In July 1980 a Lab/Springer called Beaumont was born and so was I. Obviously, I don’t remember much about his early training but I can definitely suggest he was under socialized. I remember sitting in his bed with him practising my reading. Later on, as we got older I would confide in Beaumont and talk to him about my worries at school, he was a true best friend. In the last few years of his life, I was old enough to walk him on my own. I tried to help him overcome his fear and massive aggression towards other dogs. Eventually, I got him to the stage where he could walk shoulder to shoulder with a yellow lab named Heidi, he absolutely loved her. He died when we were 13 and that’s when I realised how much a dog companion matters to me.
For years after he died it was inappropriate to have a dog due to my work hours and location. I always believed I was being a responsible dog owner why not having a dog. As soon as life changed and I could give a dog the time it needed, my partner Kelly and I adopted a 3-month-old Collie cross and named her Kira. Having Kira got me into training in a big way, she just loved it. Later we added Raffi to our family, a 10-month-old collie cross. Just as Kira sparked my interest in dog training, Raffi started an interest in canine behaviour as he needed help overcoming fear in different situations, objects and stimuli. The first dog training courses I attended were to help Raffi build his confidence and my interest deepened.
When the world stopped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic I decided to study and turn my interest into my new profession. Completing many training courses and programs with the Victoria Stilwell Academy, The Dog Training College, The School of Canine Science and the Institute of modern dog trainers. I immersed myself in the world of dog training and behaviour. Alongside this, I felt the need to expand my knowledge of dogs other than my own so I started volunteering at a rescue centre. From here after building up a large amount of experience as a self-employed dog trainer, my journey took me to the Dogs Trust where I took the role of senior coach for Dog School Devon.
Throughout my life, my experiences with Beaumont, Colonel, Kira and Raffi has exposed me to great training and I have experienced bad training. I have seen how a bad puppy class can set a dog back and how great training can boost a dog's confidence and joy for life. This is why I have chosen to only use scientifically proven methods that do not frighten or cause pain to a dog.
For me, the studying and knowledge building to help these wonderful animals never stops and I hope to see you along the journey.
A year later my family moved to a different town and I told my parents I didn’t want to start a new life without a new dog, Enter The Colonel. The colonel was a 5-month Border Collie cross Springer who was found dumped on the M5 and needed a home. What a pal he was, we went everywhere together. When it was time for me to leave home and actually do some work, Colonel stayed with my parents but he would stay with me for all my annual leave. As for training, it went very well, he trained me perfectly.