Coral Louw

Area: Bloubergstrand, CPT
Tel: 082 737 2268
Puppy Socialization for puppies and adolescents up to 18 months, Private Lessons

My journey of working with animals began when I got my German Shepherd as a gift from my husband in December 2002. We started puppy training at the German Shepherd Club when she was 12 weeks old and continued training obedience and entered a few obedience competitions where we did quite well.

The next step in this journey is when I put my money where my mouth is and volunteered at an animal shelter in Hout Bay, where for three years my main job was to walk the dogs. Eventually I was given the “difficult” dogs to walk, as it was believed that I knew how to “handle” them.  I soon realised however that I actually knew nothing about animal behaviour and decided to do something about it. I met an already established animal behaviourist and she tutored me for two years.

After the first year, I gave up my “cushy” job at a leading retail company in Cape Town and started dog walking.  I would take between 6 to 8 dogs at a time (all dog friendly) to a secure venue where they could run off-lead and not get into trouble with other dogs or people.  The objective of the playgroups was to keep the dogs socialised and also it really is a fabulous way to learn about dog behaviour.

As working with dogs is also about working with humans I did the Lifeline course which taught us how to extract information out of people and then how to communicate with people.

I shadowed my tutor for about two years in her puppy classes and eventually opened my own puppy school where we enjoyed a lot of success until we relocated to Johannesburg.

In Johannesburg I met Shannon McKay and enrolled into the McKaynine canine behaviour course. It was in this course that I got a better understanding of how to interact with the owners of the dogs who seemingly had behaviour problems.

I had heard many good things about ThinkingPets and enrolled in their puppy training course. I also completed my COAPE diploma. This was a positive decision as the course offers an intense and thorough syllabus on how dogs think and how they learn.

The best part about working with puppies (apart from just absolutely adoring them) is that one has an opportunity to start the education process with the owners.  Too many dogs are prisoners in their backyards for many reasons and we can contribute this to a lack of understanding, on the owner’s part, of what dogs need and what method of training they respond to.  At puppy school I am able to talk to people about how one can avoid potential unwanted behaviour in dogs.  We discuss what dogs need and we explain the positive reinforcement method of training so that we can get the best out of our dogs in a positive way.  Knowing that you have added value to puppies and their guardians is hugely rewarding.

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