Joining a training programme is a big commitment, we get that. So before you sign up, get to know us a little here.
First and foremost at Valhalla Dog Training, we have the one and only canine behaviourist herself, Laura.
So, Introduce yourself. Who are you?
Hi! I'm Laura, your friendly neighbourhood dog trainer. I've worked in animal rescue for years and over that time have seen the best and the worst. Often the worst stemmed from a lack of basic training, which caught early could've been easily avoided. Nowadays, I do everything I can to make sure new family members have a forever home.
Tell us, what kind of training do you have?
Staying up to date on best training practices is vitally important, so that's a great question. I am qualified to dipCAPBT Level 4 (and working on my Level 5!), giving me a detailed knowledge of animal behaviour. This qualification also requires me to be constantly reviewing and updating my knowledge so you can be assured you'll only receive the latest, best guidance.
I'm also a member of ICAN, which means I'm constantly under review to offer only the best - no pressure! This also gives me access to all the latest in research and learning so I can continuously hone my skills. Of course, if you'd like to know more I'd be happy to show you the details, just get in touch.
I'm ALSO also a member of the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter - while this isn't a qualification as such, it aims to ensure dog owners that its signatory organisations and their members will adhere to the most modern, scientifically-proven, positive methodology. I am a proud member of The Charter and will never, ever advocate for anything but compassionate, force-free, non-punitive and science-led methods.
In addition to this, I am also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (membership number; 01541), so you can rest assured that I adhere to the strict standards they hold for their members.
The Great Oaf Athena
Athena joined us as a puppy in 2020, and being a larger breed we've been working on loads of ways to keep her entertained and making sure that she is polite and well socialised.
Athena is brilliant with other dogs, and loves getting involved as a more active assistant since she can show interest in other dogs without being boisterous or rude! Despite her size, she is brilliant with puppies of all sizes and can be very gentle with them. Athena often attends our Puppy classes as Laura's personal assistant, helping guide younger dogs as they learn how to be polite and how to play nicely.
Lizzi joined us when she was 7 months old. She has joint deformities and a very smart brain, which left her needing a very special home. She has resource guarding tendencies towards other dogs around food and some toys so we've spent a lot of time working on this together and we've come so far!
Lizzi is a great assistant as she is very calm around dogs and teaches puppies that not every dog will want to play with them. She's very good at saying no, thank you - without spooking those playful puppies.
Baldr is the latest addition to Valhalla, coming home at 12 weeks old in late 2022. Like all the Valhalla Hounds Baldr is a rescue, coming from the wonderful Hope Rescue in Wales.
He started life as a small, shy, spindly little thing - but these days is all voice, attitude and sassitude. He's very much a doings dog, and he's always happy to tell you as much himself, with vocal cords to rival a Husky. He does both Agility and Canicross at the weekends - putting those gazelle legs to good use.
Being a boy, he's still learning how to be a acceptable member of society but once he has, he'll be taking a much bigger role as one of our stooges when working with those more bouncy and energetic dogs - taking some of the work off poor old Athena!
Arty joined the Valhalla Team in 2021, bringing a additional single braincell of intelligence but a whole bucket of sweetness (which looks a lot like slobber) to the pack. She first came in as a foster and like many other fosters before her we anticipated keeping her for a few months while the charity who had rescued her from neglect and abuse found her a forever home.
As it turned out, they'd already found her a forever home. Despite her best attempts to irritate, annoy and generally bring hooliganism wherever she went, everyone here fell for her and in late 2021, she was officially adopted.
Since then she's proved underneath that thugish exterior she's (ocasionally) brilliantly intelligent and has gone from nearly zero training when she arrived to a settled and active part of the Valhalla Clan.
She had her ears illegally cropped by her breeder, so now helps Laura to raise awareness and campaign towards pushing back against this cruel & illegal practice.