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We Chat with Emma From Dog Tags

We Chat with Emma From Dog Tags

Since Furchild launched in Dubai 8 months ago, we’ve heard lots of ‘pawsitive’ stories about the Dog Tags team. We decided it was time to meet up with Emma, dog trainer, and partner of Dog Tags to find out more about their initiative and insights into training Dubai’s furry family members.

Let’s start off with the basics. Tell us a little bit about Dog Tags Training…

Dog Tags was set up only a year ago by myself and Andy when we realised we had a dream in common. We wanted to set up a dog training company that people could trust to have the experience and expertise to help them with their four-legged friends. Our idea was to build our company around Andy’s wealth of experience in the British military, making some of their values such as integrity, discipline, and commitment some of our core standards. So far it’s been a whirlwind adventure, and in the last year, we have added two amazing trainers, Victoria and Lewis to our team to help meet the growing demand for our services.

Dog Tags is a team of professional dog trainers and animal lovers. Can you tell us a little bit about each trainer and their specializations?

  • Andy: Andy worked with the British Army Royal Veterinary Corps as a dog trainer and handler for much of his 24-year army career. He has worked in some pretty challenging conditions all over the world but now enjoys using his knowledge as our Chief Trainer, directing our team and helping our clients better understand their dogs.
  • Emma: During what I thought would be a short break from a 10-year career in the corporate world, I was lucky enough to find my true passion for dog training thanks to some fantastic mentors and never looked back. If I could choose one aspect of my job to focus on forever it would be working with shelter or rescue dogs who are often overlooked and more than capable of being part of a family. I am also the person running things behind the scenes at Dog Tags, so if you call the office you may end up talking to me – I love to hear about our clients' dogs in all their shapes and forms.
  • Lewis: Lewis’s skills were also developed in the British army where he worked extensively with protection and detection dogs. After that, he worked in the UK with Guide Dogs for the Blind, training dogs which went on to assist visually impaired people on a daily basis. We loved Lewis’s enthusiasm for dogs from the moment we met him and our clients always give feedback on great success from his work.
  • Victoria: Victoria’s degree in Animal Behaviour makes her stand out from many trainers in Dubai. Her studies have focused on dogs struggling with anxiety, fear, and stress. She really is brilliant at understanding the root cause of many dogs misbehavior and finding positive ways to help them. She also trained working dogs for the British Ministry of Defense and therefore comes with a whole range of skills that our clients love.

How do Dog Tags recognize a potential new and talented trainer?

Our checklist for dog trainer material includes:

  • Lots and lots of patience
  • Knowing how to tactfully tell someone that they are the problem more than their dog
  • The ability to act calm even when you are terrified
  • Acceptance of the fact that you will occasionally get bitten
  • A passion for dogs that drives you to get up early, come home late, and still have a smile on your face at the end of the day.

We’ve heard of all types of training methods. What training methods does Dog Tags offer?

Each of our trainers has their own favorite ways of achieving results, whether that’s with clickers, food, distractions, or toys, however, we all believe that training should be fun and positive for a dog. Force-free training techniques are quickly being recognized as the best way to teach a dog. This means allowing a dog to get things right and rewarding that good behaviour rather than punishing the mistakes. As more and more people are seeing their pets as their ‘Fur-children’ there is an amazing shift towards this kind of positive training rather than the harsher methods that may have been used a few generations ago, and that's great because that's how we love to work.

What are the 3 most common reasons pet parents come to Dog Tags?

  1. Puppies - Dubai brings us plenty of clients who just need an introduction to dealing with the new puppy they have bought or adopted. We can spend a lot of time talking about puppy poop but these jobs are always fun, because, seriously who doesn’t love puppies?
  2. Behavioral Problems – At the other end of the scale we have the clients with older dogs with behaviour problems. Our fantastic behaviourists can help dog owners diagnose the underlying cause of these problems so we can help them fix the problem at the roots for more effective and long-lasting results.
  3. Household Help Training - A new service we have developed that is specifically tailored to the Dubai market is our ‘Household Helper Training’. With so many people leaving their dogs in the hands of their maids and other household staff for the summer, we have found people are loving this program specifically designed for those scenarios.

We agree, there’s a necessity for training household help here in the UAE… tell us more about Dog Tag’s unique offering!

It’s surprising just how much of our job is about people training. We developed our Household Help Training after meeting many house staff who just weren’t comfortable or knowledgeable about their family pet. This is an extra important problem to tackle when these are the people tasked with taking care of dogs while their owners are away from home.

We can help house staff gain confidence in handling their dogs, teach them fun games to prevent doggy boredom, and how to avoid common mistakes that lead to dog bites. For instance, with the hot weather comes reduced outdoor activity time. We teach games anyone can use to keep dogs occupied indoors. Whether it's performing new tricks or using those powerful noses to sniff out hidden treats or toys; there are lots of ways that mental stimulation can be used to replace those long winter walkies that we all love so much.

Now lets’ talk about your adorable ‘Fur-children’: Arthur, Bella and Lily. All of your dogs have been on Furchild’s Monthly Meal Plan for 4 months. How’s that going?

Absolutely! The effort that goes into creating Furchild’s perfectly balanced raw pet food can only be appreciated by real pet lovers. Since feeding Furchild to my own dogs we have seen the advantages of the fresh food diet in action, from their general health to just how much they enjoy what we are putting in their bowls.

We have noticed the biggest change in Bella, who has always been a little overweight but we found that diet kibbles meant she lost the shine on her lovely coat almost instantly and less food just left her hungry. Since moving her to Furchild we have been able to get those few extra pounds off her without her feeling disappointed every mealtime, and her coat is glossier than ever!

I am also loving Furchild’s Himalayan Dog Chews for ‘settling on your own’ time, which is becoming more important as we prepare for the arrival of our new baby. Furchild’s Chews are a world away from the unpleasant rawhide alternatives and I love that by buying them we are supporting farmers in Nepal. At the end of the day, our dogs are part of our families and we really want to give them the best the market has to offer, which is why all that goodness in their weekly Furchild Green Tripe meal makes putting up with that smell totally worthwhile.

Jul 2017

Have a question or comment? We would love to hear about it.

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