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MEET THE TRAINER

10+ years industry experience

Steve and Vicki Austin Education Dog Training and Behaviour Certificate

High Distinction Cert IV Companion Animal Services

Delta Society Seminar Certificate

Global Animal Solutions Practical Worshops Certificate

Pet First Aid Certificate

Insured

I'm passionate about helping dogs and their owners! Knowledge on our canine companions is always changing, which is why I frequently attend new conferences and workshops to provide the most up to date, scientific methods of training.

My love for animals has taken me in many directions, working in a variety of facilities such as vet hospitals, grooming salons, doggy day care and in pet boarding. I also spent nearly 5 years working in animal shelters rehabilitating cats and dogs. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the progress an animal can make through simple training and helping the relationship with their caregiver.

For this reason, I started Maddy's Dog School in 2019.

I can't wait to meet you and your furry companion! 

FAQs

What areas do you service?

  • Private Training Consultations & Puppy Home School - Anywhere in the Eastern Suburbs. 

  • Puppy School Class - North Randwick Veterinary Clinic & Dogue Bondi Junction

  • Group & 1:1 Walk & Train (limited availability) pickup and drop off available in the following suburbs and immediate surrounds: Clovelly, Bronte, Waverly, Queens Park & Bondi Junction.

How long will it take to ‘fix’ my dog?

I cannot guarantee behaviour. Every dog and owner are different. Some dogs and/or owners understand and respond quickly to training. Others require multiple sessions, trial and error to get things right. Some dogs have had long term practice and success in an undesirable behaviour that it takes time and consistency to change. Just like building strength and fitness requires commitment with a personal trainer, your dog may require many sessions to change behaviour.

What training methods do you use?

I am a positive reinforcement based trainer who follows the LIMA approach: Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive. 

https://apdt.com/lima.pdf

Behaviour is driven by 3 main factors: 

  • Genetics

  • Past experiences and learning 

  • Current environment

 

Much of perceived ‘bad’ dog behaviour is instinctive and successful for the dog in getting the outcome it wants. As owners, we need to understand their needs and set realistic goals.

 

Dogs cannot learn new information when stressed or distracted, much like humans, so it’s important when training new behaviour that we set up the environment so that it is conducive for learning and gradually add distractions.

 

I don’t believe it to be ethical to repeatedly put a dog into situations where they may react with aggression, fear, anxiety or hyper excitement and then "correct" using punishment after a behaviour occurs. The situation is causing them stress and when we punish for communicating how they feel, we further add to their stress. This also leads down a dangerous route. For example, if you “correct” a dog for growling using punishment, he may no longer growl, but will he warn you before he bites? Punishment doesn't address the cause of the problem or how the dog is feeling. Suppressing one behaviour can pop up as another.

 

Will I always have to use food rewards?

When you have completed the teaching and proofing phases with your dog, you can begin to phase out food rewards in the maintenance phase. This however, doesn't mean we stop reinforcing the dog completely. Reinforcement is whatever the dog finds desirable. This includes food, life rewards, pats, praise or games such as fetch or tug of war. 

 

What equipment do you use?

Leash, flat collar, front attaching harness, head halter, long training leash, training pouch, treats, toys.

Acknowledgement of Country

I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and work and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres-Strait islander people.

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