Kate Clark

IMG_0940Our first family dog was a carefully chosen, lovely Airedale Terrier puppy called Elsa.  We were both put through training with Tammy at Leaps and Bounds and we happily worked our way through several courses.  Elsa has introduced me to the stubbornness of an Airedale and the tactics needed to be employed to make training varied and fun for her to participate.  My second dog has proved to be even more challenging.  He is a wonderful German Shepherd called Rocky.  He is a rehomer, who missed out on early socialisation and training and has some reactivity issues, so it was back to Tammy for her specific workshop, where I was exposed to an entirely new aspect of dog training.   It involved learning to read his body language and to work with him to anticipate and correct the outbursts in a positive and calm manner.  It was definitely the hardest but most beneficial course I have done and it was Rocky’s reactive issues which sparked my interest in training and in behavioural problems.

 Soon after, I joined Leaps and Bounds and started to help take the classes in the evenings with Tammy and from there it snowballed.  Dog training started to take such a prominent role in my life that I stopped my part-time job and started to work solely for Leaps and Bounds.  This enabled me to take on the responsibility to help run and teach the dog school evening classes (all abilities), do home visits to train both young and older dogs (puppies and rehomers) and embark on an certification course which covers a wide range of topics from nutrition to body language and stress/ aggressive behaviour (back to school after more years than I care to count).  This course will be completed over the summer and coupled with the mentoring from Tammy and the learning curve from my own dogs; I feel that my knowledge and experience has grown in “Leaps and Bounds”

I have lined up another course to take, covering more behavioural issues and my own dogs need to continue their training.  They both love agility and they are dab hands with the scent work which I plan to expand into tracking.   The dogs make this career special but I also enjoy meeting the huge variety of owners too!