic’s “Finding Dial”

Trainer of #5 Obedience Dog in Canada (all breeds) 2006

Earned first CKC Grand Master Obedience Trial Championship on a Belgian Shepherd

Earned over 60 High in Trials (obedience)

Earned first CKC Tracking Championship on a Belgian Shepherd

One of only 3 trainers to have earned 2 TChs

Titled multiple dogs in obedience, agility and tracking

Trainer to the Governor General of Canada

CKC and AAC Agility judge (retired), Masters level

Canine Good Neighbour evaluator

Member of the Cdn Assn of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT)

Long Service Member of the Canadian Kennel Club

Member of the International Police Working Dog Association

Member of the North American Police Work Dog Association

Member of the Agility Association of Canada

Member of the Canadian Disk Dog Association

Member of the Ontario Dock Dogs

Team Manager of the Ottawa Valley SAR Dog Association

Guest speaker, CAPPDT Annual Conference

Guest lecturer, Algonquin College Veterinary Technician Program

Guest speaker, Health Canada – Veterinary Drugs Directorate

Guest Speaker, SARScene National SAR Conference