Role at OhMyDog: I started at OhMyDog! in november 2019. There, I could experience everything I'd learnt during my studies in real live. With my scientific bend, and my constant hunger for knowledge, OMD's evidence-based approach fits me like a glove.
My role is to give puppy and obedience classes. In my lessons, I first focus on the owner-dog bond: raising a pup is by no means an easy feat, and can be trying at times. I love to see students achieve success during the training, and thereby dare enjoying their dog again.
Credentials: After my BA in Greek and Latin Culture, and my MA in Journalistm and New Media, I also completed the O&O's Dog Training Instructor programme. I have complemented this with a number of Continuous Education courses: Personal Home Dog Training Instructor (Tinley Academie), Nose work (Module 1, Tinley) and Dog learning (DogVision). I love to keep learning, so I also attend seminars and congresses (e.g. Victoria Stilwell's Dog Behavioir Congress).
[caption id="attachment_204" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Romy and Nino, her Golden Retriever.[/caption]
Day job: I worked in PR for a while, where I would help bring companies positive media attention. I have recently started my own business, where I give private training and on-line packages to dog owners in Delft.
Personal experience: Nino, my rescue Golden Retriever, still teaches me about dog behaviour every day. I love to bring the insights I gained from my daily life or my studies back to my students.
Nino started out quite insecure: everything was new for him. A lot of patience and structure have helped him come out of his shell. Mantrailing (following a human scent trail) has also done wonders for his self-confidence.
One of the biggest eye-openers for me, at OhMyDog, was that you do not have to push your dog into problem situations that he cannot deal with. I have also learnt to gauge (and respect) his boundaries by observing body language. Nino often gets harassed by other dogs, for example, and word on the street has it that you should let this play out. I am now choosing to support my dog, and get him out of these situations. Nino trusts my judgment, and our bond has only grown since then.
I am also working on spontaneous eye contact during walks. He can now focus on me when we pass someone, whilst he used to get distracted and I couldn't get through to him anymore. We give our own students these types of tools, to help them enjoy their dogs in daily life.