DOG WHISPERER: '˜People think I'm barking mad'
Mandy Wade certainly is the leader of the pack. A self-titled '˜dog whisperer' she knows how to out your four-legged pets in their place.
Mandy, from Langley Mill, has always had a passion for pooches, and owns three of her own Maggie, Clifford and Lobo. But, the 49-year-old wanted to help more than just her own pets, and decided to set up her own business disciplining dogs.
She said: “I am not a dog trainer in the usual sense, I don’t do the ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ obedience competition work, I am a dog whisperer.
“I teach pack leadership, for you to be able to communicate with your dog in dog language – but don’t worry there is no barking involved!
“People are inclined to think of their dogs behaviour problems in human terms and find themselves shouting and getting frustrated, which a dog sees as a weakness.
“Dogs do not live in a world of democracy like us, they do not follow weakness, they need a pack leader – if you are not doing the job they will take it.
“As much as the human is employing and paying me, I am also concerned about making the dog feel happy, as dogs that live in stressful situations cannot achieve happiness.”
Mum-of-one Mandy, has more than 20 years of experience working with mans best friend. She has worked in kennels, with rescue dogs, been a dog warden and also worked as a dog groomer. But she decided to give up her job and make the risky move of setting up shop at her home.
“I first worked in kennels and then I worked as a dog warden for Erewash Borough Council for two years, which was great but I found it heartbreaking seeing how terrible some people are to their dogs. “I was surprised that most dogs weren’t reclaimed and had to be re-homed. I later moved on to working in kennels but after being inspired by a television programme on dog whispering I decided to go-it alone.
“It was very scary at first, I was single with mortgage and a ten-year-old son to support. But I spent money on a conversion at the house for space and soon go the business of the ground.
“Fortunately dog fanatics like to talk. Whenever i groomed a dog the owners were so happy they told everybody and things grew quickly.
“I have been giving advice for years but wanted to make it more professional, so I also did a short course in dog psychology at Broomfield Hall.
“A lot of my customers are rescue dogs who have not been socialised, it is fantastic to see people and dogs who were very stressed become relaxed. It is particularly rewarding when people have considered re-homing or having dogs put to sleep for aggression being happy. The biggest problem is when people have dogs that have too much energy for the person’s lifestyle. I also do home-boarding, they just come and live with us which is great, a good time is had by all playing and snuggling up on the sofa.
“Many dog trainers write off dogs as being ‘untrainable’ after a certain age. I always believe that there is hope, no matter what age the dog is, or what the situation is, all dogs want to be balanced. My dogs now help me rehabilitate other dogs, as it is the best way for dogs to learn not to be aggressive or nervous with other dogs.
“I achieved my dream and absolutely love having lots of dogs around – it’s just a massive bonus that I get paid to do it. I am very happy with my doggy lifestyle, and hope to be surrounded by waggy tails for many, many more years to come.”
For more visit www.dogwhispererbehaviouradvice.co.uk.