Tell us about your journey into dog training?
I have been training owners and their dogs for 13 years. I started when I re-homed a dog from Battersea Dogs Home who developed some behaviour problems. Having seen many trainers who back in those days were using aversive, punishment based training techniques, I didn't want that for my dog so decided to find a more positive, kinder approach and rehabilitated him successfully. During this time I spent every waking moment studying and gaining hands on experience by running a dog walking company. I am qualified and accredited by the APDT, IMDT, ABTC and the PPG. Last year I was hand selected to be the female UK KONG Ambassador and am author of 'Beyond the Bowl' a book looking at canine nutrition and enrichment.
What a dream job! What do you love most about it?!
I love working with people and their dogs and seeing their relationship grow and flourish. I see many dogs on the common and those that have been to my classes or had 121's with me come bounding over and it's so nice to see how well behaved and happy they are. I've also had owners who have seen other trainers and have come to me as a last resort or because their training wasn't working. When I see those dogs out having a lovely time, that's when I really love my job - being able to make a difference when people have almost given up hope. And puppies.... running puppy classes and 121 puppy sessions - who doesn't love working with puppies?
What top tips would you give dog owners during lockdown?
Keep to a routine: Dogs like routine - try to keep to your regular pre-lockdown routine as much as possible so that when the restrictions are lifted, you and your dog can go back to 'normal' with little change in day to day living.
Spend time apart - even if you leave your dog for 5 minutes. Go for a stroll around the block, sit and have a coffee in your car or just spend 15 minutes reading a book in another room. Lots of people are asking me about separation anxiety post lockdown - by making small adjustments and starting to add in some separation training with really help if you start now.
Enjoy your time together, spend time really getting to know your dog - turn your phone and tv off and just 'be' with your dog, give them a bath (using Wild For Dogs!) and see where they like being massaged, empty the box of toys and enjoy playing with a toy you haven't had out for ages, stuff a KONG and let your dog enjoy licking it on a mat next to you (there are lots of recipes to choose from in our book - Beyond the Bowl).
Don't panic! Use the time spent at home by expanding your training or knowledge. There are lots of online dog training courses so give your training a superboost by learning more!
Do you offer any lockdown training support for puppies or people struggling with behavioural issues at the moment?
Yes! We offer our Good Dog Level One Course which is a 6 week training course with series of videos giving you a programme to work through supported by a private facebook group and we also offer 121 online sessions.
What's the naughtiest thing your dog/dogs has done?
I was working on a TV show with my dog, and the wonderful actor Tom Holland asked if he could take George for a walk as he was waiting in between scenes.... I said sure and handed Tom the lead.... 2 minutes later I looked out of the window to see George dragging Tom across a Golf Course after some rabbits..... oops.... needless to say both survived and after some training, George is much better on lead now :)
Describe your dog/dogs in 3 words!
Just The BEST!
For more information or to find out more about Diane’s training you can contact her here: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07711 923 718