When I started writing this blog about me and my dogs, I didn't realise that it would take me into a whole new world. Taking Jamie and Jemma to Puppy School opened a door for me that has taken me off into a whole new direction.
I decided I wanted to learn more.
So last year I spent nine months studying canine behaviour through the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology in the UK. I learnt that the more you know, the more you realise how little you know. I learnt that the world of dog behaviour is surprisingly complex. There are many different schools of thought amongst the academics. And when it comes to the business side of things, it is highly policised and competitive just like most other industries.
But perhaps the most important lesson I learnt is that there are two ends to a leash. There's a dog on one end and a human on the other end. Most of the time canine behaviour is the result of how the human behaves and how much the human really understands their dog.
Everything in life always comes back to Homo sapiens, even canine behaviour!
This year I have embarked on my studies to become a dog trainer starting out as a Puppy Instructor trainee. I wrote my exam last weekend and will embark on several months of practical training during which we are constantly evaluated before we are given the green light as a trainer.
It is interesting to observe that the puppies are always so innocent and delightful. The challenge is usually how to help the humans. Luckily it was not so long ago that I was one of those clumsy, fallible and ignorant owners, so I can empathise with most of them. Though there are a few who, shall we say, present an interesting challenge! But that is a story for another time.