Manager, Canine Behaviour practitioner and Dog Trainer - Susan runs all of the classes. She also works with clients and their dogs in private sessions at their home or on location.
I am a professional member of the DWA (Dog Welfare Alliance) which means I work hard to promote up to date positive methods of training. I have worked with dogs for twenty two years now. I started my career at Elmwood Agricultural College where I studied in Animal Care for two years. I then completed the Introduction to Canine Psychology with the Animal Care College Ascot, Berkshire. I have also successfully completed the Introduction to Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy course with COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology). I am currently completing a Diploma in Canine Behaviour with The International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour.
I have gained many practical skills whilst working in various boarding and breeding kennels. I have worked with a wide range of dog breeds and also had the opportunity to learn about grooming, preparing dogs for shows and working trials. Most recently I worked for seven years at Stokenchurch Dog Rescue in Buckinghamshire. My job as Dog Welfare Manager involved the day to day management of the centre, but my main role was to oversee all training and rehabilitation of the rescue dogs prior to re-homing. Those years gave me an invaluable experience of working with hundreds of dogs with various behaviour issues, teaching me patience which has extended my knowledge of techniques to help deal with the problems, I have also learnt about the impact of health on dog’s behaviour, all the while improving my communication and human skills.
Through the work at the Dog Rescue I became involved with a very successful dog trainer and behaviourist Pauline Whittaker whom I worked with for many years. She taught me a range of skills to help rehabilitate rescue dogs and I was also one of her trainee instructors at her puppy and advanced training classes.
As dog science is constantly developing and I want to keep my knowledge up to date, I have recently attended various courses and seminars, as you can never stop learning with dogs! My hobby in the winter months is to help my friends who own the Sled Dog Centre in Aviemore with their Siberian and Alaskan Huskies.
In the past I have owned a rescue German shepherd male named Kyle and Angus who was a retired working sheepdog male which I only owned for the last year of his life. Both of my male dogs sadly died of old age. At present, I have my 12 year old rescue German shepherd bitch Ciara. All of my dogs had sadly suffered traumatic experiences before coming into the rescue, which I was able to help them with. When living on site at the dog rescue, I would foster litters of pups and looked after dogs recovering from operations. All of my dogs showed them calm social skills and through their canine body language helped them to learn.
For many years I did obedience and agility with my German shepherds. As Ciara is an old lady now and enjoying her retirement, she prefers her hydrotherapy sessions, massage and scent work which she adores!