How I became a dog trainer

How I became a gundog trainer

So, as the title suggests, this is my story, this is part 1, how I became a gundog trainer, part 2 is how I became an energy worker and the rest is yet unwritten…..

I have been an animal lover my whole life, as a child, given the choice I would always choose to spend my time with animals over people. I had a natural connection to them, they trusted me and I trusted them. I would sit for hours on end in our garage at the end of the garden just watching the mice going about their business, tearing up all my Dads paper bags that were home to his nuts and bolts and using them to make intricately laid nests for their babies. I found peace with animals and I never questioned it.

As I grew older I always had pets of my own but after some time spent abroad and traumatic marriage I had closed myself off emotionally and wasn’t as connected as I used to be, somewhere inside after abuse I had shut down to protect myself from any more hurt. It doesn’t of course protect you it just causes you to miss out on all the good emotions life has to share with you but I digress.

My daughter had long wanted a dog and finally, when she turned 18 I agreed she could get one, she had already researched lots over many, many years and knew she wanted an active dog that she could maybe do agility with. To cut a very long story very short we welcome a beautiful Weimaraner lad called Kodi to our lives in 2008 and life was quickly turned upside down in so many ways.

Kodi came home and it quickly became abundantly clear that he wanted to bond with me, I held back knowing that he was my daughters’ pup/dog but eventually had to give in and take over training him etc and he began to chip away at all the defence mechanisms that I had in place, he made me laugh, cry, smile, steam with frustration, you name it he managed to make me feel it. It was hard at first but I wouldn’t trade it for the world because, as I mentioned above with the good comes the bad and with the bad the good so in order to fully invest in this new relationship I had to let them all in and he was going to make sure that happened no matter what!

Kodi brought me the most brilliant relationship, it was super tough, he was my first dog and my daughter and I were clueless, we made many mistakes including many of the trainer choices we made and Kodi often paid the price, from having a ‘behaviourist’ in when he was a puppy whose idea of dealing with him barking when I went upstairs was to spray pet corrector, to trainers who punished him when he was stressed (I didn’t know at the time that’s what he was and unfortunately many of his stress behaviours appeared as ‘acting out’, at the local park he was bitten a number of times and I was out of my depth, but this, this is what brought me to become a gundog trainer.

As I moved through the dog training scene in general I then found good trainers who used positive methods. I also learned to stand up for my dog, when I was shouted at during a gundog working test with my next dog (for using treats to reward her amazing work) I simply carried on because the trainers issue wasn’t that it was adversely affecting anyone else there it was simply that she didn’t believe in treating dogs for a job well done!

I outgrew many of the trainers I worked with but found new ones to work with who were the next level up and I continued to grow in all sorts of ways. Eventually, I knew it was time for me to step into training others and I did various courses (all of which can be found HERE, please forgive if it’s not up to date, I often forget or don’t have the time to add to it) and gained experience helping others at first.

My passion behind dog training, as you will now understand from my story, is that dogs no longer suffer, they don’t suffer from our ignorance, they don’t suffer for our bad choices, they don’t suffer from our lack of research or understanding. Instead, I want to train people and dogs so they thrive! They thrive on knowledge and growth, they thrive as we work with them putting their emotional needs front and centre whilst we work on whatever we are training or dealing with, they thrive on our understanding that their dogs are sentient beings and that we show them compassion for the choices they make or the issues that they may have and most of all we show gratitude for everything they bring to our lives.

Longhaired Weimaraners and their owner

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