Hi, I’m Pia and I am one of the new General Obedience Trainers here at BBK9
My passion for dog training began when I volunteered at a local boarding kennels, the owner of which also trained his own Gundogs and I was able to get involved in this training.
In 2016 I acquired my own dog a Labrador Golden Retriever Cross Lottie which set me with all sorts of challenges, Lottie was an avid chaser and would chase traffic and cyclists causing her to redirect and bite me.
The old classical Gundog type training methods that I had previously used proved ineffective which sparked my interest into studying canine behaviour.
I went on to study Animal Biology at Nottingham Trent University, which covered the science behind dog training and behaviour and enabled me to deal with the issues that I had with Lottie, and allowed me to be able to visually see subtle behavioural changes when she was feeling uncomfortable.
Alongside my studies I worked within a petshop where I was able to help so many owners and their dogs with both nutritional issues and training problems. One of the highlights of my time working there was running puppy classes, and helping owners and their puppies develop a bond over the 6 week course.
After successfully gaining a First Class degree in Animal Biology, I secured a position at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, where I was responsible for training dogs to complete trials using scientific based positive reinforcement training methods and successfully trained dogs to be comfortable with lying still for X-rays, giving breath samples, having blood taken and giving saliva samples in addition to training basic life skills.
In order to be able to continue my studies I changed job role into the aerospace industry and started my Masters Degree in Animal Health And Welfare which furthers my knowledge in animal cognition, behaviour, and psychological functioning, and how these relate to the application of health and welfare science.
I am due to continuing in September after taking a year out to give birth to my daughter, which has given me an appreciation for the stresses involved in having a young children with dogs but it’s also given me the opportunity to get back into the animal industry.
I currently own two dogs a 4 year old Labrador x Golden Retriever called Lottie with whom I take part in agility and we have just started scentwork together and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy called Effie who is my new challenge with whom I intend to compete in agility and in the show ring.