How HeartDog Began...
We have both been working with dogs for many years and have built separate successful canine businesses working with guardians and dog professionals from all over the world.
In 2022 we were both involved with Empowered Dog but became increasingly aware that we were diverging from the direction the company was taking. Not being in full alignment was a struggle for us so we chose to close the doors of this highly successful business to create something we really believed in.
And so HeartDog was born.
We believe strongly in wellbeing for all: dogs, their people and the professionals who support them. So we forefront examining expectations, meeting the needs of dogs and humans and ensuring that choice is central to our approach.
But we won't throw the training baby out with the bath water! We believe we do need to teach our dogs how to fit in with our human lives, but we will always do this within the context of wellbeing.
We're on a mission...
We are committed to fear-free and force-free training but we believe that we need to go even further and prioritise the emotional, physical, mental and social wellbeing of dogs, their people and the canine professionals who support them. Our mission is to bring this message - and its practical application - to as many canine professionals and dog guardians as possible.
The Heart Dogs That Inspired It All
Logan and Michelle
Logan changed my life forever from the moment he arrived in September 2012. A sweet lad with a determined, independent streak. He was very much a dog who saved his adoration for his favourite people. Logan was my number one and I was his.
Throughout his puppyhood Logan was confident and outgoing, but things changed during adolescence after he was bitten by a smaller dog. He started to struggle around other dogs, soon becoming reactive to all unfamiliar dogs. He was a very large lad at 54kg and I became terrified to take him out. The stress of avoiding other dogs like a ninja was becoming too much. At the time I was also struggling with severe depression and leaving the house felt impossible some days. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I needed to help Logan. I didn't know what would happen to him if I wasn't there anymore and that kept me pushing through each day. I had to step up because he needed me. I started out on the path of learning everything I could to rebuild his confidence and help him relax around other dogs again. Logan did so well over the coming months and our relationship grew stronger as a result of all we did together. I wanted to help others who were going through similar things with their dogs and so I set up my first training business - Hoops & Hounds - focusing on fun training and building amazing relationships that support dogs and their people. It gave me a purpose and passion in life again.
Sadly Logan died of nasal cancer at just 9 years old. It was so quick to develop and a complete shock. Losing my special lad so suddenly left me with a huge hole in my heart and gave me my deepest experience of grief. Logan was my wing man, my soul mate and my heart dog. I'd give anything to have just one more day together but I am forever grateful to Logan for giving me the life I have now, and showing me the true beauty of unconditional love.
Mirri and Janet
Mirri came into my life on a wild, October evening in 1997. I was almost home when I noticed a small, black, skinny dog frantically running along the edge of the busy road.
When I caught up with her I could see she was injured, terrified and clearly lost so I had no choice but to take her home.
The next day we went for a walk and within moments she exploded, screaming and lunging at a barely visible German Shepherd several football pitches away. We left, me praying under my breath that someone was looking for her, but our exhaustive enquiries came to nothing and so she stayed.
In the days that followed she wriggled her way into my heart and held it like no other dog before or since. Helping her with her reactivity became my mission and together we worked through many different protocols and training methods. In the end it was learning to understand her needs that really helped and shifting my mindset so I felt differently about her behaviour.
It was Mirri who set me on the path of supporting reactive dogs and their people and what she taught me became the basis of my book "Your End of the Lead". And when I lost her to a mystery illness at just 9 years old, I learned for the first time the meaning of grief.
Where to next?
The Connect Membership
THE monthly membership for forward-thinking canine professionals.
Everything you need to take your canine career to the next level and enhance wellbeing for dogs, their people and YOU the professional. Connect gives you education and coaching around the core pillars of dogs, human coaching and business skills.
Instantly up-level your students' performance with our high quality learning resources designed to help you give your students the best possible learning experience. From high quality videos, to presentations, handouts and ebooks we have everything covered.
It's like a magic wand for your business!
On the Wellbeing Summit
During December 2022 we hosted a series of webinars with world renowned experts exploring every aspect of wellbeing for dogs and their people and the professionals who support them.
Did you miss it? Don't worry, you can still access the summit entirely FREE until the end of 2023.