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Hi, my name is Colin Spence, let me tell you a bit about myself. I have over 20 years’ experience with dogs in a professional capacity. I have helped clients with a wide range of behavioural and training issues, such as dogs who; showed aggression due to a number of underlying reasons such as fear, had compulsive tendencies or phobias, separation anxiety, poor recall, high prey drives, suffered with resource guarding, to name a few. All this alongside also assisting clients in coaching their dogs to be the best they can in fitting into today’s modern society, building a strong relationship and an ability to listen and respond to cues, such as sit, down, come and settle.
I've always had dogs in my life and from a very early age I knew I wanted to have a well-behaved sociable companion. I read and researched as much as I could, I would even stop dog owners to ask dog owners questions, which drove my mother bonkers. By the time I was old enough to be responsible for my own dog is when things in the dog world started to take off for me. I can relate to my clients and know the daily struggles owning a dog with training and behavioural issues can bring. I had a German Shepherd called Bruno who was very nervous and aggressive with both humans and dogs. So, in seeking out training classes and getting him socialised, teaching him that life can be fun and enjoyable I was able to help him become the dog I knew he was, which was a joy to be with. Everyone loved him. I continued with classes and eventually started to help out as a trainee instructor even helping to run the puppy classes, under the guidance of Beverly Robinson a highly respected trainer.
I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer and behaviourist ISCP.Dip. canine.Prac. I have obtained my diplomas from the International Schools of Correspondence in Dog Obedience, Canine Behaviour and Breed requirements and gained my Diploma in Canine Psychology & Behaviour with The International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour (ISCP). I am also an approved instructor for the dog training college and canine body language DTC instructor along with ICAN animal behaviourist, scent work UK training instructor levels 1-4, and canine first aid accreditation. I am a registered member of INTOdogs. Through my career history, experience, knowledge and client references I satisfied their entry requirements and was able to join as an INTOdogs member. Unfortunately the dog training world remains unregulated, so I feel strongly in adhering and promoting INTOdogs Code of Conduct and ensuring I and my team work to a no harm ethos, with the highest standards of dog and owner/keeper welfare. I keep myself up to date by attending training, lectures, and webinars delivered by evidence-based professionals. In addition, to mentoring trainee instructors, I am active in the dog group forums, sharing best practices. I do not use or encourage the use of choke chains, E collars, prong collars or equipment that will bring harm to your best friend, nor will I teach you methods that are out-dated or harmful to either you or your companion.
I grew up with our family dogs, horses, and Syrian hamsters. Over the years my family has had a variety of breeds including German shepherds, an English bull terrier, a collie, and a rescued Jack Russel. A dogs’ intelligence has always fascinated me and how they navigate the world in which they live. I coach training cues and social skills in CK9TS puppy classes, run our scent workshops and coach clients on a 121 basis.
A few years ago, my working Labrador became environmentally challenged and fearful of some of the elements in the world around her, as such I worked with Colin as a client. I started to develop a new skill set, understand how she saw her world, what she was communicating to me and how she needed me to be a clear advocate for her. I learnt how to manage her environment, set her up for success, learn better was ways to cope and grow in confidence in herself. This experience enables me to empathise with owners and has been the motivator to pursue a career in canine training and behaviour.
Like Colin, I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer. I am working towards my Diploma in Canine Psychology & Behaviour with The International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour (ISCP). I have a Diploma in Canine Coaching from Canine Principles and am a Scent work UK training instructor level 1 and certificate in canine first aid. I am also a member of INTOdogs. I also adhere to and promote INTOdogs Code of Conduct working with a no harm ethos, providing the highest standards of dog and owner/keeper welfare. I keep myself up to date by attending training, lectures, and webinars delivered by evidence-based professionals. I do not use or encourage the use of choke chains, E collars, prong collars or equipment that will bring harm to your best friend, nor will I teach you methods that are out-dated or harmful to either you or your companion.
· City & Guilds Level 3 Dog Groomer
· IMDT Trainer
· IMDT Level 3 Daycare and Boarding
· ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology and BehaviourDiploma
· Canine Principles Canine Coash
· Dog Training College Dog Body Language
· KAD – Kids Around Dogs Trainer
· Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist with DNMUniversity
· UKRS Canine Physiology and Anatomy
· Canine Principles – Canine Calmness, Canine Fear,Reactive Dogs, Senior Dog Care, Tellington Touch for Calming, Dog RescuersGuide,
· Member of INTO Dogs Friends
· Assessor with Pawsable, assessing dogs and owners
· Canine First Aid
My world into dogs began when I was young. Never allowed a dog of my own but drove everyone nuts asking to stroke to their dogs. My world into rescue began about 8 years ago when I volunteered for a rescue and started fostering. I came across so many abuse cases and victims of poor ownership. Working with even the most shut down of dogs to help them, feel safe, work with them slowly coming around to the world and living a much better experience. My first ever dog Fyn, is my right-hand man. I got into dog grooming because he was so terrified of going in the groomers and I needed to know why. I am since further owned by Oddy and Kylie who are all rescue dogs from abroad. They all have their quirks and issues, but I wouldn’t swap them for the world.
My experience at dog grooming college was filled with negative experiences, so I decided to delve more and more into the world of holistic and positive techniques to reinforce the dogs experience with me. Having worked with a lot of foster dogs and my own 3, I needed to have a better understanding and how I can further set dogs and their owners up for success. Then I decided to go through Colin’s Bronze level classes with Fyn, and that sparked even more of a passion for understanding training and behaviour and how I could further help dogs in their experiences. I started my IMDT and ISCP journey and loved every minute of it! That’s the short version of me anyway. It’s all about the dogs.
I am all about the dogs and positive reinforcement for both owners and dogs. I have worked with rescue dogs for a number of years prior to entering the profession. My belief is that every dog deserves the chance to a happy and fulfilled life based on positive techniques and working with the owners and dog(s) to achieve this. I obtained my diploma in Canine Behaviour recently and have delved even further into increasing my knowledge of dogs. I strongly adhere to a no harm ethos and believe that the highest standards of care and knowledge make me the valued trainer that I am today. I continue to top up my CPD constantly, always learning more and learning with each dog I meet. I do not encourage, nor would I ever use, any training tools that promote any type of negative reinforcement such as E collars, prong collars or anything that could cause harm. I will never teach outdated or balanced methods, only the scientific methods that promote holistic and positive methods that dogs deserve.