Welcoming the newest member of Dog School Shropshire!
by Melissa Sambrook // August 2018
Hi, I’m Melissa, the newest member of Dog School Shropshire and Cheshire.
From a young age I have always wanted to work with animals, this gave me the drive to work hard during my degrees. I have a Masters Degree in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation from Nottingham Trent University and a Batchelors degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from Harper Adams University.
To reach my goal of working with animals, I have conducted a lot of voluntary work experience; including at the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, boarding kennels, a butterfly farm, farm work, Gentleshaw wildlife centre and bird of prey rescue, a bird of prey sanctuary, an equine centre, a veterinary centre and for 18 months prior to getting a job at Dog School I worked at West Midlands Safari Park as a carnivore keeper.
Animal training has always been something I have been very interested in. I first started being interested in the importance of animal training and how to do it when I was 11 years old when I trained my puppy Springer Spaniel basic commands.
This further developed whilst conducting my voluntary work at Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre, where I was involved in husbandry training of the ring-tailed coatis, stump-tailed macaques and Eurasian lynx, for example, getting them to go into their inside enclosure so we could clean their outside enclosure and visa versa. Whilst working at West Midlands Safari Park I was able to learn a lot more about animal training and be involved in the training of tigers, lions and African wild dogs.
I decided that I wanted to work for Dog School after volunteering for Dogs Trust and when I adopted my two rescue dogs Rosie a collie cross lurcher and Freddie a Cocker Spaniel who is a retired gun dog. I noticed that many dogs in rescues centres had behaviour issues that they came with or developed in the rescues, for example, my Rosie is extremely nervous to anything new, dogs and people included.
I want to help owners and dogs understand each other more and develop strong bonds by using positive reinforcement training and I can’t wait to get started and meet you all!