Where it all started…
A bad experience with a very “old-fashioned” dog trainer was all the inspiration I needed to learn more about dog behaviour.
My Bernese Mountain Dog; Molly, had developed some particularly dangerous habits and I needed help. So I called upon a well recommended, local trainer.
The techniques he showed me were tantamount to abuse, and there was no way I was using a single one of them. That left me with a dog that was running out of options, and fast. I wasn’t going to give up her though, so I hit the library.
Initially, I only wanted to learn enough to help Molly. But after reading many books and articles on the subject, not only did I have the tools I needed to train Molly in a kind way, but I was also completely addicted to the subject of dog behaviour.
I started my first course shortly after, and I now have 18 qualifications in total: Basic Canine Behaviour(6) and Advanced Canine Behaviour(6), Canine First Aid(1), Aggressive Dog Behaviour(1), Separation Anxiety(1), Reactivity(1), Canine Trauma(1) and Living Psychology: Animal Minds. I didn’t stop there, and I can never resist a new webinar or course on dog behaviour.
Becoming a Canine Behaviourist
Since finishing my training in 2004, I have been solving all kinds of canine behaviour problems in rescue centres, at home with my own foster dogs, or privately with families. I was also lucky enough to have a regular slot with Carolyn Stewart on radio U105 where I was able to help answer questions live on the radio, and for a short time I answered readers questions for the Irish News.
In 2006, I had my first private client in Belfast, and I haven’t looked back since
In 2009 I achieved a lifelong dream and wrote and published a book; How to be the Perfect Pack Leader (published under the name Caroline Jenkins).
I wanted to write a book that was easy to follow with clear instructions. I also wanted to talk about how being a great pack leader is not about dominance or harsh training. Its about offering kind leadership and relieving your dog of the burdens of modern stresses, in a safe and comforting way.
It’s still available from Amazon and last time I checked it still had 4.5 stars!
With all that experience you can be sure the methods I use have been fully tried and tested. Saying that, I never pass up the opportunity to learn something new, and my techniques are constantly evolving to suit the needs of the dog and their family. In particular, my experience fostering “damaged and tricky” dogs, and working directly with rescue centres, means I am perfectly placed to help rehabilitate your rescue dog.
Coming to Dundee
In September, 2018, I brought all those years of experience to the dogs of Dundee, and the surrounding areas.
Today, a good portion of my clients come to me having already sought help elsewhere. They haven’t quite found the answers they need and are still in need of advice. Sometimes this is because the recommended techniques are fear based, and they simply refuse to use them. But, more often it is as a result of a poor assessment. A good assessment will highlight all underlying issues and related behaviours which, if missed, will sabotage any training plan.
Back to work in 2022
Covid temporarily put the breaks on my consulting in 2020, but I have not been far away and I am back seeing dogs again.
I’ve been expanding my skills and am now a certified life coach, I’m also a Trauma Expert and Fully Qualified Canine First Aider Level 2.
There is a bigger than ever demand for qualified, experienced and kind behaviourists. Since 2004 I have gained experience and qualifications in all aspects of dog behaviour and rehabilitation, but my speciality is now with rescue dogs, and reactive behaviour.
Training the Trainer in 2023
This is the year I launched my online learning platform – Gooddoggie Learn. I’ll be continually expanding my selection of courses but currently there are online courses for:
- New Puppy
- New Rescue Dog
- Reactive Dog Behaviour.
This platform is being continually updated and I have a YouTube channel now too!