I have been working professionally with horses, dogs and other companion animals my entire working life and loved every minute of it! Brutus, my very first pet Labrador introduced me to the highs and lows of being a puppy parent. In hindsight, I should have done better by him. However this was 1974, I was young and had no idea what I was doing – but I loved him and when he was no longer with I vowed to make a better job second time around.
You see, 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.
I will never use or ask you to use equipment or methods that have the potential to cause your animal pain, fear, or anxiety.
My practical experience includes a lengthy and rewarding career as a dog trainer with the Guide Dogs for the Blind; preparing dogs to work as guides and teaching people to become trainers. Workings as a volunteer trainer with Canine Partners and DogAid, both registered Assistance Dog (ADUK) registered organisations. Teaching Equine Assisted Therapy to 16-25 year old young adults with learning and behavioural challenges at The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy (FCRT).
My behaviour consultancy 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 they find their ‘forever home’ is heartening and reinforces my commitment to promote awareness through education among present and future pet owners.
I am the in-house behaviourist for City Vets in Exeter and also accept referrals from other veterinary practices within Devon.
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 currently awaiting final 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 hard and lonely it can feel to live to struggle with a pet.