Claire - Dog Behaviour and Training Consultant and Dog Walker
My name is Claire, the ‘Top Dog’ at Dugs Paws. I am passionate about helping dedicated dog owners, like you, to enjoy stress free walks with their best friend.
My journey starts with my own German Shepherd, Diesel; he taught me that walks aren’t always ‘a walk in the park’. I also felt judged by other dog owners.
- Rude stares, as people crossed the road to avoid us.
- Being told that he was a ‘vicious breed’ and that he should be kept away from other dogs.
Not only did I feel judged and belittled, I also faced plenty of struggles with training Diesel.
From struggles to new strength
I fell completely in love with Diesel but, since there were times that I felt like a failure, I sought the support of a local dog trainer. They put a device, known as a ‘prong collar’, on Diesel's neck – to prevent him from pulling. However, as soon as I saw it on him, I could see that he was in pain and I knew that there MUST be a better way!
It was in that moment that I decided to begin my own training; I dedicated time and effort, with training courses, so that I could help not only Diesel and myself, but also other owners who had faced similar struggles (especially with German Shepherds!)
The inspiration behind Dug’s Paws
Inspired by my own struggles, I wanted to go on to help other owners, as I’d discovered how long and lonely the road can be! That’s why I decided to specialise in German Shepherds: I have the knowledge AND the personal experience, so I will never judge owners for the difficulties that can often accompany the breed.
Never give up!
Despite these struggles, we achieved the unexpected: Diesel went on to become a Therapy dog with ‘Canine Concern Scotland’, regularly visiting hospitals and universities to help patients and students with reducing stress.
A community of dog lovers
Dug’s Paws is not only about dog training; it also serves to bring owners together, to offer a safe place for support and advice. I run a German Shepherd community Facebook page and regularly arrange group walks and various workshops. I also volunteer with ‘German Shepherd Rescue Scotland’ and regularly hold events to raise money for the rescue.
Honest advice: I will never judge you
I always offer honest, informed advice and I try to avoid the usual ‘jargon’ words. I work with you at your own pace; after all, every dog is as individual as their owner, so there is no one-size-fits-all training method!
The learning never stops!
Just like you – I continue to learn, keeping up to date with the latest practical and theoretical knowledge of dog behaviour, so I can better help dogs and their human families
Olivia - Dog Walker
I have always had a strong interest and passion for animals, especially dogs, which led me to study animal care at Elmwood college before becoming a fully qualified dog groomer. I also have experience working in boarding kennels and day cares and I’m now loving dog walking! I currently have two feline fur babies, Gem and Darcy. I can’t wait to welcome a canine fur baby into the family again when the time is right but in the mean time I’m so fortunate to still be able to fulfil my love for dogs by working with them!
Deborah - Dog Walker and Assistant Trainer
I’m Deborah (or Debs). I am owned by Phoenix my 4 year old German Shepherd who is one of Diesal best friends. I’ve owned dogs for 31 years. I’m a definite animal lover and have owned 5 German Shepherds and 1 wee black lab cross, 5 cats, 2 rabbits and a horse over that time. I was a driving instructor but decided it was time to change my career so I’m now a training assistant at the German Shepherd classes. I’ve recently completed my canine first aid course and currently studying for my next certificate with Canine Principles. In my spare time I enjoy running, training the German Shepherds and walking the dogs.