I had always wanted to work with animals and my ambition was to work for the RSPCA, carrying out rescues and collections. After achieving a City & Guilds National Certificate in Animal Care, my ambition turned into reality. After a couple of years as an Animal Collections Officer, I left Hampshire and moved to Gloucestershire.
I had always enjoyed having pet dogs, however moving location marked the beginning of an enjoyable career in this field.
I began to work as a kennel person for the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency, sharing responsibility with each handler for every dog, ensuring the best health and welfare standards possible. In order to carry out this role, I completed a course at the Defence Animal Centre.
Working with these dogs day in/day out, fuelled my fascination in canine behaviour. After 4 years I decided to become a Dog Handler, returning back to the Defence Animal Centre for further training. In this time, amongst other things, I learnt how to control my dog in detaining a suspected criminal (manwork). On return to unit, it was my responsibilty to uphold my dogs basic training, and to progress to a better standard, working on obedience, agility, pick up and indication, and of course, manwork.
A year later I trained to be on the receiving end of a manwork session, by wearing a padded sleeve.
During my time as a Dog Handler, I took it upon myself to ensue a long-distance course with Bishop Burton College, affiliated with Hull University, to achieve a Foundation Degree in Canine Behaviour & Training. Within this time, I gained experience at Guide Dogs, and also trained my English Springer Spaniel 'Bracken', to Grade Three Hunter Retriever within the Gundog Club.
Other experience gained during my degree included, teaching my dog to carry out three tasks related to assistance work, learning about alternative therapies, and carrying out a dog first aid course.
During this busy period, my work dog 'Max' (pictured on the right), was due retirement, so after a few settle in sessions at home, he made the transition from work dog to pet dog!
He really enjoyed the freedom of our farm!
I then took on a new work dog called 'Ben' and implemented
positive training with him straight away.
My bond with him was like nothing I had experienced before.
Unfortunately he was put to sleep in 2012 and I miss him dearly.
My role within the MOD also came to an end in 2012. I also successfully completed my degree in this year.
In 2013 I became a mum. Whilst this part of my life is complete, I would like to turn my attention onto my career with dogs, by sharing my 'ever-growing' knowledge and experience to those that need it.
Since having my son, I have started accreditation with the Kennel Club, I attend seminars and conferences when I can, and have been using digital media to watch well known professional trainers such as Ian Dunbar and Susan Garrett. I have also been reading as much literature as possible!
I strive to learn more, as there is so much out there to learn!
(Please see my Facebook page for updates on this!)