When and how did you got into dog training?
As a child we had 3 dogs, I was obsessed with dogs and would cut doggy articles out of newspapers creating a scrapbook of the cuttings. Aged 15/16 for pocket money I walked a neighbours Brittany called Maddy. I saved my pocket money to buy dog training books! When the neighbour could not keep Maddy she came to live with us. We started a journey of training, fun agility and fun dog shows. I started work and people would ask how all 4 dogs walked so nicely, I started giving advice, this led to 1-2-1 sessions and a variety of classes.
What do you like the most about dog training?
I find dog training is something I enjoy and every day is different – new people, new dogs, new challenges and new behaviours to train. I love the excitement of using a variety of techniques to strengthen the bonds between owner and dog and hope that I can make a positive difference in their lives.
How long have you been part of the KCAI scheme?
I have been part of the KCAI Scheme since 2004.
Why are you a member of the KCAI Scheme?
I am a member of the KCAI Scheme because I believe it recognises both your experience and knowledge and gives you an award that you can be proud of achieving. It sets a standard to ensure that members are adhering to the same Code of Practice, which I feel will help to improve the dog training industry and bring it in line with today’s modern world.
What would you say your biggest achievements in your career so far have been?
KCAI Accreditation - especially making time to sit and work through it, this has been challenging at times!
Mentoring over 8 university students, they have now gone on to run their own businesses and one works for the Dogs Trust as a trainer. I feel particularly proud to have helped them on their way and given them some positive skills to use with their clients and love to hear how they are progressing.
Instructing Treibball at Try Out, Take In and Teach (TOTIT) weekend (the KCAI Annual Event).
Gaining a BSc Honours degree in Canine Behaviour and Training - I never thought I was academic enough!
Any work that you do with or for dogs, in addition to dog training instructing?
I run a small dog rescue and deal with day to day care of the dogs, exercise, training and raising funds for the rescue. I co-ordinate the Dog Crèche at large outdoor events (The CLA/Game fair for 16 Years) to ensure that dogs are not left in cars on hot days and look after and reunite lost/injured dogs on site. I organise a Walkies group initially started for a few ladies that did not feel comfortable walking by themselves. We hold walks in secure areas and finish with a cuppa and a chat which has formed new friendships.
Do you own a dog yourself and if so its name/breed?
I own several dogs mainly Gundogs (Welsh Springers, Brittany, Labrador, Weimaraner, and Working Cockers) but I also have a Great Dane, Bedlington Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer just to mix things up and keep me on my toes!