My ‘DOG’ journey started five and a half years ago with a Bernese Mountain Dog named Hilde. Followed a year later by a Leonberger named Porsche. I’ve recently added a fun-loving, high energy Landseer ETC, Amir to our family.
All are brilliant companions, we’ve had so much fun together with beach runs, forest visits, hanging with the Bernese Mountain dog club, traveling to the snow and along the Great Ocean Road as well as learning Nose Work and four house moves. Porsche was also my training partner for the Karen Pryor Academy Professional Dog Training course. Put quite simply, my dogs are my life.
During this time, there were a few things going on with each of them I couldn’t put my finger on. I became very interested in behaviour. Reading up on the internet was tricky as there were so many different ways of training and belief systems surrounding theories about how we treat our dogs, especially large, strong breeds. Some didn’t sit with me right but how do your filter everything?
Just prior to COVID I decided I needed a change in career, my art career has and continues to be wonderful but after 30+ years, I wasn’t feeling satisfied. I started thinking about what made me happy and ‘DOGS’ was the clear answer.
I had a chat to Bodil Schou-Hansen, who I knew through training my girls and she suggested chatting to Debra Milikan at Canine Behavioural School about how to start. There-in began my training journey as a volunteer with a practical, on the ground training and monthly theory lesson based volunteer organisation. I have felt so supported learning from my peers within this wonderful group of like-minded humans during the past 3 1/2 years.
During this time I took a deep dive into my dogs behaviours, trying to find out why things were so hard at times for them. I ended up down a wormhole of behaviour, gait, movement and observations. I became an ACE dog detective, within the open arms of Sarah Fisher’s Freework, including Ttouch and the external team of instructors and teachers that were (luckily) offering courses as COVID had limited their in-person training schedules.
One of those teachers was Gemma Hodson, who has since created the Dynamic Dog Practitioner program. It was a chance to learn the dogs body inside and out, how and why things occur and how to speak ‘vet’ to help clients dogs when things might be missed or they observe behaviours that just don’t make any sense. I jumped at the chance to be one of her first 'Dynamic Dog' students.
I finally found a vet for my girls that listened to me, Dr Carol Mayes. She watched my gait videos and observation photos and we discovered things that had been missed by previous vets or covered up by how my dogs behaved when visiting the vet. I now know that each have had a degree of body discomfort during their lives that has affected their behaviour. They are now supported due to that knowledge, this education has been life changing for both them and me and I look forward too supporting others with this knowledge.
I had started K9 Nose Work with Sleuth Houndz and had really noticed the difference in my dogs confidence grow. When you have a flighty dog, you know how important building that confidence is! I love the therapy side of K9 Nose Work. It’s also a great sport for those that want to work towards team goals with their dog. I have since been training as a K9 Nose Work instructor and look forward to helping my clients dogs and their relationships grow from their experiences.
I am currently arranging training puppy and dog classes, K9 Nose Work and Freework at various venues city-side. Freework gives us the opportunity to observe our dogs in a relaxing environment while allowing them to decompress. We can also train pattern games and gently desensitise in this format.
Bookings are by appointment, Solo Sessions offer your choice of learning focus to suit your dog in the comfort of your own home.
With puppy/dog classes and K9 Nose Work coming soon, I have your training needs covered. I hope to see you, FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR DOG.
FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR D❤️G