“The dog is not the enemy” – Kay Laurence
Is life with your dog not what you imagined?
For most of us, the answer has at some point been “absolutely not”. The idyllic image we had of relaxing walks and calm cosy evenings cuddled up in front of the television can feel very far away when we are faced with a living, breathing, thinking individual whose instincts and desires seem destined never to mesh with our own. Problems arise, tempers fray, and we wonder “What went wrong? Have I made a terrible mistake?”
The good news is that no, you probably haven’t, and you are not alone. Humans and dogs have evolved side by side over thousands of years, two social species uniquely equipped to live and work together. However, all relationships – especially those between individuals of different species – require work. We need to communicate more clearly, listen more acutely, understand more deeply and practise with confidence. This is where training comes in.
Our training grows out of a sound scientific understanding of how learning happens, and requires critical thinking (and a good sense of humour!) on the part of the human learners and coaches. Robotic, joyless compliance is not the goal. Your dog’s independent mind, powerful instincts and autonomous decision-making abilities are not an obstacle to obedience but the key to your partnership. Two heads are better than one, and when your dog brings her own intelligence to the training space and actively chooses to participate and collaborate the sky is the limit. Communication becomes more precise, responses become stronger and more enthusiastic, and imagination and creativity flourish.
Whether you are starting from the basics of Sit and Down or perfecting your dressage and scent work, you will soon find that you and your dog are spending every spare moment having the time of your life as you work as a team to build and hone your skills.
My training journey began many ago in the north of Sweden with a team of Alaskan Huskies, and was followed by a series of digressions into the worlds of marketing and academia. I adopted my beautiful lurcher Antigone (2011-2023) in 2013 and set up my dog-walking business, Honor Oak Bark, the following year. I was working on a PhD at the time and had intended to pursue an academic career after completing my doctorate, but as I got more deeply involved in pet dog training through an apprenticeship at Believe In Magic I realised that my fascination with all things canine was a lifelong project and that my future lay in dog training and behaviour.
I qualified as a trainer through written and practical assessment by the APDT, and am registered as an Animal Training Instructor with the ABTC. I have also been certified as a Dog Behaviour Consultant by the IAABC.
Canine Pawtonomy is fully insured by Pet Business Insurance.
Recent courses and seminars attended
- 26-27 January 2019: ‘Cue Technology Geek Weekend’ – Kay Laurence
- 11-12 November 2018: ‘Stop, Come, Click: Predatory Chase Workshop’ – Jane Ardern
- 26-28 October 2018: ClickerExpo Luminos
- 3 June 2018: ‘Separation Anxiety’ – Amber Batson
- 22-23 May 2018: IAABC UK Animal Behaviour Conference
- 2 October 2017: ‘Empowered Socialisation: Advanced BAT 2.0’ – Grisha Stewart
- 23-24 September 2017: ‘A Weekend of Learning’ – Kathy Sdao
- 7-9 July 2017: ‘Teaching Life Skills’ – Kay Laurence
- 8 April 2017: ‘Inside the Reactive Dog’s Head’ – Amber Batson
- 26 May 2016: ‘Introduction to TTouch’ – Sarah Fisher
- 19 May 2016: ‘Dog Aggression’ – Chirag Patel
- March – May 2016: ’Novice Clicker Trainer’ – Kay Laurence/Lesley Buxton
- 11-12 April 2016: ‘Handling Reactive Dogs’ and ‘Training Reactive Dogs’ – Brenda Aloff
- 6 February 2016: ‘Dog First Aid and Emergency Canine Care’ – Dog First Aid
- 6 February 2016: ‘Learn To Speak Dog’ – Eryn Martyn-Godfrey
- 29 October 2015: ‘Something For Everyone’ – Robert Falconer-Taylor
- 19 October 2015: ‘Dog Law: what every responsible owner needs to know’ – Trevor Cooper
- 7-8 October 2015: ‘Behaviour Adjustment Training (BAT) for Aggression, Frustration and Fear’ – Grisha Stewart