Training my own animals is where everything started for me, spending all my time with either my horse or gun dog training with my 2 Labradors.
Things were changing in the world of dog training, the more I read and the more trainers I worked with, I realised that training animals was a science, a thorough understanding of learning theory and natural animal behaviour was required.
I began to question some of the outdated and sometimes unethical advice I had been given to ‘teach’ my dog. Some of the methods I had been shown were quite frankly unpleasant, confusing and downright cruel for any dog. At the time I knew no better and although uncomfortable training my dog in this way, I thought that was what I had to do to have an obedient, well-mannered dog.
The more enlightened I became, the more passionate I became to practice this knowledge. I began working for the Blue Cross animal charity and soon realised that rescue dogs in kennels are frightened, stressed, disorientated and can be suffering from bad health or behaviour problems. These dogs need urgent help and training and there is no way that outdated, harsh or aversive methods would help them (or even be tolerated by them).
Using kind, reward based training worked, it was effective in re-rehabilitating dogs with complex behavioural problems in order to help find them a new home – this was powerful stuff!
Treatment of a behaviour problem is a highly specialised field which requires a qualified (degree level) professional. In 2009 I completed a BSc Honours Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare whilst working full-time for the Blue Cross as an Animal Behaviourist. Having experienced most types of canine behavioural problems, I have a wealth of knowledge and practical handling skills that I hope I can share to help you with your pet dog. Positively Dogs was created in 2014 to offer dog training that is simple, fun and rewarding.
I am a provisional member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) who are the main official body of pet behaviour professionals, click on this link for more information APBC . I am also a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
I continue professional development of my knowledge and qualifications through regular accredited courses and seminars, the details of which can be made available upon request.