Dog Behaviourist and Massage Therapist - Company Message

I have a very successful and busy dog training clinic covering Morecambe, Lancaster, Carnforth and all surrounding villages in Lancashire. I also attend home visits in the South Cumbria regions such as Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside Locations. As well as my behaviour clinic and home visits I also runs three dog training classes, which focus on dog socialisation, training, obedience and fun for all types of dogs. These take place in Carnforth, Morecambe and Slyne with Hest.

For the dog that wants to progress beyond the initial training classes I offer advanced training and fun agility and flyball classes. Children’s classes are available, which encourage children to interact with their family pet. Please see the training class page for more information.

I have worked with dogs for over half of my life, 21 years to be exact; however I have grown up around dogs. We had up to 4 dogs of all sizes, ranging from Chihuahua’s to Collies. My mum also fostered dogs for the RSPCA and was a home visit inspector. She is also a dog groomer and has had her own shop for 15 years. It therefore was inevitable that I would choose a career working with dogs.

Upon leaving school I started work at a local RSPCA centre as an animal care assistant. During this time I obtained various qualifications from Animal handling, first aid and nutrition. My role there was very hands on, which was challenging but extremely rewarding, I fostered many dogs and other animals, bringing them into my own home to care and rehabilitate them and eventual rehome them or release them in to their natural habitat.

It was whilst working at the RSPCA that my fascination grew in relation to how a dogs mind worked. At that time there wasn’t many dog behaviourists around and what would now seem like obvious behavioural problems would go undiagnosed with dogs being rehomed to inappropriate houses and people simply living with difficult situations, instead of using simple technique’s to correct the problems.

After leaving the RSPCA I went to work in the French Alps to train Siberian Husky dogs. This was one of the most fascinating and rewarding jobs I have had. It is not often that you get to watch and then train a dog in its natural setting. This experience reinforced my desire to become a behaviourist.

After leaving France I went to work for another RSPCA centre and following this I managed a Kennels and Cattery, whilst obtaining my formal qualifications in Canine Behaviour and Training and my Merisha massage therapy qualification. I then decided to set up my own business and became the behaviourist for 2 RSPCA centres and the Wolfwood Animal Rescue Centre in Lancaster.
My key focus is to use modern training to help both people and their dogs to interact better with one another, in the family unit and whilst out walking or in a public environment.

During my time as a behaviourist I have developed a training programme for the Youth Offending Team in Lancaster, which involved children training rescue dogs, which they found extremely rewarding. I have also been involved in training dogs with children who have either confidence issues, behavioural problems and disabilities and it is amazing to see how the children respond to working with the dogs. I can also help you get your dog ready for the pact dog training test.

I have also had referrals from various other rescue centres, veterinary practices and prepared reports in relation to Social Services cases.

As a behaviourist you are not only assessing the dogs behaviour but also that of the owner, as clearly these are intrinsically linked. With this in mind I obtained a level 3 Skills in the Counselling of Humans. This has enabled me to have a greater understanding of the relationships between owners and their pet.

I have been a behaviourist for 14 years and I am extremely passionate and enthusiastic about what I do. I have 3 children and always find it important for children to be involved in the training, as far as possible. We have had three rescue dogs over the years, one of which is a lurcher called ‘Boo’, she is very well behaved and is well desensitised to livestock. She even lived with a house rabbit for a period of time when she was very young. This shows that contrary to some beliefs that all types of dogs are capable of being trained with the right knowledge and techniques. One of my other rescue dogs was an Australian Cattle dog. He had been rescued from appalling conditions and had been treated extremely cruelly. He had never been on a lead, never been in a house and was very nervous around people. With a lot of patience and hard work he became an amazing dog, well behaved, loving and loyal.

My third rescue dog was a beautiful French Bull dog, called Pepe, who had been rescued by Wolfwood. She had been used for breeding and then abandoned. With nurturing and lots of love she too fitted in extremely well in to our house alongside the other two dogs and although an odd mix of breeds they became very close (see picture below).

I'm highly experienced with all breeds of dogs, including smaller dogs, who can have very different behavioural problems compared to larger breeds. People often don't take them seriously and simply laugh at them and think of them as yappy. I can emphasise with the struggles that people have. No two dogs are the same and every situation has to be tailored and adapted to each owner and to each dog. This requires the ability to sometimes think outside the box and also to a have a genuine understanding and empathy to each person’s situation. Owning a dog can at times be challenging but with the right training it can be extremely rewarding.

I am a very patient person and I use modern training techniques with positive reinforcement. Unfortunately there is still a lot of old fashioned training around, using extremely negative techniques including choke chains, shouting and sprays. 

I am always realistic with my clients and will help diagnose the specific problems that are occurring and come up with an easy to follow training plan that will fit in with a person’s day to day life.

My prices reflect the need to help people and therefore makes training available to everyone. Having come from a rescue background my goal is to always prevent a dog from being rehomed and give people the help that they need.

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