Leadchanges Dog Behaviour Modification
Kenninghall, Norfolk(84 Reviews)
Tamasine Smith BCCS.CanBhvPrac worked with horses for over twenty years and taught and studied horsemanship for around half that time. For a number of years she was also a teacher and trainer of horsemanship at her own centre, around South Africa and other countries. Often those coming to the centre would meet the resident Ridgebacks and ask if she also trained dogs – to which the answer would be “no, only horses”. However, over time, it became clear that although horses are considered prey animals and dogs predators, they actually both need the same thing when it comes to the humans in their lives – leadership and consistency given with calmness, confidence and compassion. She discovered that what she taught in horsemanship lessons: that it’s about “who we need to be more than a method of training” – also applied to dogs. This led to her taking up studies in dog behaviour and starting on a training programme for dogs. After working with a friend and colleague to create a self-development course called Inner Game (after W. Timothy Gallwey’s books) initially using horses as the teachers, it seemed that it might work just as well with dogs. It did. And so Leadchanges was born.
Tamasine continues her studies, also attending workshops and gaining inspiration from others. One such group was DogsandAll in South Africa who prepare dogs for protection work and sniffer dog work including drug and bomb detection.
Leadchanges then moved to Andalucia, Spain and in addition to the original workshops, grew to encompass Tamasine’s own work and work with rescue groups such as Lab Rescue (South Africa), Ridgeback Rescue (South Africa) and PEPA (Spain). This work involved fostering, rehoming, home checks and rehabilitation.
In Spain, Tamasine helped a number of rescue charities, including helping to set up a new group in the Alhama area where she lived. She offered a foster carer training programme and still gives ongoing support with two of the charities. She also plans to continue fund raising for them and offer them support within the UK for any of their dogs adopted here. If you are interested in adopting a dog from Spain you can contact ASAP here and AAR here.
Leadchanges is now based Kenninghall in Norfolk Tamasine alongside her behaviour work she plans to continue the type of work she has done with groups such as Lab Rescue (South Africa), Ridgeback Rescue (South Africa), PEPA, Axarquia Animal Rescue and Alhama Street Animal Protection (Spain). This work involves fostering, rehoming, home checks and rehabilitation. Tamasine’s workshops and in house rehabilitation service will continue once the facilities are set up in Kenninhall but she is still able to offer home consultations and internet support.
Tamasine in particular loves helping with dog reactive dogs, shy and fearful dogs, preparing dogs for travel, working with travel worried dogs, and with people who do not necessarily thrive in group classes. Leadchanges also offers work with puppies, helping people start their dogs off in the right way, offering longer residences and day care facilities for young dogs, which involves teaching them to crate, pool safety and swimming (summer months), basic obedience and agility along with socialisation to other humans and animals.
Tamasine is a keen traveller and has always found it necessary in the past to find house sitters for her dogs, because she has not wanted to subject her own beloved dogs to a closed and unloving regime while she was away. This has led her to offer, through Leadchanges, a different kind of kennelling (for rehab/behavioural purposes) built on the concept of socialisation, walking and fun, allowing for a greater interaction with their human carers and access wherever possible (and appropriate) to her home, to be part of the family.
Tamasine has a Practitioner Diploma in Dog Behaviour, a Canine First Aid certificate and Dog Law Certificate with the British College of Canine Studies in the UK (all at Distinction) and is also an Associate member of the IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals). She has completed Level 1, 2 and 3 in Dog Scentwork with Talking Dogs Scentwork, has completed Dr Ian Dunbar's Growl course, Dr Dunbar's SIRIUS® dog training programme and Reliability and Games course. She has attended Dr Karen Overall's Veterinary Behaviour conference, and regular attends Webinars, courses and lectures on various subjects such as noise phobia, predatory behaviour, separation anxiety and aggression issues as part of her ongoing CPD. Tamasine attended the first UK Puppy Conference in January 2018 and is registered to attend the Welfare Implications of Unethical Breeding and Psychological Trauma in Dogs Conference in 2019.
Tamasine is a supporter and advocate for using scent work which helps dogs on so many levels and is accessible for dogs of all ages and abilities as well as owners of all ages and abilities. It can help with many behaviour issues and she regularly hosts workshops for a Talking Dogs Scentwork Accredited Trainer to bring scent work skills to more people and their dogs.
Tamasine also runs a regular puppy course based on helping owners to create a family member with manners where owners learn how to help their dog develop the foundations for life and create the dog they want. These are open to all and all members of a family are encouraged to attend. Classes focus more on things dogs will have to deal with in real life, rather than just running the class like an adult obedience class for puppies. They also include monitored and guided socialisation where owners learn more about body language and dog psychology.
I had such a lovely time with you and Bella and it was such a joy to see her face so full of curiosity. She really looks to you and was enjoying doing lots of things in partnership with you. Looking forward to hearing how you progress. T :-)
Thank you for your lovely review and it was so lovely to meet your wonderful family and work with people all committed to helping their dogs. That is always special and makes my job so worthwhile. I'm so happy to hear that things have started to change and improve already and look forward to hearing more about your progress over time.
It was so lovely to spend time with you and it is great to hear how things are taking shape. You did such a great job and are so patient yourself. It was a pleasure to assist you.
All the best! T
Leadchanges Dog Behaviour Modification
What do you love most about your job?
