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 : Co-owner, Behaviour therapist, Group instructor and Behaviour Coach

Laure-Anne Viselé
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.

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Laure-Anne's dog, Roger

Credentials: Originally a French speaker, I grew up in England for a few years, where I studied Zoology (Newcastle University). I moved from the UK to the Netherlands in 2001, where I still live in a village on the outskirts of The Hague with my husband, son and rescue dog. I converted back to Zoology from an international career in IT project management through a series of specialisations including a postgraduate in Applied animal behaviour (magna cum laude) as well as certifications in canine ethology (Cursus Centrum Dierverzorging Barneveld), kynology (DogVision), first aid for dogs and dog training instructor (through the O&O).

I am a member of the following professional organisations: Fear Free, Certipet, Nationale Vereniging voor Gedragstherapeuten and the O&O.

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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 star 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 on their dog-related policies.

Writing: When I have spare time, I write in my evidence-based blog about dog behaviour, or for external specialist websites.

Personal experience: Having adopted many shelter dogs with baggage has awakened by interest in dog behaviour problems. My current dog, an Alzheimer's disease patient, is no exception. I rely on specialist research literature to inspire my protocols and have co-founded OhMyDog! to give dog owners the evidence-based dog behaviour and training advice they deserve.

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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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Vanessa O’Sullivan : Behaviour Coach and Instructor

Vanessa O’Sullivan
Behaviour Coach and Instructor

Role at OhMyDog: I started at OhMyDog! in the spring of 2018. My responsibilities have been quite varied: from purchasing to strategic planning to social media campaigns. Right now, I juggle three roles for OhMyDog:

  1. Coordinator: I help the team make sure that preparations are complete by the time the school opens to the public.
  2. Behavioral Coach: I assist instructors and help ensure that each student gets personalized advice during the group lessons.
  3. Instructor: I help guide owners through the process of working with their dogs. I help with teaching their dogs new skills, bonding, and even what we, as owners, consider ‘basic manners’.

I appreciate the overall approach that the school takes in training - evidence-based teaching with a focus on humane handling.

I also appreciate the focus on practical application. I think it is important to practice real-life scenarios and explain how each exercise can be utilized in everyday life.

The school also focuses on challenging dogs mentally. I personally believe that it is important to teach our dogs things just for the sake of learning. To build a basic foundation behavior (example: touch) to further activities (example: Left/Right turn, Open/Close door, Turn on/off lights). This will help engage your dog, keep them mentally sharp as they age, and build the owner-dog bond.

While every instructor is given the freedom to be creative in how they structure their courses, we have an agreed upon core curriculum that addresses many basic problems that owners face in their daily life. I appreciate that each student leaves a course with the same foundation for future courses.

Credentials: I have a Bachelor's of Science in Biology. I have worked at multiple veterinary clinics/hospitals and volunteered for local shelters and rescue organizations in California. After college, I worked as a Veterinary Assistant. I acted as a surgical nurse, general nurse, and was responsible for training new employees. I have also attended RVT continuing education. After about 9 years of diverse veterinary experience, I am shifting my focus from medical to behavioural work. I am now in the process of attending the Kynologisch Instructeur program through of the O&O.

 

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Vanessa and her dogs

Daily Work:I am currently acclimating to life in the Netherlands and combining my OhMyDog! activities with an intensive dutch study program.  I am also busy following various independent study programs on dog training and cognitive learning theory.

Personal Experience:I now have three dogs and a cat. Sonic, a border collie, my first and oldest dog; Darwin, a black mouth cur whom we lovingly call our ‘problem child’ because he has been our biggest behavioral project; and then Sputnik, a very excitable Moscow street dog. Their very different personalities have taught me so much about dog behavior that I would not be able to learn from a book. With each dog, I’ve done various levels of obedience, agility, flyball, frisbee, treibball, nosework, tracking, and sheep herding. And of course, even my current cat has done a little obedience training with me, learning sit and recall. 

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Samantha van Deenen : Behaviour coach and Instructor

Samantha van Deenen
Behaviour coach and Instructor

Role at OhMyDog! I have immediately felt right at home with Ohmydog's team. What I love about Ohmydog! is that we give our lessons with the owners and the dogs in mind. We really focus on the things that make your daily life with your dog more fun and relaxing.

