I have been training dogs for over 35 years.
As well as having my own club, I also hold seminars and events and do behavioural consultation work. I am constantly in awe of the wonderful creature that is the dog, and all that we can learn from him.
On their own, dogs are uncomplicated, efficient animals, who are completely in tune with their own species and with nature. It's when humans get added to the equation that things start to change!
My interest and lifelong connection to dogs started when I was 18. I attended a 2 day lecture in the development of the domestic dog from the wolf and it kindled an intense interest in the dog and our relationship to them.
For me, watching dogs interact with each other in their world is like watching a finely tuned orchestra. My main aim, when working with people and their dogs, is to try and encourage the dog owner to step into this canine world of body language and instinct, instead of expecting our dogs to step into our world.
When you own a dog, it's all about the relationship you have with your dog. A dog and person who are in a good relationship are in rapport; that's why my business is called Rapport. Dog and human are as one and like all great relationships there is a synergy between the two; often no need for words, giving confidence to each other and a clear understanding and bond.
My methods of training are all about building that relationship by encouraging owners to learn to read their dog, to learn their language and to merge into one unit.
I often tell my clients that it is not the lead that controls the dog; it is the invisible line between dog and person; the relationship. I try to encourage my clients to understand and learn what is going on in their dog's mind; how do they perceive the world, what makes them tick?
I believe that each dog we have teaches us different things. sometimes when I say to a client "you will learn a huge amount from this dog" they are often confused and say "me learn from him, surely he will be learning from me?" no, a lot of the time it is the other way round; sometimes a dog comes to us to teach us what we need to learn about ourselves.
In my mind I can learn something new from every dog. I am constantly striving to learn more and have new experiences. I attend many training courses, all over the country and even as far away as India! I read many books and I am always looking for new tools to add to my imaginary trainer's toolbox.
I am a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor (KCAI GCDS CD), having achieved my qualification after 9 years of study, seminars and personal development.
I am a qualified examiner for all 4 levels of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme and as well as running the scheme as a KC Listed Status club at my own club, I also regularly go out to examine dogs taking the scheme at other clubs.
I am also a Qualified International Dog Training Instructor. (QIDTI)
I am also a registered Dog AID trainer. This is a fantastic Organisation which enables people who are disabled in many different ways to train their own pet dog to assist and aid them in their life.
I compete with my dog Stanley, a miniature longhaired dachshund, in KC Rally and also in KC Obreedience. At club, I have three trainers and three trainee trainers. I am very committed to the development of my trainers and invest a lot of time in their learning and development.
I am also a qualified Canine First Responder, so I am able to help and treat dogs who are injured or sick until they can receive veterinary attention.