Amy Thomson – Behaviour is Communication
Hi, I’m Amy. I am a dog and puppy trainer based in Cricklade, covering Swindon, Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury, Cirencester, South Cerney, Stroud, Tetbury and surrounding areas.
I have a background in assistance dog training and working with families with children with additional needs. I have a degree in animal behaviour and welfare but I keep up to date with current training methods through regularly attending courses ran by leading professionals in the field, sometimes literally in the field!
I offer puppy training classes for puppies up to 5 months of age, subsequent follow on training sessions and individually tailored one to one training support for dogs of any age.
Training is of course important, but so is you and your family’s relationship with your dog. Training should enhance this rather than jeopardise it.
Training will focus on giving your dog the life skills they need to be part of the family using reward based, scientifically proven methods. My aim is to support you with whatever you would like to achieve or work on and to help your dog to understand the human world better and us theirs. Training should be accessible to all, while being kind and effective.
My interest in dog training started as a child I was also fortunate enough to have persuaded my parents to let me have a dog, what we didn’t realise until we got our new puppy home, was that she was actually completely deaf. She responded very well to sign language and learnt many different signs.
Following university I joined Dogs for Good, where I trained young dogs to support people with physical disabilities. This included teaching the dogs a range of tasks such as retrieve, targeting, walking well next to mobility aids in a many different places, recall and working through any behaviours that were problematic.
I then progressed to becoming an instructor working with many parents of autistic children and their family dog(s) through running workshops and providing ongoing support. The emphasis was on teaching families about dog behaviour, their communication, how to manage dog and child interactions to ensure they were safe and enjoyable for everyone, the importance of positive reward training and building relationships.
Working with families taught me a lot about behaviour, communication and therapy. After 8 years I decided to pursue my interest in therapy and worked as a therapy assistant for 3 years for a local authority, supporting children with disabilities.
I am a provisional member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Councellors (APBC), provisional members are individuals who have achieved specific academic accreditation to degree level or higher and are able to conduct behaviour consultations but have not yet achieved the requisite experience to become full members.
I regularly attend seminars, conferences, workshops, training days etc to build on my skills, knowledge and to ensure training methods are up to date with current thinking. The dog training and behaviour world is always advancing and staying up to speed with it is important.