As a dog trainer I am passionate about improving the relationship between companion dogs and their owners. I believe that training should be kind and effective for the dog and owner, with a little bit of help anyone can have a well-trained dog.
Focusing on training for the real world, I see little point in having a dog who behaves well in a class environment but nowhere else, so after initial assessment (ideally in the home) sessions take place outside, generally in areas where the dog will normally be walked.
I am also very keen to show owners just what their companion dogs are capable of, encouraging them to try scenting games (great for finding lost car keys), tracking, clicker training, fun agility etc. I firmly believe that both mental and physical stimulation are vital to having a happy, healthy dog.
Living in a rural area with my roots firmly in agriculture and the countryside I am very aware of how important it is that our dogs are safe around farm livestock and wildlife, therefore education in this is something which I feel is vital for all companion dogs and their owners.
I have been involved with dogs as my working partners and companions for most of my life (apparently building agility courses for our long-suffering Dachshund almost as soon as I could walk!)
I went to college to train with horses, took my BHSAI and then worked full time as a groom, which also involved caring for working gundogs. When I married a farmer I fell in love with working and training sheepdogs. I soon discovered clicker training and of course couldn’t resist trying out my new-found skills on various chickens, sheep and goats…… Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to do courses and workshops with lots of the top trainers, the late John Fisher, Sheila Bailey, John Rogerson and Anne Bussey to name a few. My love of training and working dogs has also taken me briefly into the world of obedience, out on the shooting field and into Working Trials.
I am currently owned by two dogs, Tali a 4 year old Border Collie who, as well as being my best friend, has won an Introductory Working Trial and gained Certificates of Merit at Companion Dog (known as CD) and Utility Dog (known as UD).
Merlin joined us a year ago, he is an 18 month old rescued Working Sheepdog, who we believe lived rough for a while but now thoroughly enjoys his home comforts and everything life has to offer. He recently passed his ‘APDT Good Companion’ Foundation Award. Together we enjoy long country walks, any training especially scent work, and ‘geocaching’ (see www.geocaching.com).
Always keen to learn more and develop my understanding and experience, over the last couple of years I have attended the following workshops. For more information, please click on a course to go to their website.
- Two-day Behaviour Adjustment Therapy (BAT) seminar with Grisha Stewart
- Talking Dogs Scentwork Training with Pam Mackinnon
- Dog Training 101 and Rally-O workshops with Morag Heirs
- Crime Scene Investigation and Tracking courses with John Rogerson
- Working Trials Courses with Moira Rogerson and Bill Richardson
- Scentwork Day with Pauline Jackson
- Working Trials Courses with Anne Bussey
- Canine Murder Mystery weekend with Tamsin Durston
- Working Trials Control Day with Susanne Jaffa
- Agility Workshops with Lucy Parkin
- Heelwork to Music workshop with Richard Curtis