I also appreciate the respect and patience they show the dogs: the dogs are allowed to make mistakes. This doesn't get punished.

I started as a Behaviour Coach, where I gave the owners one-on-one guidance with their dog during the group lessons. I later also got promoted to Instructor.

I find it important to sensitize people that raising their dog goes much deeper than teaching obedience training (like sit or down), but that it is important to have fun together. So I try to give all my exercises a playful slant. I find working with dogs and giving their people training lessons fantastic!

Credentials: I graduated as a Veterinarian's Assistant. I also have professional experience with working dogs: I went to Sweden, for example, where I was responsible for a team of 20 sleddogs (huskies) used to take tourists for excursions. In Wale, I was responsible for about 1,500 sheep and their sheepdogs.

I am also a certified Kynologisch Instructeur, and I continue to refine my dog behaviour education wtih regular seminars, lectures and courses.

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Samantha and her dogs: Jimmy (Cairn terrier x Brussels Griffon, left) and Bob (Brussels Griffon, right)

Daily work: As a day job, I work in a dog pension. Many of my responsibilities involve animal caregiving. Previously, I worked for Animal Ambulance Wassenaar, as the ambulance driver and one of the caregivers for the dog pension - I was primarily responsible for senior dogs there.

Personal experience: I have 2 little dogs: Bob, a Brussels Griffon; and Jimmy, his son, a Caïrn Terrier-Brussels Griffon cross. Jimmy is a real terrier: he is not all that tolerant to other dogs. I am working on this issue a lot and really see improvements! Bobby got seized from his breeder's for neglect by the Dutch animal protection agency. He was scared of everything. He is now a completely different dog! Right now, I am preparing Jimmy for Dogsurvival.

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Tamara Noordermeer : Behaviour coach and instructor

Tamara Noordermeer
Behaviour coach and instructor

Role at OhMyDog! When I started at Ohmydog!, the team immediately gave me a warm welkom and I immediately felt right at home. What I appreciate the most about Ohmydog! is that they approach dog training professionally, but without forgetting the central role of fun during the lessons. The exercises we give are also designed so as to give real-life value to the owners, instead of  dry Obedience tricks.

I hold a double role for OhMyDog!: Behaviour coach and Instructor. During lessons where I work as a coach, I help the owners 1 on 1.

As instructor, I give, among other lesosns, the Obedience class, which I love to do! During my lessons, I really focus on teaching relevant and value-adding exercises, and I make sure that the lessons are fun for the owners and the dogs. People have dogs for the pleasure aspects of it, and I want my lessons to reflect that.

Credentials: I am a certified Paraveterinary Assistant. I am also a fully certified Dog Training Instructor (O&O). I am busy putting the finishing touches of my BSc in Animal husbandry. During my studies, I gained experience in a variety of positions in the animal management sectors: a dog shelter, sledge dogs with huskies (Sweden), caring for 1,200 sheep in Wales, working for the VierVoeters charity, and for a specialist veterinary clinic. I have also obtained certifications in animal nutrition, and am qualified as a Veterinary Nutrition Consultant with, among others, Prins, Royal Canin and Hills. I also have the KK1 and 2 certificates from the Raad van Beheer, which allows me to act as official judge in conformation shows. I combined my studies with practice, and have been giving dog training lessons for years now, from puppy to high-level obedience. I like to keep busy in the world of professional dog training by attending seminars and lectures.

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Tamara and one of her dogs, Boaz the Golden Retriever.

Day job: I work part-time in a specialist veterinary clinic and am taking the first steps in the world of dog entrepreneurship, looking into starting my own business.

Personal experience: I have a seven-year-old Golden Retriever, Boaz, at my parents' house. He came with at all the courses that I followed. He is a very easy-going dog. I have been living with my boyfriend since recently, and we share the care for our two dogs: Murphy, Border Collie (7) and Guinness, Border Collie x Husky (3). We like to take the husky cross to high-level obedience classes. Our Border Collie is a retired competition sheepdog. He had to stop because of a sport injury, but we keep him nice and challenged with sheepherding and other nice activities at an adapted level.

