Dogs have always played a big part in my life. One of the first dogs I lived together with was a Standard Schnauzer Chessy. One of the most stubborn dogs I’ve met and though I was pretty young when she joined our family, I remember so much about her. I remember asking her so many times “what are you thinking?” and although she clearly didn’t answer, I could tell how much she tried to communicate with me. All the dramas in my teenager years when I thought the world is ending and the only thing that helps is crying a river, she stood by me and comforted me by licking my face and never left me alone when I was sad. You simply can not cry when you have the cutest little nose poking you. All you can do is smile and forget about the problems you thought you had. I admired how she couldn’t even go to sleep before she knew where all the family members are. She was a true family dog and taught me a lot, most of the things I’ve started to understand only now, after all these years.
At one point in my life I understood that I really love challenging dogs. Dogs that have character. Dogs that are clever and almost always try to be smarter than their owner and will find a way to get what they want.
In 2018 I got my first dog. A breed that I had thought about for years. A Shiba Inu. I knew that I want a Shiba when I saw one walking past me on the street and he didn’t care one tiny bit about me looking at him with heart eyes but his only goal was to sneakily pick up every single piece of trash so his owner would notice. I just stood there and watched him do that, it was a real entertainment. This little guy just knew how to make a regular walk so much more interesting and get his owner's attention. So this is how I started to research and after countless hours of reading about the breed, I made the decision that one day I will get a Shiba. I saved money and bought myself the best birthday gift ever - Luna. The most devilish pup from the litter. During the first five minutes I spent with the puppies in the kennel, I knew that she has to come home with me because it was very clear that she is a little crazy munchkin with a lot of character. She has taught me more than I ever imagined. I was expecting this to be a crazy roller coaster ride but oh my, I wasn’t ready for this. I’m sure our paths crossed for a reason. Before Luna, I had this empty little space in me that kept reminding that something is missing from my life. I was very cautious and thought a lot of things through before making this decision to bring home a puppy. Was I prepared enough? No. Was I ready for crying, destroyed shoes, sleepless months, too many vet visits and bills bigger than some people’s salary? No, I wasn’t. But was I ready for indescribable love, new experiences and endless lessons? No, definitely not, but I'm so happy I keep getting them.
Luna is the reason why I decided to look into dog training. Like I said, I knew that she had a lot of character, but this also caused issues because we simply could not understand each other at all. We have so many dog trainers in Estonia but no one could help me with the issues I had with Luna. All they could teach me was obedience but teaching my dog to sit and lay down will not help her to overcome stress or fears. Worst case, this will only add fuel to the fire. This will not help me to understand her. I knew there has to be a better way and by now I know for sure. My story as a dog trainer got the official start in the beginning of 2019 when I joined the International Dog Trainer School. Countless books, observations, case studies and trainings. All that to understand dogs and help them. I’ve learned that my passion lies in helping dogs with behavioural issues.
Dogs have taught me a lot. How to love unconditionally, speak without words and let’s be honest - thanks to them I now finally understand why Grinch wanted to live alone with his dog. My career as a dog trainer is an ungoing journey. I've not crossed the finish line yet and I'm pretty sure I never will. Learning new things every single day and hoping to meet a lot of cute doggies and their loving owners on the way.
List of trainings:
Amber Batson - Aggression in Dogs, 2021
Conor Brady - The Colossal (but Unspoken) Role of Nutrition in Behaviour, 2021
Amber Batson - Pain And The Influence On Behaviour, 2021
Karen Webb - Noise; when it is not music to your dog's ears, 2021
Amber Batson - Barking Mad, 2021
Jan Rawlings - Separation Anxiety – The Plain & Simple, 2021
Amber Batson - Give a dog a Bone: What is resource guarding and what can we do about it, 2021
Amber Batson - Mind The Gap: How do the body and brain interconnect to influence behaviour of the dog, 2021
Toni Shelboune - HELP! My Dog is Scared of Fireworks, 2020
Hannah Capon - Puppy Exercise – The Dos and the The Don’ts, 2021
Dog Training College - Dog – Dog Interactions, 2020
Nick Thompson - Let’s Talk Food, 2020
Kristina Spaulding - The Impact of Stress on Animal Behavior, 2020
Veterinary Behavior Symposium 2020
Lemonade Conference 2020
International Dog Trainer School, 2019-2020
Turid Rugaas - The Complete Dog, 2019
Luisa Greig - Galen Therapy Centre’s Canine Massage Workshop, 2019
Gerard O’Shea - Dog Management, 2018