Emma Hendy MAPDT Adv.ACHUKI
Over the last few years I have been able to follow my dream of working with people and animals. In 2019 I started Pawfect Ability with the aim of providing kind, fun and understanding dog training. This has grown beyond my wildest dreams and I am now working with some amazing people to provide the best advice and support for my clients.
I am passionate about building partnerships between handler and dog so am constantly learning new skills to keep my training fresh. Over lockdown I was lucky enough to be able to focus on learning new insights into dog training and observations. I was introduced to the amazing world of Animal Centered Education (ACE) developed by Sarah Fisher. Learnt about concept training and games through Absolute Dogs – becoming a ProDog Trainer Geek. I have also passed my assessment to become a full member of the APDT (01487) and working towards becoming a Dog Training Collage Graduate. These achievements involved hours of learning, dozens of essays and a very in-depth assessment of my training in real life. These are also ongoing, and I have to show continuous personal development and learning to keep my membership active. I am fully insured, first aid trained and a member of the Pet Professional Network.
I currently run a sheep and cattle farm alongside dog training and raising my first child. I started teaching biology over 10 years ago at university and as a personal tutor. My dog training journey started as a volunteer trainer at a Kennel Club training club several years ago as an obedience and hoopers instructor. Since then my love of dogs and dog training has grown.
Since becoming an Advanced Accredited Canine Hoopers UK Instructor (ACHUKI) I have jumped into every aspect of hoopers; I am an experience Judge for Canine Hoopers UK (CHUK) and was delighted to be asked by them to help judge at the 2021 Tri-score event. I have competed in the CHUK National Finals 2019/2020 and at the Tri-Score 2019 event, run several workshops, hosted a hoopers camp and trained alongside the founders of CHUK.
It was Zoe the zoomy lurcher that walked me down the path of dog training. It took a lot of patience and hard work but together we have done competitive obedience, agility and hoopers. Zoe has always been a dog of extremes, either zooming around or slow and careful. When Zoe stopped wanting to jump in agility and shut down in the ring I was devastated, but then we found hoopers and it has just been an amazing journey. She is such a genuine old girl and every run I have with her is pure joy. More recently Zoe has developed a few health issues, so we now enjoy scentwork, Parkour and freework.
Over lockdown Zoe was my partner for my ACE training. This was one of the biggest eye opening moments I’ve every had, through learning better observation and listening skills I discovered so much. One major outcome was the fact Zoe was in pain. We overlook pain in our dogs all the time, just like us they can have a sore spot that effects their personality and behaviour. By using freework I was able to see how uncomfortable she was and how I could help her. I now use a harness to walk her, she is on pain medication and I changed her diet. Over time my old girly came back, she was playing with the others and less likely to snap at them. I cannot thank Gemma Hodson (All About the Dog) and Sarah Fisher (Creator of ACE) enough for showing me a new way to work with dogs. I now incorporate the principles of freework into all of my training and this has lead to happier dogs that are calmer and more confident to make choices. The biggest winner of this has been Parsnip, my very anxious lurcher. She lost a lot of social skills over lockdown, has a high chase instinct and very short concentration span. Freework and other tools such as stroking the leash (Janet Finley) and TTouch are helping her put on weight and grow in confidence. She now does Parkour and has started doing the good hoopers awards. We are far from the end of our journey but training a dog takes a lifetime, there are no quick fixes and that is all part of the fun.
The other dog I compete with is Bolt (or Big Dog) the collie, a loving but very enthusiastic boy. He is very willing to please, but sometimes takes his own course around the hoopers ring! He is my working sheepdog, so has a day job alongside his mum Meg, on the farm. I held Bolt when he was born but have had to work hard at developing a true bond with him. We are going on a journey together learning new things every day.
I wanted to start Pawfect Ability to enable everyone to have a chance to enjoy being in a team with their dog. From pet owners to competing partnerships everyone can benefit from positive training, if you have a goal we can help you reach it.
I also work with Jo, a close friend and a fantastic scentwork and hoopers instructor. Jo has also had years of experience in training people and is a joy to work alongside. She started hoopers with her very special rescue collie Bella, and this has helped her build confidence and independence. The small changes in Bella have been monumental in improving her outlook on life, and whilst they still have a massive way to go they will succeed. Jo is now working with her own zoomy lurcher puppy Neo. Jo is also a very experienced Scentwork instructor and is traveling alongside me on my ACE journey. She trains under Positive Connections – please go to her facebook page to find out more.