Helping you find ways to connect with your dog
Having been a trustee in France’s second largest shelter for six years, I know how terrifying it can be for animals when they find themselves out of space and out of time.
Whatever their life before the shelter, the world can suddenly become a frightening and bewildering place.
No matter how much we protect the animals, whether they feel safe or not is only something that they can decide.
That said, there is plenty we can do to support them on that journey. Bringing efficient and gentle techniques to the dogs I work with is my one mission.
When dogs trust us, when they have faith that as long as we work together, we are a team, then we can move mountains.
There is no greater mission for me than helping you offer the world as a gift to your dog, a world in which they feel deep joy, lasting serenity and a profound connection to the other individuals around them.
EmmaB.A. (Hons) – Sheffield Hallam University 1994 Post-Graduate Certificate in Process Consultancy – The University of Manchester 2005 IAABC Certified in Shelter Behaviour (Dogs)
I’m also the author of ‘Client-Centred Dog Training’. It’s very important to me that I work with my clients at the centre of my work, whatever their species.
Having worked with a change agenda in education and industry for almost thirty years, it’s a fundamental part of my approach.
I make no secret about the fact I was a rebel child with a contrary heart. I only went into teaching because my teacher told me not to. ‘Compliance’ is practically the dirtiest word I know.
And I know a lot of dirty words.
I cannot for the life of me understand why we’d work with dogs on a growth agenda and then try to force clients to follow a cookie-cutter plan.
If you have a problem…
Having worked in a shelter milieu for ten years, supporting shelters, associations and foster-based rescues, there’s no problem too big or troublesome for me.
I love problem solving. It’s my thing.
I also know how hard it is to live with dogs who find life challenging from time time to time. You’ll hear a lot about the dogs I’ve lived with, from the recalcitrant aged malinois Mrs Knickers to Tilly the American cocker who once guarded a mouldy bread roll.
That is always half our battle, isn’t it?
Understanding exactly what it’s like to try and take a very grumpy dog into the vets or find walks where off-lead dogs don’t race up to you is only part of it. I’ve also got solutions. You want results.
It’s also about education
I’m a big fan of learning; I like to do it often. It’s one reason I called my business ‘Lighten Up’. It’s not just about lightening your load, but also about illuminating minds. My own is the main mind getting blown every day.
I’m also a tutor for dog trainers and budding behaviour consultants, having delivered training and CPD in shelters and for membership organisations like the International Canine Behaviourists and the Grisha Stewart Academy.
I love seeing learning happen. I love seeing those lightbulb moments where neurons ping and the world makes sense.
I also love making learning accessible. Irresistible even. And I love stealth learning that catches you when you’re least expecting it.
A few of the things I’ve done
I love delivering materials for guardians, trainers & behaviour consultants. I’ve added a small sample of some of the things I’ve done for other providers that you can buy if you want more!
The DoGenius Institute
I’ve written and presented many courses for The DoGenius Institute. Those include webinars on aspects of learning theory, comparative psychology and cultural issues, as well as entire courses for professionals.
I’ve presented a number of courses for the International Canine Behaviourists including courses on client engagement and emotion regulation. In April 2024, I’ll be presenting on effective treatments for fear.