When and how did you got into dog training?
My passion for dog training started seven years ago when I adopted my GSD from the rescue centre I volunteer at, she was 6 months old and had not had a good start in life so I wanted to change that and do everything possible to make her life as fulfilled as possible so I signed up to a local dog training club. I loved the training and quickly progressed through the classes and went on to be an instructor at the club.
What do you like the most about dog training?
The most enjoyable thing about dog training is seeing the bond and relationship between dog and owner improve and grow as the training progresses and the feedback from clients about how much the training has improved their everyday life.
How long have you been part of the KCAI scheme?
I have been a member of the KCAI Scheme for two years and although I started doing the paperwork completing the APL before the scheme changed, I have now completed five of the online modules and hope to complete the rest of the modules in the new year and apply for accreditation, I haven't had time to do that this year as I have been busy setting up my home dog boarding business and my dog training workload has significantly increased.
Why are you a member of the KCAI Scheme?
I like being a member of the KCAI scheme because I believe the Kennel Club is nationally recognised and held in high regard by members of the public and I want to feel that if and when I am accredited, I am part of a scheme which is nationally recognised and respected. The public can be confident when enrolling for classes that I am a competent instructor because I am part of a professional well respected club.
What would you say your biggest achievements in your career so far have been?
There are many achievements I am proud of in my career but one that stands out is when I qualified with my rescue GSD to be a Pets As Therapy volunteer, dogs are fantastic companions and give us so much unconditional love that I wanted to give this to people who for whatever reason no longer have a dog, we regularly go to residential care homes and day centres and the residents love our visits.
Any work that you do with or for dogs, in addition to dog training instructing?
As well as Dog Training and Pets As Therapy work I have also been chairperson of a local dog rescue centre ‘Just For Dogs’ on a voluntary basis for 17 years where I help to raise funds by organising dog shows, street collections, fund raising events and also spend time training the rescue dogs with a view to making them more homeable. I have also set up a home dog boarding business which is really taking off with lots of regular customers who give me great feedback and recommendations.
I foster elderly and terminally ill dogs that come into rescue which are difficult to rehome, it can be heart-breaking but is hugely rewarding when you see the change in the dogs behaviour and quality of life. I feel very privileged to be able to spend so much of my working day with and being around dogs as they have so much to give us and truly are man’s best friend.
Do you own a dog yourself and if so its name/breed?
I have three rescue dogs, two GSDs who are both 7 years old and a 16 year old Jack Russell.