About Little Angels Dog training
As a Pro Dog Trainer with a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) (Honours) I bring a unique set of skills to training with you and your dog with my knowledge of both human and canine psychology and behaviour modification. I’m hoping to be accepted into a Master of Research in 2024 and then on to a PhD to contribute to the knowledge of Animal Assisted Intervention opportunities with deaf and hearing impaired dogs. I’m passionate about advocating for deaf dogs by giving them a voice and educating people about their diverse abilities. My doggy family includes Brock, a profoundly deaf Daniff, and Stan Lee, a unilaterally deaf Mastador.
While my obsession is with deaf dogs, I have a love for all dogs. Many dog trainers say they train dogs because they don’t like humans. Well, the good news is that I really like humans too! After all, I’m teaching you to train your dog so it’s important to me that I understand you, your thoughts, and your training goals.
The vision for Little Angels Dog Training came about in 2018 when we adopted a bilaterally deaf dog I named Brock (yes, we’re a V8 Supercars family). Searching for information and support to help me train this gigantor bouncing white cyclone of a teenager, I found that there wasn’t a lot of home grown support available to me.
When I hear “deaf” out of most people’s mouths I know that they are actually thinking ‘defective’ – a notion that I refuse to accept. Discrimination is rife in the dog world. Doggy Daycare wouldn’t let me enrol Brock because “he’d be dangerous”. I eventually found one an hour’s drive away who would take him although they kept him in his own run away from the other dogs. Dog friendly pools wouldn’t accept him for swimming lessons as low impact exercise. Only one boarding facility would let Brock stay while I went to intensive schools at university. They left him sitting in his kennel and ignored him because “We don’t have time to learn his signs”.
When Brock was little, we attended Puppy Preschool where my 23kg Daniff puppy shared a class with a 2kg Pug puppy. Consequently, we were isolated in a different part of the training area where we could observe and occasionally participate when most of the other pups were safely out of the way. I asked to enrol in the teenage program and the trainer didn’t return any of my calls.
Then I tried a community club where I was told to put a head collar on my puppy and train him in what I now know is a “yank and crank” method of leash handling, to do hour upon hour of training drills (yawn), and expose him to what he was scared of at every opportunity (this is called Flooding and is the equivalent of Exposure Therapy in humans with no consent). I came home crying and Brock came home displaying more reactivity each week. We stopped going after a month.
I next found a Positive Reinforcement trainer who opened my eyes to modern training techniques and whom I consider to be my first solid mentor. Dorothy changed the way I thought about dog training and set me on a new and exciting career path where I could blend my psychology knowledge with my love of everything dog.
Enter Games-based dog training. I was inspired by trainers like Absolute Dogs, Susan Garrett and Zak George to use games to teach dogs new skills. With its roots in pedagogical education theory and gamification of learning I found my perfect training technique, not just for deaf dogs but for all dogs and their humans. 10 minutes a day to achieve positive training outcomes – yes please. Having fun while training with my dogs – oh yeah. Suitable for every life stage – yes, finally. Adaptable for dogs and humans who are differently abled – YASSSS!