I often get asked, "Do you have a dog of your own?", sadly I always reply, "No, not yet!" with a warm but sad smile.
Then they get a little confused and ask how I got started in dog training, to cut a long story short I always say that I was never allowed a dog when I was younger, so I fixated on them through out my childhood. Which is true, though that alone didn't make me who I am today.
When I decided to become a trainer comes a little later in my journey.
I worked in a small retail shop a few years ago, scanning items through the till, the constant 'beep', 'beep', 'beep'.
All I could think about was what other jobs I could do, what did I want to do?
I always had a passion for dogs and I loved how skilled they can be for various important jobs, from medical to police work.
Occassionaly a customer would wait outside of the shop with their dog, while their partner quickly bought a few bits. This would be the highlight of my shift! My friend would yell, "Abi! There's a doggo outside!", so we would quickly swap places so she could cover the tills while I went to say hi to the doggo outside.
Highlight of my shift!
I definitely knew I wanted to work with dogs; who wouldn't want to work with dogs all day and get slobbery kisses?
I soon asked for advice from a local dog trainer and joined her volunteer group and she pointed me in the direction of studying dog behaviour at home.
4 years later, I've continued to study on various courses, read countless books and scientific articles; can you say that studying is your hobby?
The more I understood about dog behaviour, training and emotional health I was more aware of miscommunications between dogs and owners out on walks. Sometimes the owners' were unaware of what their dog was telling them, leading to frustration on both ends of the leash.
That's what motivated me to become a trainer.
If I could help those who weren't aware or who were confused about how to train their dog - I wanted to be there to help and give both the dog and the owner the kindest training to make positive changes in their lives.
That is still my ambition and hope to help as many owners and their fluffy friends as I can!