Helping both people and dogs make changes and grow in self esteem and self confidence. Often it is a lack of knowledge that brings out anger and frustration. Empowering people to help their dogs solve their own problems and become part of the decision making process is much more powerful and meaningful and the results are longer lasting. My work is much more about "who we need to be" for our dogs than just a method of training and it has led me to understand human psychology as well as that of the dog. Everyone I meet is a teacher themselves - I learn so much from them when we meet and it helps me to improve on what I do.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I have been working for myself for many years now - first with horses and then dogs. It came about almost by accident when I got asked to help people with their horses and dogs because they liked what I did with my own. I then went about getting qualified and gaining more experience to add to what I already knew. That's when you learn that the more you know, the more you learn what you don't know which leads you to a thirst for more knowledge. I also lived in South Africa at the time and finding anyone to help with animals was hard - so it creates a pioneer attitude. I also had challenges with a horse and dog of my own - and the only way to solve those issues was to learn how to do it myself.
Why should our clients choose you?
I always give personal service and respond with detailed, individually tailored advice. I want to empower owners to become their own "mini behaviourist". I give ongoing support and understand that although I may have seen a particular issue on a number of occasions, for the owner, they often feel alone with their challenges. I like to work with people in a way that they feel comfortable in their own environments and help them gain confidence in their own comfort zones first. I have been in their shoes and know what it was like to feel lost and without help - I had to learn to help a horse and dog of my own because no one else had answers, so now it is time to pass on that knowledge and support to others. I come at this from personal experience and can relate to what may owners are going through.
Training Dogs for Dog Driving - pulling a two wheeled Dog Sulky
Dogs love to pull. I help motivate working dogs to pull a sulky which helps keep them motivated, fit and focused. It's fun for dogs to do plus it helps where dogs need more exercise and it's especially useful where dogs can't always go off leash. We are also going to be making the dog sulkies for sale in the near future.
Behaviour Modification - Dogs
Helping people with dog behaviour issues - offering support and back up, e-mail contact after service, full written reports, notes, guidance, training programme and video links etc. Working one on one and with others. Dealing with various issues but in particular dog on dog aggression/fear issues, basic in house manners and behaviour, getting dogs off to a good start, helping rescue dogs settle into new homes, jumping, pulling, over excitement, travel sickness, fearfulness, anxiety, confidence building for things like thunder and fireworks. All breeds covered - using positive reinforcement and motivation. Fully Insured. Soon to offer board and train options
Specialist Talks - Understanding your Dog and/or Puppies
Happy to give talks to anyone who has a group that would like one. Includes notes emailed after the talk and the ability to book reduced rate consults. Happy to do this anywhere in the country and tailor make a visit and event for the organiser.
Puppy Classes - Foundations for Life
6 week courses for puppies up to 20 weeks (£95.00 per person including books and other goodies detailed below): Courses available or you can arrange for your own private group course in the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambs Area for a minimum of 4 people or maximum of 6. Classes teach real life skills and manners are put in place so that practiced with consistency, dogs will be able to attend various classes that their owners may like to enjoy with them later. Learning to be well mannered and polite so that problems can be avoided or dealt with is something often neglected. The class incorporates current scientific methods of training and the latest thoughts on how puppies are socialised and habituated to people and things and owners also learn more about the psychology and development of their dogs so that they can avoid the pitfalls of things like “fear periods”. Fee includes - 3 x free puppy/young dog books, treat pouch & goodies, hand outs & homework each week based on the class, class video and links to video clips and other course reminders. Classes are videoed in order to be used with homework assignments and for feedback. Classes cover going out and about, dinner time, specific place training, visiting the vets, handling and grooming, visitors, appropriate play, meeting and greeting, puppy games, attention seeking, self-control and confidence building but still work on sit (although this will be automatic and not taught in a conventional fashion), down, recall, leash walking and development of the stay. Owners need to put in the homework time for best results. There are options for private puppy classes at your home or with a friend or friends - these are tailored for your needs - please ask for details.
One off specialist topics
These classes are designed to tackle specific behaviours or improve specific things. For example - "Stop Jumping! Improve the Sit" and "Proofing the Stay". These are usually held over one or two workshop sessions and are for dog friendly dogs and their owners to practice in a group situation. £30.00 per person total usually with a maximum of 10 dogs. They can also be run as private sessions at your home with a group or one or two friends - please contact me for more details.
Vouchers - pre paid sessions as gifts
These can be purchased and given to someone as a gift that they can claim any time within 12 months. They are available on private one to one sessions only and are discounted at 10% off the usual one to one charge. Applies to behaviour modification sessions, in house private puppy classes or in house one to one puppy foundation sessions.
Leadchanges - Dogs and Horses (previously horsemanship South Africa and NHZA)
From September 2001 to present.
Previously I ran a horsemanship centre in South Africa - helping people relate better with their horses and understand equine psychology and learning theory. Took on problem horses and young horse starting - training in Germany and Australia and teaching in a number of countries including RSA, Namibia, Australia, Germany, UK. Co-hosted confidence building clinics for human confidence building with horses to facilitate this. Organised and hosted clinics around RSA for both myself and visiting instructors. Studied with and still organise clinics for (and ride where possible) with a Philippe Karl licensed instructor and help students understand this method of classical dressage - lessons available for support between visits from the licensed trainer. Rode in XC, Jumping, Dressage and Western. Rescued and rehabilitated horses - owning at one stage 12 and working with various breeds including TB's, QH's, Boerperds, Friesians, Ponies, Percherons, Arabians, Walers and others... Added on dog psychology and rehab while in RSA and on moving to Spain and then back to the UK took up the dog work full time but with equine support to those with a serious passion.
Using the dog sulky to raise funds for charities in Spain (two dog rescues Axarquia Animal Rescue) and ASAP (Alhama Street Animal Protection) and Merlin's Kids - where rescue dogs are retrained to help humans as their service dogs. The plan is for the dogs to pull the sulky 1000km along tracks in the UK.
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