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It's Premier Dog Trainings Birthday

05/03/2018 - Latest News

Essex Dog Training Company reaches its first birthday and what a year its been

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since I started Premier Dog Training in Romford? Some would say that starting a business is a brave thing to do in the current economic climate but I’ve always been one to rise to a challenge. Which is probably why I enjoy dog training so much.

Life before Premier Dog Training

Dogs have always been a passion of mine. As a boy, I begged my parents for a dog for what seemed like years. Patience and persistence paid off and I eventually became the proud owner of an 8 week old Standard Schnauzer named “Arnie”. Short for Arnie Schnauzernegger.

Arnie taught me a lot about the responsibilities of dog owning. He was my mate AND my mentor. I trained him myself. It wasn’t an easy task for a beginner because Schnauzers can be stubborn. However, Arnie and I had this mutual respect and we quickly learned how important it is to keep training sessions interesting, and to be clear and consistent with commands and, of course, generous with rewards.

Believe it or not, I also learned how to groom Arnie and I cared for his coat for the whole of his life. Schnauzer coats grow fast and need regular attention to keep them neat, tidy and comfortable. Caring for Arnie in that way helped build and cement our friendship.

A community based career taught me about people

Dog training is my second career. Until I started Premier Dog Training, I worked as a Police Officer.

As a Police Officer I was privileged to meet with and help people of all ages and from all walks of life. The majority of my job was in stressful situations where staying calm, understanding the situation, making considered decisions under stress and communicating clearly with everyone involved were paramount.

I worked as an emergency response officer, a firearms officer, I was on the Youth Offending Team, worked with community programs and was one of only 16 Police Dog Legislation Officers in the Metropolitan Police.

Dog training draws on my police training when it comes to communication skills. In reality, I’m teaching two parties. The dog – who doesn’t speak English and communicates mainly with body language, and its handler. Every dog and every handler has a different temperament, different experiences of life and sometimes even a different goal for the training.

Training a pet dog to be a good citizen is a slightly different scenario to training a security dog, a service dog or even a gundog. As a teacher I need to read the body language of both parties, put everyone at their ease and help them to work through any challenges one step at a time. Moving from one career to another I enjoyed my time in the Police Force and I do miss being part of the team. But there comes a time in a person’s life when he needs to strike out on a new adventure. I never lost interest in dogs. I was rarely without a dog of my own and tried wherever possible to teach responsible dog ownership to the communities I worked with. I gave dog training presentations to youth organisations and taught dog safety to every 9 and 10 year old on my borough. So leaving the Police Force and setting up a business as a qualified dog trainer was a natural transition for me.

I trained with the IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers). You may have seen our founder Steve Mann on TV’s Lorraine. To qualify as an IMDT member, involved several training courses, assessments and a year-long mentorship scheme volunteering with a dog training club.

I have to say that IMDT methods are very different to what celebrity dog trainers were teaching in the 1980’s. Can anybody remember Barbara Woodhouse? The sort of ‘dominance’ dog training techniques she used are now thought to cause anxiety and aggression. I don’t use them at all – ever. It’s reward-based training all the way at Premier Dog Training and it always will be.

So, qualifications gained, I found a suitable venue for my new business and began helping dogs and their owners to understand each other better and work as a team. There have been highs and lows. And I’m in no doubt that there are more highs and more lows to come. But one year on, I’m happy, my customers are happy and I really do think that Premier Dog Training has a secure future.

Find out more about what we do at Premier Dog Training

Puppy Classes

Dog Agility

Individual dog training sessions

Boarding Kennels and Cattery