OhMyDog!

Dog training instructors

At OhMyDog! The Hague, we only invite qualified trainers to present the lessons for you and your dog.

We prefer trainers who are university-educated in a relevant topic (e.g. ethology, psychology, vets, etc.), experienced and certified. But we don’t only look if it clicks on paper and we preferentially hire people who are sociable and easy-going, so the lesson is not only high-quality contents-wise, but you also have a good time doing it.

If you are an aspiring or experienced dog trainer, and are looking for your new challenge, check our vacancy page.

Laure-Anne Viselé-Jonkman : Co-owner, Behaviour therapist, Group instructor and Behaviour Coach

Laure-Anne Viselé-Jonkman
Co-owner, Behaviour therapist, Group instructor and Behaviour Coach

info@ohmydogschool.com

Role at OhMyDog! I founded the school in 2013. My role is to steer OhMyDog!, making sure we keep giving ethically and scientifically sound advice, keeping your trainers sharp and motivated, and doing general management work. I also still teach classes as Head Instructor and still hold the role of Behaviour Coach for my colleagues' classes.

Role at OhMyDog! I started off as a dog behaviour therapist in 2009 and founded OhMyDog! in 2013. My role at OhMyDog! is to steer the centre: I ensure that we give ethical and evidence-based advice, I monitor the job satisfaction and skills development of our trainers, and I share day-to-day business management tasks with OhMyDog's co-owner, Stephanie Neijts.

I am the Centre's Head Behaviourist and I still give group lessons in our dog training school. In all these activities, I strive for a relaxed and trusting atmosphere, for transparent and evidence-based advice and for an animal-friendly approach.  

 

Rodge bday

Laure-Anne's old dog, Roger

Credentials: Originally a French speaker, I partly grew up in England where I studied Zoology (Newcastle University). I moved from the UK to the Netherlands in 2001, where I still live in the outskirts of The Hague with my husband, son and dog.

I followed my university studies with a postgraduate specialisation in Applied Companion Animal Behaviour (magna cum laude) and a certificate as Dog Training Instructor (O&O). I have also followed countless courses and training programs in ethology, canine behaviour, (Cursus Centrum Dierverzorging Barneveld), kynology behaviour (DogVision), canine first aid and specific dog training techniques.

I am a full member of the following organisations: Fear FreeCertipetNationale Vereniging voor Gedragstherapeuten and O&O

IMG_6637

Laure-Anne and her mixed breed rescue, Roger

Day job:

Behaviourist: I help people with their dog's behaviour problems through my behaviour therapy practice: Canis bonus. I am also the resident behaviour therapist for the Wateringseveld Animal Clinic in The Hague who are, like myself, certified Fear Free professionals.

Lecturer: I am a lecturer in Annorlunda's team, and at the O&O certification institute for dog trainers. I also give seminars to animal organisations (e.g. Dierenbescherming). I also give advice to municipalities and other organisations on dog-related policies.

Writing: I have my own column in the Los Vast, I regularly write for Doggo.nl (the Netherlands' largest site about dogs) and I write my own evidence-based blog about dog behaviour, besides my work as guest-writer for several websites. 

Personal experience: Partly due to my profession as a behaviourist, my own dogs have come to me with heavy baggage. I have personal experience sharing my life with dogs with behaviour issues stemming from old age, their past as a shelter dog, chronic disease and working line/hyperactivity. This helps me in feeling true empathy with the struggles of my clients in my work as a behaviourist. 

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Stephanie Neijts : Co-owner, one-on-one trainer, group instructor, and behaviour coach

Stephanie Neijts
Co-owner, one-on-one trainer, group instructor, and behaviour coach

admin@ohmydogschool.com

Role at OhMyDog! I started working for OhMyDog in August 2018, as part of an internship for my BSc. This enabled me to see how OhMyDog was run after the scenes. It quickly became obvious that OhMyDog's vision was a great fit with my idea of how to run a dog business. Customer demand continued at such a rate that Laure-Anne could no longer handle the work alone. That is when we decided to continue OhMyDog as a partnership.

My tasks are, among other things, administration, marketing, events and management. I continue to be active as group instructor, and I still help clients when I coach for a colleague's class, as well as giving private dog training lessons in our clients' home.

Credentials: From 2015, I already knew that I wanted to make a living in dog training and behaviour. Since then, I have been avidly working on gaining more knowledge through keeping up-to-date with the latest relevant research papers, reading evidence-based books, and attending seminars. I have also geared as many internship opportunities as possible towards dog behaviour during my MBO (Animal Management) and my subsequent BSc (Animal health and management).

I have followed internships with the police dog centre, a Rottweiler breeder/trainer, pet stores and a service dog organisation.

During my BSc studies, I also concurrently followed the Hondenspecialist certification program in behaviour therapy and puppy coaching. These studies are based on modern techniques and modern insights in dog behaviour, which is what attracted me to the program.

And of course, my nicest internship has been with OhMyDog!, where I attended all of the school's activities from behaviour therapy sessions to private and group training. I have learnt so much from sparring together about the various therapy and training options for the many cases we covered in that period.

I am now contemplating following an additional specialism, because we will never stop learning about dog behaviour and training.

