We had a great shoot the other day with Puppy trainer Angela, and her trusty canine sidekick, Ariel, who has a rather interesting job…here’s Angela’s story and her beautiful photos.
“ I have been working as a puppy trainer since the early days of puppy training started, which is more than 17 years ago now! I trained as a vet nurse and then did a number of animal behaviour courses specialising in puppies and positive reinforcement training. I realised early on the behaviour problems were leading to over 80 % of dogs being destroyed, or abandoned in shelters, eventually to be euthanized – a shocking statistic.”
“I also wanted to bridge the gap between human and animal communication; I loved the early work of non violent communication of puppy trainers that were asking rather than forcing animals to do things, instead of using natural instincts to have animals doing things for you because they trusted you. When working as a nurse it makes the whole experience so much more rewarding when patients know and trust you. They heal quicker too when they relax! I do massage and other things too that help them in the hospital.”
“Ariel was an abandoned puppy; I think she may have been too full of energy for the original owner. I gave her the name Ariel, as it is an Angel for communication with animals and humans. She is so much more than just a dog to me; she has helped me though some pretty rough times during my separation. I was made homeless and the motivation to find her a safe place kept me focused to find somewhere. I would have never have given her up.”
“She helps me at work to catch stray dogs as she is super quick and friendly. She is the flirt of the dog world! She helps other dogs to relax and sits with puppies that are stressing in the kennels. She also helps me to get frightened dogs out of cars and plays with puppies that need to learn to play gentle, She comes with me to feed dogs at their homes and (most of the time) is a great help though, she still gets up to mischief. She’s basically a puppy trainer herself! She likes chewing things and making a mess at times, as all dogs do, but overall she is amazing – she’s a great guard dog and super quick to settle; I know how to read her and I don’t keep her doing something if she is getting stressed s she’s a nervous and gentle soul.”
“I have a keen interest in teaching people not to be violent with each other or animals and I love trainers that teach prisoners to ask and dogs respond quickly, so violent offenders learn from them. I can quickly see dogs that tell me, their owners don’t know how to ask nicely. I am the kind of person that is direct but kind – I know that we are all doing our best and if I can share something or show a better way to do things it is my way of making the world a better place. “