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Good to meet you!

Harriet Alexander

BA, GDipPsych, KPA-CTP

 

I’ve been helping dogs and their humans build awesome partnerships for the past decade, in London, Melbourne and now in the Goldfields region I grew up in.

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My experience

I had a lucky start to my dog training career, being personally mentored by renowned London behaviour consultant Winkie Spiers. I then spent two years travelling to the Netherlands to study with Turid Rugaas and Anne-Lill Kvam - two legends of the dog world. I furthered my education with the International School of Canine Psychology, and am a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM) and Aggression in Dogs Master Course graduate. I am also a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. Since moving back to central Victoria I’ve become a Licensed Un-Chase!® Trainer - gaining expertise to prevent your dog from chasing cars, roos, snakes and all things dangerous and speedy.

 

With a degree in psychology from James Cook University and background in customer service, my approach focuses on listening, empathy, and teaching methods that fit your lifestyle, personality and goals. I love teaching and have run workshops, spoken at international conferences and written articles for publications such as Australian Dog Lover magazine, BHARCS, Our Good Brands and dogbiz. I also served on the Board of the Pet Dog Trainers of Europe for several years.

My approach

I don't really think of myself as a dog trainer. I’m more of a coach - equipping you with the tools and understanding you need to build the relationship you want with your dog. My goal is to make you so confident in your knowledge and handling that you don’t need me anymore!

I use and advocate for scientifically supported and reward based training approaches that put the welfare of dogs (and their humans) above all else. I focus on reinforcing behaviour we want to see more of, providing dogs with outlets for natural canine behaviour and encouraging better communication through fun, games and consistency. I also look for opportunities for dogs to think for themselves, make good choices and problem solve.

My focus is not on traditional obedience, so you won't be learning a lot of 'sit', 'down', 'stay' and 'give a paw'. Instead, we'll identify the life skills you and your dog need to thrive. That way you can focus less on issuing commands and more on building 'the good life' together. 

Commitment to learning

To ensure my methods remain current I regularly attend workshops, conferences and online events and continue to learn from many amazing colleagues. Some highlights include:

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTA)

  • Graduate Diploma of Psychology (James Cook University)

  • Completing an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour (ISCP)

  • Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM) as part of the L.E.G.S.® Applied Ethology Family Dog Mediation® Professional Course

  • Licensed Un-Chase!® Trainer

  • Aggression in Dogs Master Course graduate with Michael Shikashio

  • Canine Nutrition Course with the Centre of Excellence

  • Scent work training with Anne Lill Kvam in the UK

  • Sensory Integration course with Els Vidts

  • Private mentoring with behaviour consultant Winkie Spiers in London, UK

  • Studied with Norwegian dog expert Turid Rugaas as part of her International Dog Trainer Education in the Netherlands

  • Attended workshops with Dr Amber Batson focused on exercise, adolescent dogs and neutering

  • Attended herding workshop with Diggers Herding & K9 Education

  • Online Teaching Skills for Dog Trainers course with Sarina Kriechbaum-Young

  • Worked at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, one of the oldest and most esteemed rescue organisations in the world, recruiting, training and supporting kennel volunteers

  • Invited as a guest speaker to the annual Pet Dog Trainers of Europe conference in Durham, UK

  • Supported and also served on the Board of the Pet Dog Trainers of Europe

  • Hosted and ran the first-ever online summit for the Pet Dog Trainers of Europe in 2020, featuring guests such as Dr. Jane Goodall, Marc Bekoff, Sindhoor Pangal, Dr. Risë VanFleet and Dr. Franklin D. McMillan

Professional associations

​​I belong to the following organisations based on their commitment to modern and humane training methods. I'm lucky to have access to a global network of insightful and knowledgeable colleagues, so if I don’t have the answer, I know someone who will!

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