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, Diesal; 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 Diesal 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 Diesal’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 Diesal 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: Diesal 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