I have heard many people say that they have owned dogs all their lives much like me, but my eyes were opened when I adopted an often over-enthusiastic young male Rottweiler and started integrating him into my home and with my existing two male and 'entire' Labradors, who joined our home as puppies. Owning dogs all my life did not prepare me for the journey I started that day. I watched them closely to make sure the change in dynamics I had forced upon them all did not become "an issue". At the same time I read as much as I could find in books and online about pre-empting disagreements over toys, jealousy over affection from their humans, and even fights over food.
In time, I realised that my Labradors knew far more about integrating a new member into the family than I. They set boundaries for the youngster, they showed him when he had over-stepped those boundaries with the minimum amount of 'force' necessary. Which in real terms meant they grumbled at the Rottie at times, they halted play when he got too rough, and they told him in no uncertain terms that he could not have their food!
I watched the Rottie, who almost certainly had not been introduced to many dogs as a puppy or introduced to everything he was likely to encounter as an adult, blossom under their tutelage. He relaxed in their company and settled down to become a loving member of our family.
And me? Well, I read so much that it peaked my interest in re-training as a Canine Behaviour Practitioner. I enrolled with the International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour (ISCP) in 2014 and I graduated with my Diploma in March 2016 (http://theiscp.com/contact-an-iscp-practitioner/).
The ISCP is listed in the Top 10 ediuation providers and is an amazing worldwide family - the wonderful Principal, tutors, graduates and students are an incredible source of advice, research and best practice, and I am proud to be part of this growing group of positive dog people. I was incredibly proud when I invited to become a tutor for the ISCP in 2016, then work as the school's secretary answering queries and enrolling new students. In 2017 I became a Director and Vice-Principal of the school. I love this organisation and the people!
I am now a Full Member of INTODogs, both as a Certified Canine Behaviourist and a Certified Dog Trainer. I am also a Professional Member of the Dog Welfare Alliance. I am fully insured with Cliverton Insurance and a member of the DogLaw SOS community.
I continue to learn as much as I can about dogs and I have earned Certificates for Dog First Aid, Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, completed courses on Canine Body Language and Facial Expression and Dog to Dog Introductions both from Learn to Talk Dog with Sarah Whitehead. I recently attended an Aggression and Rehabilitation Course with Steve Mann of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, a two day seminar with Ken Ramirez, the world renowned 35+ year veteran of animal care and training and a Tellington Touch Workshop with Sarah Fisher.
My Continued Professional Development Plan for 2019 includes two Simply Behaviour courses, a Canine Confidence TTouch course, and the Emotional Healing Course through the ISCP. I have just attended a two day Reactive Dog workshop with Janet Finlay (Your End of the Lead) and I am booked to attend the INTODogs Conference in Bath later in June and a Reactive Rascals Workshop with the Dog Training College in November.
I cover mainly the Andover, Amesbury, Salisbury, Stockbridge, Winchester area as I am based near the Wiltshire / Hampshire Border. Please contact me if in doubt.
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