For many of us the bond we develop with our companion animals is as strong as those we develop with our human companions. Each relationship being unique, shaped by the past and maintained by the present. Respecting this fact is at the very heart of my approach to the work I do.
My primary goal is to create, promote and enhance human-companion animal relationships that are based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. By working together using methods that are effective whilst being humane I will help you to identify realistic expectations and achieve your goals so that ultimately you too can enjoy the wonderful rewards pets can bring.
My practical experience includes a lengthy and rewarding career with the Guide Dogs for the Blind, preparing dogs to work as guides and teaching people to become trainers. Teaching Equine Assisted Therapy to 16-25 year olds with learning and behavioural challenges at The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy (FCRT) and as a volunteer trainer with ‘DogAid’.
I have a MSc in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling (CABC) from the University of Southampton and am a Certified Training Partner with the world renowned Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behaviour https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/.
I am the in-house behaviourist for City Vets in Exeter and also accept referrals from other veterinary practices within Devon.
My behavioural work at West Hatch RSPCA Rehoming Centre brings me into contact with animals that have suffered needless cruelty and neglect. Witnessing the remarkable progress many of these animals make when opportunity is presented is heartening and reinforces my commitment to promote awareness through education among present and future pet owners.
I am a member of the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) and the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association (AWSELVA). I am also in the process of working towards certification as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) http://www.asab.org/ccab/.
I have a particular interest in the development and function of relationships within and across species in multi-pet households and the development of separation anxiety and sound phobia in dogs. My own pet dog, Tarn, has suffered both these conditions so I really do understand how stressful and upsetting problematic pets can be.