Josie – Head Trainer
I’m Josie and I’m the founder of Positively Pawfect. I am a Kids around Dogs approved professional, an assessor for the Assistance Dog Assessment Association and a rehabilitation trainer for Control the Meerkat.
Here’s how I came to be a dog trainer…
I originally qualified as a Barrister and got called to the Bar at Inner Temple in London.
During my final year of training I became unwell and was eventually diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia which impacted on my ability to practice.
It took me a few years doing different jobs and completing various qualifications to figure out what I wanted to do as a career.
I have always been a HUGE animal lover, having lots over the years – but I never had a dog. My husband had dogs growing up and when we got our first house together he convinced me to get a puppy (I didn’t need much convincing!). We stumbled across a beautiful Chow Chow x Norweigan Elkhound puppy. We instantly fell in love and brought her home, naming her Lola. We later discovered that her start in life wasn’t great and we suspect she wasn’t old enough to have been separated from her mother and littermates or even to be sold. As a result of this, Lola wasn’t able to learn basic life skills such as bite inhibition (her teeth are very sharp!), how to communicate and how to manage being on her own. As you can guess, my first experience of living with a dog was rather stressful and I wanted to be able to help Lola manage her anxieties and learn some manners. Through researching, trying and testing many positive reinforcement based methods I managed to help Lola become calmer, happier and confident. The incredible thing is, whilst I was helping her, she was also helping me by improving my health and wellbeing. Pushing myself to take her out for walks in the countryside when I was in pain or fatigued meant that my physical health improved and coming home to a joyous bundle of fluff after a long day at work undoubtedly cheered me up!
My fascination with dog training and behaviour led me to discover the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behaviour. I always enjoyed watching her show ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ and was captivated by how much knowledge and understanding she had about the dogs mind and how she was able to help families enjoy living with their dogs. Having experienced first hand a puppy with emotional and behavioural complexities, I understand the impact this can have on the home life. I trained with the Academy on an intense hands-on course, learning about canine psychology, physiology, behavioural management and lots more. I graduated from the course as a positive dog trainer with a distinction – I was over the moon!
Chloe – Trainer
Hey, Hi, I’m Chloe and I’m one the of the trainers at Positively Pawfect and a Canine Hoopers World instructor.
I’ve always had a keen interest in dogs and training from a young age; aged 8 I began competing in dog agility and breed showing and attended multiple Young Kennel Club summer camps. I competed in agility up to a grade 4 and earned my Good Citizen Dog Scheme gold award all before I entered my teens. As I grew older I began to focus more on my school work and eventually worked in admin for a number of years so did less dog related activities, but my passion never went away.
In May of 2020, during lockdown, I adopted my late dog Diesel who was an elderly American Bulldog. Unfortunately Diesel didn’t have a great start to life and so came to me with a bunch of issues including his reactivity towards dogs and humans. As I began helping Diesel to overcome his fears I realised how much I missed training dogs and that’s how my journey to become a professional dog trainer began. I joined Positively Pawfect as a volunteer and shortly after joined the team as one of PP’s trainers.
You’ll see me at both classes and 121 sessions, and I look forward to meeting you all and your dogs!