I am passionate about building partnerships between handler and dog through positive training. I am constantly learning new skills to keep my training fresh and up to date so that you can get the most out of training with me. Over lockdown I’ve been very busy starting my training to become an ACE instructor, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), a Dog Parkour UK instructor and a ProDog Trainer. I am also a qualified Puppy Specialist with the Dog Training Collage. I use force free methods and am a member of the Pet Professional Network. When you train with me you are safe in the knowledge that I am fully insured, first aid trained and constantly working to increase my professional status as a dog trainer.
I have had a varied career but have always worked with animals, I currently run a sheep and cattle farm alongside training people and their dogs. I started teaching over 10 years ago at university and as a personal tutor. During this time my passion has been horses and dogs. I started as a volunteer trainer at a Kennel Club training club several years ago as an obedience and hoopers instructor. Since becoming an Advanced Accredited Canine Hoopers UK Instructor (ACHUKI) I have jumped into every aspect of hoopers; I am an experience Judge, have competed in the 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 now 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 have other dogs, most of them rescue lurchers with various special abilities. This means I am empathic to space dogs, rescues and dogs of all backgrounds. Every dog at Pawfect works at its own pace, sometimes its the smallest things that bring the most joy. I don’t have a set way of training, I feel that all dogs and people are different so I work hard to find the right tools to help.
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 also an Advanced Accredited Canine Hoopers UK Instructor and judge. 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 travelling alongside me on my ACE journey. She trains under Positive Connections – please go to her website to find out more.