Before I could talk, animals already had a place in my fascination. I grew up drawing, imitating and learning about all kinds of animals, particularly wild ones. My first training text was “How To Train Your Pet Like A Television Star”, at around age 12. I trained our terrier and our cat to do a few tricks. I tamed and handled a series of budgerigars, canaries, cockatiels and cockatoos.
I grew up and went to university where I got a Degree in biology. I spent my spare time volunteering and learning about our native raptors (birds of prey) and became a wildlife rehabilitator and educator. I learned how to tame and train wild raptors for educational work, starting in 1995.
I became a dog trainer because I had a rough time with my first “own” puppy. She grew to be a “dog reactive” adult. As a result of several failed attempts to employ a good dog trainer, I sought out information on my own, and developed my training skills. This led me to an interest in participating in classes as first an assistant, then as a trainer.
My first assistant position was at the German Shepherd Dog Association of WA at their Craigie grounds. I received training and was mentored by Honey Gross-Richardson, who has decades of positive reinforcement training experience. I also assisted with training at Billy’s Day-care for Dogs in Belmont working alongside Desma McLeod, a Nationally accredited Delta trainer. I have been instructing classes there since the beginning of 2015.
I am a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia, and I continue to learn and refine my training skills.