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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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Elise Legerstee : Behaviour Coach and Instructor

Elise Legerstee
Behaviour Coach and Instructor

My role at Ohmydog! When I was looking for a dog training school, OhMyDog immediately stood out because of their evidence-based approach and their focus on not only animal welfare, but also on client-friendliness. The team spirit also really appealed to me: working together with people who share the same principles is invaluable.

At OhMyDog!, I am a Behaviour Coach or an Instructor, depending on the lesson. I find both roles very fulfilling. I also contribute to developing course elements dealing with sport and games. I really enjoy representing OhMyDog at seminars and lectures and then passing the knowledge on to the rest of the team.

Credentials: I have a Bachelor's of Science in Animal Management (anthrozoology, animal welfare and a fully-fledged management programme). During these studies, practical internships are compulsory. This is how I got to accumulate experience in various branches of the animal world like a dog shelter and a veterinary clinic. I got to carry out a clinical trial for food manufacturer investiging a formula designed for arthritic dogs. I also designed a study for the Ministery of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality looking into the animal welfare aspects of fishing sports.

Additionally, I have completed my Paraveterinary certification and have worked as a Veterinary Technician. Right now, I am completing my Dog Training certification (DogVision). I have also attended many dog sport workshops, seminars and courses namely in Agility, Obedience and Dogdance.

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Elise and her dogs

Daily work: I am a stay-at-home mom for my two-year old daughter. I am taking advantage of this period to work hard on developing my dog career and my skills in dog training and in raising dogs.

Personal experience: I got my first dog (a German Pointer) at the age of 12. This was on the condition that I would quit bringing all neighbourhood dogs that I was walking back home. It is together with that first dog that I discovered dog sports like Obedience and Agility. A couple of years later, I also got a female Border Collie. These two dogs and I got many diplomas, followed many courses and even ended up regularly presenting Agility and DogDance demonstrations and events.

At the moment, I have two Border Collies: a male and a female. I used to compete in Agility with the female, but she is getting too old so now I keep her busy with nose work and Kyra Sundance's Trick Dog programme. I am still competing in Agility and FCI Obedience with the male. Both dogs are great family dogs.

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Floor Keur : Behaviour Coach, Instructor, Management Work, Curriculum advisor

Floor Keur
Behaviour Coach, Instructor, Management Work, Curriculum advisor

Role at OhMyDog! I became interested in OhMyDog! because I felt at home with their core principles as a dog training school: critical thinking and respect for the dogs. After a successful selection process, I became Behaviour Coach for the puppy and obedience classes. I was also given my own advanced obedience lessons to design, develop and deliver. I also use my background in dog sports to advise the school on the relevant elements of their curriculum.

Credentials:: After a period working on my Bachelor's at the Academy for IT and Media studies of The Hague's Hogeschool, I followed my passion for dogs instead. I am now working on my dog training instructor certificate from the O&O. I also follow many dog training and behaviour seminars as OhMyDog's representative. My role is to transform this information for everyday use at the school. I am also supplementing my knowledge with academic training by following Coursera courses in psychology, pedagogy, animal behaviour and animal welfare. Upon completion of my dog training instructor certification program, I plan on specializing as a sports instructor.

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Daily work: I have my own dog walking service here in The Hague, where I take care of dogs who, due to their special behavioural or physical needs, cannot walk with standard dog walking services in the form of private and semi-private walks.

Personal experience: I have two Swiss White Shepherds, with whom I have followed many courses (e.g. agility, flyball, treibball, sport massage, frisbee, brain games, combisport, hoopers, sheep herding and doggie diving). Bouncer, my three-year old male, has obtained his certificate from the Federatie Hondersport Nederland in obedience, with which we can participate in GGB competitions. He is also a trained scent-tracking dog for missing persons and dogs. Tank, my other dog, was placed with me as a puppy to help rehabilitate him from profound behaviour problems. Through perseverance, modern methods, and patience, we are noting critical improvements in his behaviour. Besides the many courses and training classes that I have followed, I also participate to canicross, stepping and cycling events with them.

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