So who am I?

 
 

It all started when…

I began my foundation training in human psychology where I completed a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne, with majors in psychology and behavioural neuroscience, and followed onto a Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology from The University of Ballarat. These foundations piqued my interest and passion for behaviour and psychological well being. After completing my university studies I got involved in working with an assistance dog training organisation that also worked with young people experiencing social, vocational and emotional challenges learning to train dogs. The rest is history. I went on to complete a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. I have continued to do further studies in dog training and behaviour through completing a number of courses in behaviour and training. I also regularly attend conferences and workshops with world renowned dog behaviourists and scientists in canine behaviour.

I have been working as a dog trainer and handler across Victoria for 15 years in a variety of roles and settings. I have worked as a training manager and senior trainer within veterinary and dog day care centres, operated a private training and behaviour consulting business since 2008, and worked as a trainer and manager running animal assisted activity groups with at-risk youth training therapy dogs in a not-for-profit dog training centre. I have a keen passion for training therapy dogs and am involved in the training of therapy dogs for private organisations and allied health professionals. The training of assistance dogs is also another area I have been involved in and currently am an accredited trainer and assessor for mindDog psychiatric assistance dogs Australia. I am available to owners and their dogs for private training and support through the process of accrediting their dog as a working psychiatric assistance dog.

I’m currently a PhD candidate with The University of Queensland, undertaking a PhD in therapy dogs. I have a strong passion to also better develop the scientific knowledge of dog training, canine behaviour and welfare.

I am a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia, and the Pet Professional Guild Australia.

I’m committed to personally mentoring dog owners through education around their dog’s behaviour and learning processes, and the welfare and behavioural implications of the way we interact and engage with our best mates.

 

Education/qualifications:

  • Certificate III Dog Behaviour and Training

  • Bachelor of Science (majors Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience) – The University of Melbourne

  • Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology – The University of Ballarat

  • PhD Candidate exploring therapy dogs and mental health – The University of Queensland

  • First Aid Level 2

  • Pet First Aid – PetTech

Awards:

  • Society of Mental Health Research – NSW Government Bursary to present at conference on Animal Assisted Therapy

  • Society of Mental Health Research – Best debut oral presentation

Professional Development:

  • Learning about learning: 4 day workshop with Professor Susan Friedman and Peta Clarke.

  • Living and Learning with Animals – Professor Susan Friedman Applied Animal Behaviour course 2017

  • APDT conferences (2015, 2016 & 2017)

  • Aggression in Dogs with Dr Gabrielle Carter Veterinary Behaviourist

  • Pet Professional Guild webinars (Pet first aid, separation anxiety with Chirag Patel, PTSD in dogs and much more)

  • Dr Ian Dunbar 3 day workshop

Memberships:

  • Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia

  • Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA)

  • MindDog certified trainer and public access assessor for psychiatric assistance dogs

  • Pet Dog Ambassador (PPGA) certified instructor and assessor

  • Animal Training Academy