Bio: Apart from my time in the forces I have had dogs in my life since I was five years old and being in my mid sixties that means a lot of dogs (I have eleven at the moment), everything from working breeds, toy breeds, terriers, utility breeds to hounds. I have seen the joy of puppies growing up, the hard work of the elderly and infirm dog and experienced the devastation of losing many friends, the pride of being unconditionally accepted by them, the frustrations and elations of working with rescued dogs and everything in between. We currently have ten dogs and I cannot imagine life without them, they are an inspiration, no more so than when I was going through treatment for cancer eleven years ago. Without qualifications I felt that despite my knowledge and experience I could only be regarded, like so many others working with animals, as a keen amateur. I read books, picked up information from television, trained my dogs and rescued any injured wildlife I came across or was brought to me. It was then I decided that if I was to become truly professional I needed a better education, so in 1994 I enrolled at Oxford Brookes University on a combined studies degree of Psychology and Animal Behaviour. Three years later I achieved my 2:1 BSc (Hons) and for those of you wondering if it’s possible whilst working in your late thirties and paying a mortgage, there is the evidence. After graduating I studied Counselling Skills at University College London and went on to professionally offer behaviour counselling. My teaching experience and education started in the Army, where I instructed and lectured on a range of primarily military skills but as a civilian I qualified as an adult education teacher and taught everything from numeracy, literacy and communication skills in prisons and young offenders establishments to animal behaviour, mathematics and psychology up to ‘A’ or ‘Higher’ level in local colleges and adult education centres. Since 2008 I have been closely involved with the creation of standards for animal trainers and behaviourists and was elected as the first chairman of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, I am now the elected President. My special interests include breed specific behaviour in dogs, animal personality and environmental enrichment of captive wild animals, I am also actively involved in the soft release of rehabilitated wildlife.

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