Training my own animals is where it all started for me, spending my free time on my horse or gundog training with my Labradors. But things were changing in the world of dog training, the more I read and the more trainers I worked with I realised that training animals was a science, a thorough understanding of learning theory and natural animal behaviour was required. I began to question some of the outdated and sometimes un-ethical advice I had been given to ‘teach’ my dog. Some of the methods I had been shown were frankly unpleasant, confusing and downright cruel for any dog. At the time I knew no better and although uncomfortable training my dog in this way, I thought that was required in order to have an obedient, well-mannered dog.
The more enlightened I became, the more passionate I was to practice this knowledge. I began working for the Blue Cross animal charity and soon realised that rescue dogs in kennels are frightened, stressed, disorientated and can be suffering from bad health or behaviour problems. These dogs need urgent help and training and there is no way that outdated, harsh or aversive methods would help them (or even be tolerated by them).
Using kind, reward based training worked, it was effective in re-habilitating dogs with complex behavioural problems in order to help find them a new home – this was powerful stuff!
Treatment of a behaviour problem is a highly specialised field which requires a qualified (degree level) professional. Whilst working full-time for the Blue Cross as an Animal Behaviourist, I completed a BSc Honours Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. Having experienced most types of canine behavioural problems, I have the theory and practical handling skills that I hope I can share to help you with your pet dog. Positively Dogs was created to offer dog training that is simple, fun and rewarding- please call Jenny on 0771 2128147 / 01666 840179 or check out our new website www.positivelydogs.co.uk for further details.