I am a full member and current board member of the PDTE (Pet Dog Trainers of Europe) , a member of The Association of INTO Dogs and I hold a certificate in canine behaviour and dog training. I have also completed Turid Rugaas’s International Dog Trainer’s Education. Turid Rugaas is a renowned Norwegian dog trainer who is most well-known for her influential work on canine communication. She trains dog trainers around the world to work with dogs in a natural, compassionate and effective way.
From my pre-dog training life, I hold an honours degree from Trinity College Dublin, and an MPhil from Cambridge University.
In 2014, I set up my own dog training and canine behaviour business in London. There, I met and worked with hundreds of dogs, from puppies on puppy class to dogs who were showing aggressive responses, and everything in between! In 2017, I returned to my home town of Dublin, and am really enjoying making the acquaintance of the dogs of Dublin!
Like most dog trainers I know, my journey into world of canine behaviour and training began when I adopted a dog in 2010.
Alfie was an ex-racing greyhound. He came to me when he was six, having spent his entire life in kennels. He was totally institutionalised and had worn grooves in his teeth trying to gnaw his way out of a kennel.
I don’t know which of us was more overwhelmed by the experience of those first few months…
Alfie spent the first three weeks totally detached from me. He just slept in the bedroom, went on his walks without taking any particular interest. He was just existing, and I worried we would never bond. And if that was bad, what followed was worse. Alfie went from being totally disinterested, to following me around the house. He barked when I left, and even tried to climb out the bedroom window after me once, had accidents in the house, chewed doors and walls, pulled on the lead, and barked ferociously at any dog he saw in the distance.
I’ll be the first to admit, I was totally out of my depth. I followed the well-meaning advice of friends and family, and now know I did all the wrong things. I yanked on his lead when he pulled, told him off for toileting in the house, and yelled at him when he barked at other dogs.
Finally, I called in a professional dog trainer, and things turned around for Alfie and me. She helped me understand what was happening and how to change his behaviour. I felt terrible for having gotten things so wrong for the first few months, and relieved that we had a way forward. Once I started doing the right things, Alfie began to improve.
And that was it… I was hooked. I wanted to learn as much as I could about dogs, and to be able to help other dogs and owners the way Alfie and I had been helped.
I enrolled on Certificate in Canine Behaviour and Training, and observed other trainers’ classes. I then completed a number of courses with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, as well as a canine first aid course. I completed Turid Rugaas’s 18 month long International Dog Trainers’ Education, and I went to as many talks and seminars about canine behaviour as I could afford and fit in, including ones on abnormal behaviour in dogs, aggression, and on the effects of neutering on behaviour. I am always looking to increase my knowledge, and continue to regularly attend training events.
I have worked with dogs of different breeds and ages, and covered issues from basic training (loose-lead walking, recall, etc.) to more complex issues stemming from difficult starts in life, and problems with obsessive behaviour.
I am also available to deliver talks and contribute articles on various dog-related topics.
I take a compassionate, holistic approach to my work with dogs, and only ever use reward-based methods. My aim in my work with dogs is to teach them life-skills, improve their lives, and that of their humans- after all, what’s better than having a furry companion with whom you have a great relationship, who you understand, and who understands you!