Stephanie and her dog, Frey

Stephanie and her dog, Frey.

Daily work: I am responsible for marketing, general management and private training sessions for OhMyDog. These sessions can be given either after a behaviour advice and evaluation session, to follow an  obedience course from your home, or to focus on just one obedience problem (as opposed to a whole group course). I also give group dog training lessons for the school.

Personal experience: 5 years ago, one of the dogs I was walking needed a new home so we fostered her 'temporarily', but we never rehomed her. When we adopted her, she had problems with other dogs. This has evolved so much that she can now interact with other dogs without a problem. By giving her the space and guidance she needed, her social skills with other dogs have been able to develop to the point that she is now a very apt communicator with other dogs, which fills me with pride. Even passing other dogs whilst she is on-leash has improved in leaps and bounds. My experience with her has given me insights that I can use during my private training sessions. It helps me understand the situation of owners of 'problem dogs', and it gives me an eye for the practical aspects of daily life with a 'problem dog'.

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Lydia de Smit : Behaviour coach and Instructor

Lydia de Smit
Behaviour coach and Instructor

Role at OhMyDog! I joined OhMyDog! in May 2018. There I found a really diverse, but super nice and informal team. I find the fact that we nearly all have a different background, when it comes to dogs, one of our strongest points as a team. We really complement each others' skill and knowledge, and learn a lot from each other.

I really like that OhMyDog! works following evidence-based principles, and still manages to get the information across in easy to process tidbits and with a lot of humour. I also love the relaxed atmosphere during the lessons.

I have two roles for OhMyDog! I am Instructor of puppy lessons, and I am a behaviour coach with the Obedience lessons. As a behaviour coach, I give the students one-on-one support and advice. Things like giving their pup a brain game before he gets frustrated, or explaining how you can calm down a dog who is getting nervous.

As Instructor, my focus is on giving the pups' owners the concrete tools they need to give their pup a nice, safe start in life. I also love to offer exercises that not only have a relevant day-to-day use, but also that strengthen the dog-human bond.

Credentials: : If all goes well, I will be graduated from my studies in Social Work next year. I am also putting the finishing touches of my dog training instructor certification (with the O&O), and will do my last (practical) exam in April 2019.

Lydia en Renzo

Lydia and her big friend Renzo, the Golden Retriever.

Day job: Whilst giving my lessons, I constantly draw on my practical experience and formal training in coaching. I am, for example, experienced in providing professional coaching to people with a psychiatric condition or a patients with a mental impairment.

I am als in the preparatory phase of my post-graduation life. My ambition is to involve dogs in human care, so I will be able to combine my passion for dogs with my drive to work in social care and coaching.

Personal experience: I have undergone all my dog-related activities with Renzo. Renzo is an 8-year-old Golden Retriever which I regularly take care of. Renzo is super sociable, but struggles with car rides. I am working on this problem with car training exercises.

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Romy Groeneveld :

Romy Groeneveld

Role at OhMyDog: I crossed paths with OhMyDog in November 2019 and this allowed me to put everything I’d learned during my dog trainer certification into practice. As someone with a scientific attitude and a constant hunger for knowledge, I feel like a fish in the water at OhMyDog’s! The evidence-based approach was hugely appealing to me.

At OhMyDog, I am a behaviour coach in the obedience course and an instructor in the puppy class. What I love about the behavioural coach role is that I can invest just a little more time and attention in each student and dog who needs extra guidance. As an instructor, I find it particularly important that students build a bond with their dog. Raising a puppy is not easy and can be frustrating. I love it when students experience success during the training and see their dog in a positive light again. 

Credentials: After my BA in Greek & Latin Culture (BA) and MA in Journalism and New Media, I started training as a Kynological Instructor (via the O&O). I am now one module shy of getting my diploma (planned in early 2021). I have also successfully completed the Learning in dogs module of the DogVision institute.

Romy and Nino

Romy and Nino, her Golden Retriever.

Daily work: After my studies, I entered the PR sector. My goal is to bring (positive) media attention to a company. I do this by looking for news within the organization and translating these into a press release or article. Beside writing relevant content, I am also responsible for a company’s social media channels.

Personal experience: I still learn every day from my Golden Retriever, Nino: a rescue dog I adopted. What I experience in practice, I then bring into the lessons I give. Conversely, I can apply the knowledge from my work and training back into my daily life with Nino.

Nino had huge confidence issues at the beginning: everything was new to him. With the structure, safety and support I provided him, he gradually crawled out of his shell. Mantrailing (following a human trail) has given him even more confidence.

The fact that you should never put your dog in a situation he can't handle was a real eye-opener for me. In doing so, you look at your dog's body language and respect his limits. For example, Nino is often harassed by other dogs. A lot of owners let the dogs sort it out among themselves and hang around on the field. I now choose to listen to my dog and get him out of the situation. I notice that Nino’s trust has improved even more, because he knows I have his back. This has made our bond even stronger.

In addition, I actively work on eye contact at critical moments during our walks, moments he used to be unreachable and distracted. I can use this exercise to keep his attention on me when we pass someone, for example. These are typical insights and skills that we try to teach our students at OhMyDog.

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