Happy hounds jump through hoops to be coached by top Dodford dog trainer
A lifelong passion for animals has earned Dodford trainer Laura Wyllie the label 'crazy dog lady'.
Throughout her childhood Laura would persistently ask her mother for more pets, and would be told 'when you have your own house, you can have as many animals as you want'.
And so she did.
She runs Laura Wyllie Dog Training with the aim to provide a 'fun and friendly learning environment for dog owners'.
Laura said: "Having trained for other local dog clubs for around 13 years, and with a lifelong passion for our four-legged friends, I set up Laura Wyllie Dog Training in 2011.
"I promote kind, fair and effective training methods.
LWDT is a family run business, with Laura's daughters and partner Martin all heavily involved.
Laura went on: "Both my daughters are very capable dog trainers themselves, with Shannon being a great trick trainer and having experience in training dogs for media work and Taylor (16) is already an Accredited Canine Hooper UK Instructor. I also have two wonderful team members - Helen Hunt and Prue Crocker."
A registered Animal Behaviour and Training Council Training Instructor, Helen and Laura are both full members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Advanced Canine Hoopers UK Accredited Instructors and recognised trainers with Scent work UK. Helen is also a Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Examiner and has an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management.
Laura said: "Before the coronavirus pandemic, Prue would assist in classes, using her many ( I won't say how many! ) years of dog training experience to help new puppy owners She has been an extended family member since I first started training all those years ago."
She currently holds 15 classes a week - puppies, beginners, agility ( not for competition) hoopers, progression classes for a variety of levels, plus one to one training. Scent work will be returning soon.
"Like many businesses, dog training has been difficult over the last year," she said.
"I have had to make changes to ensure that dog owners were still able to access help. Many classes were taken via Zoom, which actually works really well, especially for puppies and some one to one sessions as it gives dogs the opportunity to learn new skills without the distractions of others."
She said there has been a huge increase in people buying puppies since the coronavirus lockdowns.
Laura added: "This has come with an increase in problems. The high demand for puppies has increased their price and has seen an increase in unscrupulous breeders breeding for the money.
"These puppies are often from unhealth tested parents and not given appropriate socialisation or handling. Due to social distancing and homes not being allowed visitors, new puppy owners have struggled to socialise their puppies and we are seeing a lot that are worried about approaching people or other dogs. The covid situation has also created other problems like separation anxiety, as puppies are used to having company all day."
There has been an increase in excessive mouthing from puppies, which could be from over stimulation as households have been busier and stress levels have been higher.
Laura said: "Whether you have a puppy and are looking to start training or have a bouncy adolescent dog that would benefit from recall training or lead walking, then please get in touch with us.
"Bring your dogs and your sense of humour because pet dogs should be fun."