How I got into dog training...
My interest in training dogs started as a child, having been brought up with border collies.
I started clicker training dogs in 2002 when dog training in the UK was very different. As a kid growing up in the 1970s, my experience of training classes made me feel uncomfortable… physical force, fear, choke chains, sprays and loud noises. Lots of shouting at the dog and their people and marching around a village hall. Not my kind of thing. I’d heard about training using rewards which sat much better with me and I was keen to learn kinder ways to train.
By 2002 I'd moved to North Devon and had a border collie puppy called Midge. Seeking modern, positive and kind ways to train her I was really fortunate to find a great clicker trainer in the village!
A year later, with a new boxer puppy Casper, I attended puppy training classes and was delighted to be invited to help as an assistant instructor. I went on to be an assistant instructor at North Devon’s first dog training school, Canine Etiquette, which is where my passion started for helping dogs and their people.
I trained with Canine Etiquette for a couple of years before moving to France with my husband and our two dogs where we ran a snowboard chalet business. Midge and Casper loved entertaining the chalet guests with their tricks and I loved talking about dogs and training, probably boring people to tears.
Returning to the UK and a life more ordinary I went back to corporate life for what felt like forever. In 2017 I had a a ‘what am I doing with my life’ moment realising that my dream was to set up my dog training business.
I started a diploma in Canine Training and Behaviour and began volunteering at a local Dogs Trust rehoming centre.
After enrolling on lots of courses, attending conferences and buying a library of books, I joined Sarah Whitehead’s Think Dog Practical training course at Battersea, Windsor.
My dream had always featured border collies, trick training classes and agility!
Volunteering at the Dogs Trust and attending Sarah’s course at Battersea opened up a whole new world to me and set me on a very different path.
In 2018 I joined Sarah Whitehead’s Clever Dog Company as a Clever Dog Company Method Licensed Trainer.
I adopted 7 month old Reggie from the Dogs Trust, gave up my full time job and set up Completely Mutz Dog Training. A year later 10 month old Teddy, came home to join us from the Dogs Trust.
Reggie and Teddy have taught me and continue to teach me a huge amount every single day about dogs, the challenges of adolescence, behaviour, training, fear and anxiety. They have also taught me so much about the human side of our relationship and our behaviour which for me is equally important.
Continual learning and development in the world of canine training and behaviour is as much a passion for me as helping dogs and their people.
Being able to offer dogs and their people the kindest, science based, most up to date knowledge, skills and training methods is at the core of what I do, so I spend a small fortune each year on CPD, books, courses and seminars.
I look forward to meeting you and your dog!