About Me

About Me

I take a holistic approach to dog training and behaviour.

Holistic, meaning whole dog.

I grew up in Co. Waterford during the seventies and eighties, a time when children could be children and dogs had the freedom to be dogs. We all had the freedom to explore our environments and learn about nature, unfortunately times have changed so very much, especially for our dogs. My days were filled hanging out in the countryside with my own dogs and the neighbour’s dogs where I learned a natural respect, understanding and friendship with these amazing souls. I got to witness the natural behaviours of dogs because they had autonomy and choice. They are part of who I am and I could never imagine a life without a dog.

Apart from my childhood dogs I have spent the last thirty years sharing my life with rescue dogs, each with their own complicated and sensitive behaviour’s, ranging from aggression, anxiety, fears, phobias and all for very real reasons. Having come from a time when we did not “ train ” dogs, training does not deal with underlying emotions, I focused on what I knew, building trust and forming bonds to ease these dogs worries and help them feel safe, which is the basis for any relationship, especially one that comes from trauma. I also had the privilege of being with these dogs and caring for them right through to old age and end of life. It is an honour to have them all in my life, each with their own individuality, personality and you could not put a price on what each one gave to me in return. 

” Training is just one piece of the puzzle ”

Linda Michaels, MA. 

I decided to make my passion for dogs my profession. The timing could not have been more perfect, right when there is a shift in the industry, away from “ obedience ” and focus on better understanding the needs of animals. The world of canine cognition is still relatively new, but amazing kind research in this field is released almost daily, where we are learning just how our dogs think, feel and learn. I am committed to providing dog guardians with this current knowledge and understanding so they can live their best lives together with compassion. 

I have dedicated almost five years to my education in this field. Along with my qualifications in canine science, psychology, ethology, I have completed thousands of hours in seminars, conferences, classes, workshops, volunteering, pro-bono work, case studies, mentoring and I am proud to be a member of the team at Carlow / Kilkenny Dog Shelter. I am committed to keeping up with the latest research and my continuing professional development to only provide the best support. Unfortunately the dog training industry is unregulated so it is up to us the individual to ensure we have the latest knowledge on kind methods only. The organisations I have chosen to be part of provide continuing professional development education / look for proof of CPD every six months / assess skills and knowledge and support kind ethics only. I am committed to a high standard of knowledge, ethics, empathy and awareness.

I am committed to supporting you and your companion with kind, compassion and understanding only. 

                                                                                                                                 Ann-Marie

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