Started out as veterinary nurse. progressed onto working with behavioural problems with practice clients in 1985.
Formed my own animal rescue centre only admitting dogs due for destruction. I successfully re-homed over three hundred dogs. This earned me the ' Animal Country ' award, present by Sarah Kennedy and Desmond Morris in 1995
Address all types of aggression including stock chasing. My dogs are specifically trained for this work, as are my sheep.
Pioneer of Canine Communication Classes working with Teaching Dogs, in the UK. These classes are specifically designed for socialising dogs with aggression problems.
Some Notes on Angela's background
Worked closely with Royal Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Canine Defence League and Battersea Dogs Home.
Work closely with Rescue Shelters in other countries, including Japan and Italy; primarily advising on kennel stress management and rehabilitation of aggression problems.
Run extensive workshops on aggression, emotions and behaviour and the Relationship between dogs and their owners for the public, vets and dog trainers in the UK, Europe and Japan
Associate of Robin Walker, MRCVS. Robin was a highly valued member of the the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, up until his retirement a few years ago.
Lectured at Southampton University on Canine Aggression .
Worked as TV consultant for 'Absolutely Animals'. Worked with Pet Rescue and was featured with my Teaching Dogs on the National Geographic television programme, 'Dogs with Jobs'.
Currently writing commissioned books on GSDs and also canine aggression. Have produced an internationally recognized video on Canine Communication.
When I was working for a Dog Rescue Organisation, which specialised in re-homing ‘nice’ dogs. I was told that I was only allowed to admit dogs that met a certain criteria – basically that they could be rehomed easily.
Whilst I respected the Rescue Organisation’s logic and was aware they re-rehomed many dogs that would otherwise have faced destruction, I could not accept such prejudices.
Day after day, I had to turn away a dog that I knew I could help. Even worse, in my time as a Veterinary Nurse I had to watch helplessly as dog after ‘nasty’ dog was put to sleep. All because humans were unable to understand why some dogs cannot cope with living within the alien restrictions of a domestic environment.
‘The small number of dogs that bite people is monumental proof that the dog is the most benign, forgiving creature on earth’ – W.R. KOEHLER
Every dog deserves a second chance. I felt that these were the very dogs that needed rescuing the most. In order to help them, it was time for me to move on.
So I set-up a centre where the only dogs I admitted were dogs with special needs. When I first opened the centre (actually it was a field attached to my rented house with stables!) ‘trade’ boomed immediately! ‘I referred any ‘nice’ dogs without special needs to the excellent re-homing centres in my area, freeing me up me to dedicate my time to those who need that little extra bit of help.
The dogs I took under my wing, not only taught me about dog behaviour but also reinforced what I knew about life itself. They’d started out as OK dogs. They’d tried talking politely.
They’d tried raising their voices a little. Then they’d tried shouting. But none of these approaches had worked, leaving them no choice but to use the only other approach they knew – to be aggressive. I am sure that if many of these dogs had been human, they would have ‘bitten’ long before they did!
Most owners had only become aware that their dog had a problem when the dog had become a problem to them. What was viewed as a ‘problem’ to the owner was rarely the same as what was viewed as a ‘problem’ by the dog. A classical case of dogs and humans staring down opposite ends of the telescope.
Before I could help the dogs that I rescued, I needed to understand things from their point of view. By getting to know each individual character, how they felt about life in general, and by watching and learning how dogs communicated with each other, I was able to interpret their body-language.
By understanding their unique way of communication, I was able to recognise signs of stress - one of the most crucial factors of any successful rehabilitation. I also learnt by their responses to my own body movements, possible triggers to their aggression.
Once they felt more confident with themselves and life generally, over time I was able to rehabilitate and re-home hundreds of dogs. Why? Simply because they had learned how to cope and behave to sociably in situations that had previously caused them to be aggressive.
Each one of these dogs had come to me as their only hope of survival. That is, they had either come via other Rescue Centres, Veterinary Surgeons or dog training clubs who knew that these dogs had no hope of finding new homes.
I figured that alone I could save, maybe twenty dogs a year. If I was able to pass on the knowledge and understanding I had gained from my canine tutors to others, then I could help so many more.
Now, I dedicate my time and energy to sharing my years of experience and knowledge with as many people as possible. Over the years I have worked closely with The Dog's Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the RSPCA, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and several Police Dog Sections.
I now run practical workshops where other trainers/behaviourists and pet dog owners alike can learn from the only real dog experts – the dogs themselves.