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Top Student - Rachel Edgar Print E-mail

This is where we feature a student who has impressed us with their exceptional knowledge and understanding of behaviour modification, and their flexible, creative approach to solving problem behaviour.  Sometimes we have to wait a very long time for the right person to come along but we prefer that policy to simply picking one a month.


Here we meet Rachel Edgar from Gateshead.  She tells us:

"I have been devoted to animals my entire life.  From the age of one year old I grew up with cats.  My family was never able to have a dog due to circumstance, although we would have loved to have had one.  Despite this, our family friends all had dogs so I was never deprived of their companionship.

I learned from a young age how to walk, feed, groom and train a dog with the support of my family and their friends and their beautiful dogs. I would take every opportunity I could to spend time with the dogs.  My love of animals was entirely evident to everyone and strangely enough, animals seemed to gravitate towards me.  By the time I was 10 years old I had earned the affectionate name of The Beast Master (based on the film released in the era) due my deep connection with animals, especially cats and dogs.

I always wanted to work with animals professionally, so I was volunteering at the local animal shelter by the time I was 14 years old.  While I was studying at school, my passion for seeing a professoional career in animal care had to take a back seat.  At the time, animal care wasn't considered to be a "proper" job for me but rather a personal delight and indulgence.  I wanted to join the police force and become a dog handler but due to an unknown illness, could not.  So long story short, I became a history lecturer.  After university I had owned a dog; he taught me very much about patience and understanding.  He suffered terribly with separation anxity and he was a beautiful boy.  It was a challenge to support him but he taught me a great deal and supported me with my mystery illness.

After the failure of my marriage and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, I looked again at my animal companions and started volunteering at my local animal shelter again.  During my marriage I wanted to have a dog but work and cicumstance prevented this.  The dramatic change in my life circumstances with work and my marriage called me to acquiring a black Labrador puppy who I called Mason.  And I have never looked back.  While I was walking Mason one day when he was a four month old pup (he is now almost five years old) I was spotted by my current boss who owns a dog walking company.  She admired my handling skills and offered me a job working with her.  I was deeply honoured!!  She fully supported my passion and enthusiasm, encouraged me to learn more, inspired me to become a good handler, motivated me to develop myself and my skills and blessed me with the greatest job I have ever had.  My dog Mason led me to her.  I will always be indebted to him.  And my boss will always be a great inspiration to me.

So I now work for a professional dog walking company who specialises in obedience training, socialisation, rehabilitation, behavioural issues and aggression issues, as well as just walking the dogs and exercising them.  I've worked with over 400 dogs with various challenges and I have loved every minute of it.  Each dog is unique and I wanted to know more about how I could help some of the dogs I work with and support the owners.  This is what drew me to the Canine Behaviour Centre Course; a Course I loved every minute pf studying.  I will be studying futher with the Course in the future.

I live in a very happy, stable and balanced home with two lovely dogs and four beautiful cats.  My blonde Lab is Mason's son and he is called Xander.  I have an 11 year old tortoiseshell cat called Chase, a four year old black cat called Ravyn, a three year old ginger tabby tom called Indy and a recent rescue addition of 12 week old black tom cat, Gibbs.  My cats seem to think they are dogs and join in with the obedience training I do with the dogs.  They have an amazing bond.

Animals are a joy to live with.  They are my life.  And now life is truly fulfilled doing something I love.  I am very blessed.  I was delighted to pass the Course and incredibly honourd to be chosen as Top Student.  I hope in the future I can do just as well in the other studies I plan to undertake.  Many thanks to the Canine Behaviour Centre for their help, support and advice.  I couldn't have done it without you all.  I appreciate everything.  Here's to a dog-filled future!"

rach and the pups


Please note that the views and opinions of our Top Students are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Canine Behaviour Centre.

Many people ask us how we select our Top Students. Quite simply, they are those students whose work is outstanding. They display all the qualities we are looking for - the ability to think of all possible options, an empathy with human as well as canine problems, flexibility, open-mindedness, creativity - and much more!  We don't select one on a regular basis - like monthly - but only when someone really impressive comes along.  Sometimes they come close together; other times there are long intervals between them!

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