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CANINE PSYCHOLOGY
 
As a child I was interested in one thing, and one thing only ‘dogs’! My first dog book I received when I was 6 years old (in 1961), and still have (and treasure) it to this day. No matter what, I knew my life would be devoted to dogs one way or another.
I had pet dogs that I took to training classes, and spent day in day out finding and rescuing stray dogs. I would have them all lined up at feeding times, and spent most of my time brushing, trimming and clipping their nails. Also I took my headmistresses’ dogs to dog shows and showed them whilst competing in the obedience classes with my dogs! This would involve taking 5 dogs on a 20 mile round trip mainly on foot and by bus. The only thing that gave me a buzz in life was being around dogs, be it walking, showing, training or grooming them. In 1966 I got a weekend job in a local terrier/boarding kennels and was in my element being with dogs of all shapes and sizes.
I left school in 1971 and my first job was in a grooming salon. After a year or so I started my own mobile grooming business, and specialised in those dogs that no-one else could handle including their owners! Always a challenge, but I recognised at this point that I had been given a very special gift to naturally understand dogs. I was not only learning about dog behaviour and dog training, but instinctively knew how to ‘Think Like A Dog’! I would teach the owners of these difficult dogs how to change what they were doing to have a happier dog, and a happier relationship with it.
In the late 70s I acquired my first pedigree dog and started showing. The first one was a Rough Collie, and although no world beater he taught me much about grooming and conditioning to get the best out of him. A year later I acquired my first BSD (Tervueren) and started the ‘Belamba’ line of Belgian Shepherd Dogs. In all I owned or bred 19 champions. I've judged them around the world, and have also judged them at Crufts twice! I’ve had Afghan hounds for 10 years and a couple of toy breeds. I judge all breeds at open shows.
Please see www.belamba.co.uk for more information on my dogs and judging.
One of my first Tervueren, ‘Toffee’, was a rescue dog; I worked really hard to build her confidence and reaped the rewards. I then started taking in and re-habbing numerous rescue BSDs. Once re-habbed they were found suitable permanent homes, where they spent the rest of their lives.
I have been lucky enough to study wolves in the USA and dingoes in Australia; the forerunners of the domesticated dog. I did a course run by the Rottweiler Club to become an all breed temperament tester in 1991, and I’ve also attended several lectures at Southampton University on dog behaviour.
During a consultation with my GP we got to talking about dogs. He told me the problem he was having with his dog, and that he’d spent the National Debt trying to sort it out. I told him that it was an easy problem to cure, and how to do it. He rang me the next day and said he’d put into practise what I’d told him and the dog no longer had the behaviour. He also insisted I help other people like himself with their canine problems. I told him I really only deal with rescue dogs; but he said his neighbours wanted me to help with their dog... and that’s how it all started!
I have been working with dogs for over 40 years – training thousands of them, including for local vets, dog rescue centres and grooming parlours, but mainly for the general public. It is something I just love, and if I can improve the quality of life for both dog and owner(s) then I know my purpose on this planet!
 
For dog training in Bournemouth,
dog training in Poole,
and dog training throughout Dorset...
  Tel: 01202 620925
  or 0782 333 1984
  dogwhisperer@belamba.co.uk
© Marcelle King