THE DOG NANNY – Who am I? And what am I about?

Hi, I’m Kathy (or KAZ), The Dog Nanny. I have a passion to care for dogs, with a view that human’s should be their guardians, not owners, as in property. I have a keen understanding of dogs’ psyche and how to build rapport with dogs. To complement my experience in this area, I am currently completing certification in dog psychology and training.

I started my business, The Dog Nanny because I see a real need for it, and a lack of such a service in general (providing premium care, and in-depth canine knowledge). My aim is to improve the lives of dogs and their humans, by:

  • Providing a home where dogs can stay, and their home routine is maintained, not a kennel, but their normal life.
  • Catering for dogs’ stimulation and exercise needs when their humans can’t.
  • Addressing needs in relation to training and behavioural issues…
  • Or any other way which can help meet specific individual needs.

With regards to training:

A well behaved dog is one that is happy and stress-free. To attain this state, dogs need a good leader, with calmness and consistency (hence my aim to maintain their routine), and sufficient exercise and stimulation. (Of course, what is sufficient, depends on the individual and their energy and need level.)

My approach to dog training is akin to teaching someone a second language. In my experience, dogs are keen to learn, but if not given the right signals, consistency and motivation, they can’t. When teaching a second language, you have to use the same word for the same thing, for the learner to understand that word refers to that thing. This is a basic concept, yet often humans fail at it. Furthermore, in order to teach someone a second language, you need to be able to communicate with them in their language. If you only speak English, no-one will be able to teach you French by speaking to you in German, for instance. This is where understanding the canine psyche comes in. To teach them, you need to understand and use their language. I have great admiration for Ceasar Milan and his techniques in this regard.

I have experience with the broad range of needs, from the lowest, like Jester, my 16 year old Border Collie x Staffy, whose needs were high energy as a youngster, but now he needs more quiet and space, to the high-end needs like most of the Bull-breeds, such as AmStaffs, Staffies and Pit Bulls. Jester, by the way, is brilliant at helping puppies or challenged dogs with socialisation, particularly given his experience with these Bull-breeds.

I also have experience (well a knack, really) in dealing with ‘special needs’ dogs. It’s a case of patience and understanding, using the above philosophy and knowledge. I’ve had success in dealing with a variety of anxiety issues, manifesting in fear responses or agression.

I love all dogs (in fact, they draw me like magnets). I’m particularly fond of (and experienced with) the Bull-breeds, simply because they are misunderstood and maligned. They are human-loving, super-loyal, playful, enthusiastic, strong and rarely give up. They are however, usually high-level-energy types, and if their energy needs are not met, their stress may find expression in non-positive outlets.

I advocate strongly against BSL (Breeds Specific Legislation) or Restricted Breed Legislation as it is known here in Victoria. It does not work! It has proven a failure globally. In fact, the way it operates in Victoria, it exacerbates the problem overall and individually, can create a problem where there wasn’t one before, as well as resulting in the murder of many innocent dogs, regardless of their breed, and vast amounts of money wasted fruitlessly by councils.

My previous relevant experience and qualifications include:

  • Dog ownership, training and interaction
  • Certification in ‘Dog Psychology and Training’ (currently underway)
  • Member of Pet Industry Association of Australia
  • Membership with Dog Obedience clubs (Moorabbin and Southern)
  • Member of American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Victoria Inc.
  • Advocate (representing in VCAT) for Restricted Breed Dog cases
  • Graduate Diploma in Employee and Industrial Relations
  • Occupational Health and Safety Representative
  • First Aider

I hope my business and the services I offer can help you and your fur-kid(s) to find more balance and happiness, and less stress.