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  • How did you start out?
    It has been my own animals that kick-started the whole thing & right from a very early age. I was lucky enough to own animals (horses to begin with) who were given labels 'difficult/stupid/bad' etc. Even at the age of 11y I knew that was far from the truth & that with compassion, trust, care & understanding and above all listening, I could learn a lot from them & my gosh did I! I owe so much to these early experiences with horses & dogs.
  • What is the main thing you learned from your own 'difficult' animals that was different thinking from others?
    If you listen, watch and observe, you will learn & If you have patience and perseverance & pay attention to what that animal is actually trying to tell you, you will get somewhere.
  • Why did you become a behaviourist?
    I became a behaviourist & trainer because I really wanted to promote my feelings that dogs are truly part of a family & not 'an entity' to be bullied into submission. I felt strongly that dogs should be happy to learn, have fun & totally enjoy the experience, not be coerced, be afraid and bend to the will of whoever was imposing correction and change. At the time I became a behaviourist and trainer this was very new thinking - just beginning to take hold (1999) - sadly there is still a lot of resistance to change.
  • What's the best part of your job?
    The difference in making emotional behavioural change via positive and fun, force free techniques that both dog and owner enjoy as a team vs aversive, harsh corrections and punishment and a sad, anxious, fearful animal who only 'complies' out of sheer desperation to avoid pain is for me - immense.
  • The rewards of working with advanced behavioural cases & rehomed/rescue dogs...
    It's fantastic for me when I see people in the park after I've finished a course with them, & they're letting their dogs free (they may have been undertaking recall work) or maybe they're happily walking with another person & their dog/dog's playing together after we've working on reactivity issues. It's especially satisfying if we've come a long way together or maybe the dog has been a 'last chance saloon dog' from rescue.
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