I completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation and am continually advancing in the discipline of dog training and behaviour through attendance at conferences and workshops with world renowned dog behaviourists and scientists in canine behaviour. I also hold university level qualifications in Psychology including a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne, with majors in psychology and behavioural neuroscience, and a Postgraduate Diploma of Psychologyfrom The University of Ballarat. I believe these foundations in psychology are pivotal to the way we train our dogs and understand their behaviour.
I have been working as a dog trainer and handler across Victoria for 13+ 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, fostered rescue dogs and trained them in preparation for adoption by their forever families, operated a private training and behaviour consulting business since 2008 (training dogs for basic manners and skills training, and dogs needing more intensive behaviour modification programs), 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 also trained seeing eye dogs, and many other forms of assistance and therapy dogs for roles in the community.
I’m currently a PhD candidate with The University of Melbourne, undertaking a PhD in Human-Canine interactions with youth experiencing mental ill health, to better understand this special and mutually beneficial relationship we have with our pets. I have a strong passion to also better develop the scientific knowledge of dog training, canine behaviour and welfare.
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.
- Certificate III Dog Behaviour and Training (National Dog Trainers Federation)
- Bachelor of Science (majors Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience) – The University of Melbourne
- Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology – The University of Ballarat
- PhD Candidate studying canine-human interactions and benefits to youth mental health – The University of Melbourne
First Aid Level 2
Pet First Aid – PetTech 2017
- 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
- Living and Learning with Animals – Professor Susan Friedman Applied Animal Behaviour course 2017
- APDT conferences (2015, 2016 & 2017)
- Wagging School pet dog training workshop and aggression seminars with Kaye Hargreaves (2016 and 2017)
- Aggression in Dogs with Dr Gabrielle Carter Veterinary Behaviourist (2015)
- Pet Professional Guild webinars (Pet first aid, separation anxiety with Chirag Patel, PTSD in dogs and much more)
- Dr Ian Dunbar 3 day workshop (2014)
- Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia
- Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA)
- MindDog certified trainer and public access assessor for psychiatric service dogs
- Pet Dog Ambassador (PPGA) certified instructor and assessor
- Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR)
Meet Lily - Assistant
Lily (Lil to her friends – whom are many), is my beautiful 10 year old Golden Retriever (now retired) that has me wrapped around her little paw. She is my inspiration for wanting to build a future in understanding the remarkable and deep relationship we have with our four legged family members.
There are many things that we need another dog to show us and teach us, and for them to teach each other. As much as we humans think we know it all, there are many things that they just seem to know so much better than we do, and therefore she can often join me for those special cases.
She is highly qualified in her own right in obedience and many other scenting and assistance dog commands. Her best skills however are in her innate ability to manipulate my behaviour with a simple glance and placing of her chin between her paws or onto my lap. She uses these skills to convince me that she needs an innumerable amount of walking, ball chasing, swimming, beach runs and of course – dinners or any form of food!