I’ve been working with dogs for around 10 years now and to say I’m obsessed with animal behaviour and training is a bit of an understatement.
I started out using traditional methods, which focused on using ‘corrections’ and applying outdated ideas about dogs being part of a pack and having then to assert the position as the ‘pack leader’. As my interest grew, so did my interest in behaviourism, cognitivism and the science as a whole. I soon learned that what I was doing was not only unnecessary but also somewhat damaging to a lot of dogs.
Fast forward 10 years and I am now applying evidence based methods when resolving behavioural issues. I like to understand how the method works and I will opt to use the methods that are the least intrusive and minimally aversive to the dog that I am working with.
I have many key interests in dog training but have noticed a select few that seem to have more benefits than others for pet dogs. I am fascinated with how incredible the dog’s nose is and have a keen interest in scent work training. Not only do I think it is a fun thing to teach, I also believe it has so many applications to help with so many problems people face as well. Simple exercises that engage the dog’s nose has been shown to reduce overall stress levels in dogs and this leads me to another keen interest of mine. How stress can impact a dog's behaviour and how we can help them reduce their stress levels using a training programme that focuses heavily on positive reinforcement based methods.