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About BEYOND Dog Training
My business started to take shape when I realised that what I was experiencing with my own dogs wasn’t what other dog owners were experiencing. A couple of people who have seen my work and know my dogs, tried to persuade me that I possessed some unique talents with dogs! This was a strange concept to me because what I was doing seemed like such a natural process and I assumed everyone else was doing the same thing. The most obvious example of this was Fifi The Maremma, who came into my life by the sheerest of chances, in fact I walked straight past her at first and didn’t even notice her. After four hours I noticed her and my life was totally changed from that moment on. Everything I had inside me went into my relationship with her and into her transformation. Then one day I witnessed her doing something which was quite extraordinary, not only for her breed, but in fact, for any dog. In that moment I resolved to honour her extraordinary and very special gifts. Fifi went on to become the First Delta Therapy Dog in the Upper Hunter Valley, achieving what few other working Livestock Guardians had achieved. I had transformed a scruffy, neglected, wounded working Livestock Guardian Dog who, through no fault of her own had ended up as a rescue dog, into a beautifully stunning, accredited therapy dog, administering her therapy at bedsides and in the public domain. I like to describe her unique and extraordinary journey as “From paddock to bedside in one lifetime.”
You can read Fifi’s amazing and inspiring story in the Penguin book titled, DOGS that make a DIFFERENCE and see her life in pictures on this website. If you would like a Fifi signed copy of the book you can contact me via the CONTACT page on this website. Fifi is just one example of the extraordinary potential that can be realised in all dogs. It doesn’t have to be grand nor does it have to be achieved in the public domain to be meaningful. It could simply be achieving their potential as loyal and happy companions with their families. You too can experience a new depth of understanding and appreciation for that little (or big) pot of gold that has come into your life. There is no magic switch that does this. Rather, it is a journey that you arrive at and choose to take together. When you are well into that journey, you may come to a fork in the road and choose to go on another adventure together, knowing that you now have the fundamentals in place to make anything possible together.
About Erin Williams
The skills and experiences I have gained over the years have been the result of working with many different dogs in many different situations. These situations ranged from training pastoral working dogs and working livestock guardian dogs to obedience, agility and therapy dogs. I also studied Agriculture and Animal Production at Hawkesbury Agricultural College followed by a number of years managing a large dog boarding complex in Sydney for some of Australia’s leading Veterinary Surgeons. The culmination of some of those skills occurred when Fifi The Maremma’s story was selected for inclusion in a Penguin publication titled “Dogs that Make a Difference” and the subsequent articles that I wrote for magazines, including an invitation from Dogs NSW to write a story for their monthly magazine in December 2014 (read it here). This story described how a working Livestock Guardian made the extraordinary transformation into a therapy dog. This article also highlighted the benefits of thorough socialisation for dogs and what can be achieved as a result.
I have completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services with Australia’s highly respected Delta Institute. Delta’s dog training philosophy and methods are based on Positive Reward Based or Positive Reinforcement training.
I have also completed the Certificate IV in Small Business Management.
My background with dogs includes
- Training the family dogs and that is where it usually starts!
- First student to introduce the concept of working dog (herding) training at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (now University of Western Sydney)
- Handled and trained dogs during a stint at cattle droving on the road in south-western NSW.
- Trained my Rottweiler to Obedience level and competed in Sydney
- Conducted dog training classes at Hornsby Dog Training Club in Sydney
- Managed a large dog boarding complex in Sydney for four years handling around 200 dogs during peak periods
- Founding member of a local Dog Agility Club
- I am the local representative for the ‘Delta Therapy Dogs’ Volunteer program here in the Upper Hunter, visiting a local aged care facility with my dogs.
- I wrote a story about my Maremma’s achievements in becoming a Delta Therapy Dog which was published in a Penguin book released in May 2014 titled Dogs That Make a Difference
- I was invited by Dogs NSW to write an article for their December 2014 magazine edition about my dog’s achievements and the importance of socialisation. This magazine has a readership of 11,000+ members including national show judges, breeders, club affiliates, etc. This article has been shared on international sites.
- I wrote another magazine article about my Maremma’s achievements for the February 2014 edition of the local coffee table magazine – Hunter Lifestyle.
- I have also provided my advice and dog behaviour assessments to a local Council Pound.
- In February 2017 I was invited by a large international Facebook Group (currently 12.7K Members worldwide) to join their Admin team to provide my expertise with Livestock Guardian Dogs, for their members.
- Recently I was invited by Bayer Australia to contribute to an article about dog Socialisation for their ‘Advantage Petcare’ pet training website.
- For the past 2 years I have been training and rehabilitating a DEAF Labrador Retriever who also suffers from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and GENERALISED ANXIETY. (I fought hard to prevent this boy from being euthanised. We simply don’t euthanise dogs with disabilities any more because that’s old school thinking. Just because they got off to a less than favourable start in life doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given a chance at life. You can read about Buff’s story on his very own tab on this website. He is a Star!!)
The Future : I would like to see Responsible Pet Ownership programs rolled out across the nation. I want to bring the benefits of Positive Reward Based Dog Training to this community so that people can enjoy their pets and the contribution that they are making to their lives, in a harmonious way. There is a growing shift in social consciousness that is seeking a more harmonious approach to how we care for our pets. I consider that Positive Reward Based Dog Training will lay the foundations for a ‘new approach’ in the future of pet care worldwide.