“Although I am now one of the biggest dog lovers and spend the larger part of most days thinking about them and how I can help them it didn’t always used to be this way.
So here’s a little bit about my journey from a young lad growing up in the north-east of England with a mum who is terrified of dogs to to where I am today.
My hope is that my journey to find my passion in life will give you the confidence and hope to continue on your journey are developing that amazing relationship with your puppy or dog.
There is so much more to dogs than first meets the eye, even after a decade of working with them. It blows me away as I slowly start to realise the depth of their love understanding and connection to us.
Sometimes I feel like they know us better than we know ourselves.”
Living in the UK in the early 70’s I always loved dogs and found them no matter where we were. Although my mum was terrified of them it never put me off, although it’s the reason we never had a dog in our home growing up.
The 90’s saw me graduate from the University of Birmingham, UK with a degree in Civil Engineering. I tried my hand at several jobs but none of them fill me with the passion I was looking for (although working the streets as a British Police officer was certainly exciting at times!) After a short stint as a math teacher I found myself in the corporate IT industry.
The start of the century saw me arrive in beautiful New Zealand. I arrived having never visited before, yet somehow I knew it would be my new home. In fact I was so convinced that my future lay here that I only ever bought a 1 way ticket. I landed in Auckland and set up home with my wonderful wife to be Jenni.
After Jen and I got married and purchased our first house in Auckland our first dog Peanut came into our lives and literally changed them forever. I immediately became a very proud dog owner, helped by the fact that Peanut was constantly referred to as “the best behaved dog in the world” by friends and strangers alike.
Finally I made the decision to quit the corporate world and follow my passion for dogs. I set up as Doggy Dan and the rapid success that follows is more than I could have dreamt of. Within a short time I find myself flying around the country and even being flown to overseas islands to work with people’s dogs. I also continue to develop my dog knowledge and gain experience working with large packs of dogs at K9 Heaven, a doggy daycare close to where I lived. I found my second dog Inca at the SPCA shelter.
To help support clients and to cope with demand from not just New Zealand but also overseas I set up The Online Dog Trainer, an online dog training video website designed to walk dog and puppy owners through the same training they could experience in a personal consultation. At present it has been used by over 27,000 people worldwide.
leads to me working with many well known people including All Black
world cup final try scorer Tony Woodcock.
An increase in speaking events including schools leads me to being invited as a key note speaker at the NZ SPCA National conference, a great honour indeed. Later that year Moses joins the pack and stars in the video diary of raising a puppy from 8 weeks to 8 months, one of the courses inside The Online Dog Trainer
The launch of my first ever book by Random House Publishing, creates a very busy year with promotions including TV shows, 7 Sharp and Good Morning TV, and magazine appearances such as with Woman’s Weekly. Stan and Sage my two children join me on the front cover.
Due to high demand on my time I start running consultations out of my home property here in Muriwai. Providing owners a safe and controlled place to visit with their dog where we can walk through the training in a relaxed setting. With my pack of dogs close at hand to assist and the large open space, the 1 on 1 consults are proving a huge success.
My new dog Jack arrives in my life. A powerful teacher and
being, its time for me to take my learning up to a new level
to connect with this strong boy.
I’m approached by TV show Auckland Housewives to appear on the show and make an appearance. Not the only thing that I did that year but certainly worth a mention and of huge entertainment to friends and family alike!
The online training program, Dog Trainer Academy (DTA) launches. Teaching students all over the
world how to successfully set themselves up and become dog trainers. Able to watch
consultations, share in webinars and learn through multimedia online and become dog trainers
in their own right it is proving to be a huge success.
One of the most important moments of 2018 was the passing on my dearest dog Peanut who died of kidney complications on 29th April 2018.
As one of my greatest teaches in life she taught me so much of what I now know and share with people. Just before she left, she looked into my eyes and she gave me one final message… “Be Here Now and Experience Love”
In the spring of 2019 we helped dog owner number 50,000 using the online training program TheOnlineDogTrainer.com
When we launched online back in 2009 I never dreamt that a decade later we would have helped so many people. With success stories from Japan to USA, Malta to Algeria and Scotland to Argentina the site has been a huge success story and something that continues to grow.
A highlight of 2020 was being asked to appear as the judge on the reality TV show Dog Almighty.
Working with some of New Zealands most talented dogs and their colourful and highly skilled owners was both fun and exciting.
Over the course of many weekends we finally got down to the winner of the Golden Dog Bowl! For those of you who haven’t seen it you can find it on TV2
“At the same time Jenni, my amazing partner of over 25 years continues to
do very similar work with horses and riders around the world. Our kids are
growing up and who knows what the future holds for us all.”