CIC

Smooth living with your greyhound

Greyhounds are often dismissed as un-trainable – tough racers, not chilled housemates. Not so. Smart, comical and loving, ex-racing greyhounds can make brilliant companions, but it can take some sympathetic training to help them adapt to their new domestic life. I’m on a mission to help smooth the path from track to home and develop the cool running relationship that’s a joy for dog and human alike.

MY APPROACH

Training that’s always positive.

My work with ex racing greyhounds is based entirely around reward-based training.

The objective is to create a shared language between you and your dog by pairing

the good stuff – food treats – with the behaviours we want to see and developing

that communication by adding some verbal cues, so things become easier for you

and them. All it takes is patience, consistency and timing.

The principle holds good for greyhounds affected by fear and anxiety. The goal is to

associate good experiences and rewards with the things they find worrying. Over

time, they cease to become the object of concern and become an unthreatening part

of everyday life..

I can help with:

Basic manners training * House training * Fear and aggression * Nervousness with contact and body handling * Reacting to other dogs on lead *

Learning to feel safe in a home environment * Separation anxiety *

The principles behind the approach

Back to basics  :

Rehomed ex racing greyhounds may be adults, but in a new home, they can be just like giant puppies. Where necessary, that might mean going right back to basics to introduce them to their new world and the behaviours that will help life run smoothly for everyone. For some, even taking a treat is a new experience – they’ll lick and explore before they get the idea that this is really good!

Getting the foundation right : Getting ‘foundation behaviours’ installed, including a rock solid recall makes everything else much more manageable.

Taking time: For some of these dogs, going to a new home environment is like landing on Mars. They need to discover at a pace that keeps them in their comfort zone. As they gain confidence, their speed of learning will increase. But a patient step-by-step approach, taking it at the dog’s pace means a more solid result in thelong term.

About me

I’m a researcher, greyhound advocate and positive dog trainer. I combine each of those areas of my life into one endeavour – to enact social change for racing and ex racing greyhounds.

My professional background is rooted in training – humans as well as dogs. A qualified teacher, I’ve been working in adult, work-based learning for the past 16 years and I’m a vocational assessor so I’m well versed in coaching people to achieve their goals.

That experience in transferring skills and techniques is vitally important when I’m working practically with you and your greyhound. And it’s backed up by an in depth study of greyhounds and their relationships with humans for a Masters degree in Anthrozoology.

I have plenty of hands-on experience with greyhounds, too. Making connections, building trust I currently run a bespoke training programme for a small number of ex racing greyhounds – many of whom have ‘bounced’ from homes or other rescues. This operates out of Hope Rescue Kennels, whom I work closely with on various aspects of greyhound advocacy.

I spent 4 years as the trainer and behaviour consultant at Greyhound Rescue Wales, assessing dogs, designing care programmes and supporting adopters as they embarked on their new relationships with ex racing greyhounds.

Working within rescue, my focus is to help more dogs successfully make the transition to home life. Using my knowledge and skills of people and dog training, I help former racing dogs to develop connections and build trust with humans as this is critical to their resettlement as companion animals. Often the simplest – and most enjoyable – way to ‘start this human-canine conversation’ is through positive training, and this is my main motivation for training greyhounds: to help thatrelationship to grow and grow.

The letters

BSc (Hons) Animal Science

MA in Anthrozoology (the study of human-animal interactions).

Dissertation examined greyhound and human interactions at charity street events.

PhD research – ‘Reimagining greyhounds’ currently underway through the University

of Exeter.