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.
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 keep my knowledge up-to-date by attending continuous education courses and seminars: for example, I obtained the Fear-Free level 1 certificate (to help animals willingly participate in veterinary / grooming treatments).
I am a full member of the following organisation: Certipet,
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.