Hi. I am Cat your local, force free, positive reinforcement endorsing Dog Trainer. I have studied behaviour modification under the guidance of Chirag Patel, Dog - Dog aggression with The School of Canine Science, TAG Teach (marker training for people rather than dogs) and taken part on a Chicken Clicker course to hone my clicker skills. Prior to this, I was at Guide Dogs for 5 years, during which time I was taught how to use positive reinforcement to create reliable behaviours. I have recently become a member of The Institute for Modern Dog Trainers, continue to update my knowledge and skills with online and practical courses.
I am currently involved in a study conducted by Dr Rebekah Fox from the University of Warwick titled “Shaping human-animal connectedness: Training cultures and the emergence of new forms of human - animal relations.” She has been studying different training techniques used by Guide Dogs, Police dogs, gun dogs, pet dogs and their interactions with their handlers. We have worked together with my trainee Guide Dogs and she has recently started to study pet dog relations in my puppy classes.
I have also consulted for Bocalán Argentina, a new charity in Argentina providing assistance dogs for people living with disabilities.
Prior to this, my experience started with some very different animals. I have taught a sea turtle to touch a target stick, sharks to associate specific food with different coloured symbols and worked on puzzles with a beautiful Octopus. These skills were used to monitor the animals health and to provide them with environmental enrichment.
I am personally driven and motivated to help you and your dog to have the best quality of life together. I completely understand what it is like to have an unruly pet. My interest in dogs became my overwhelming passion when, before I worked for Guide Dogs, my husband and I adopted our first dog, Ike. Being a rescue we were aware the he might be a bit of a project but we were completely unprepared for a dog that had never had an outlet for his natural doggy behaviours. He destroyed pretty much anything he could get hold of in the house, had no concept of chilling out and on a lead would drag me around biting at my arm and lunging at other dogs.
My time with Guide Dogs has taught me how to read a dogs body language, understand the principles of behaviour and the value of giving an animal choice when training. I continue to work hard to keep myself up to date with the latest in dog training development; visiting organisations such as medical detection dogs and the police, reading up on the latest behaviour research or attending training courses.
I started running puppy classes in 2018 and due to their popularity I soon found myself running a second class, advanced classes and doing one to one training. With much encouragement and support from my friends and family I made the difficult decision to leave Guide Dogs. Now I am able to work with many more dogs; resolving their problems, building good relationships with their owners and help them to live stress free.
This year I have taken on my own venue to be able to run more classes, provide a distraction free environment for learning new behaviours and have additional fun equipment. Going forward I am looking to develop classes to increase your dogs confidence and have more ways to build your bond with them.
Oh and as for my lunatic rescue, now he is now a fantastic boy! I have learnt so much about behaviour from him and have seen that through perseverance, consistency and force free training you can change the most extreme behaviours.