The services of dog trainer Haywards Heath rewarded with two awards
A dog trainer from Haywards Heath has been recognized regionally and nationally for the quality of his service, having recently won two awards.
Rachel Pocock runs Enriched Dog Training UK and received the South East Prestige Award for Dog Training Service Of The Year and Animal Starr’s Animal Trainer of the Year earlier this month.
Rachel was first informed that she had been nominated for these honors in November.
She said, “They [Prestige and Animal Starr] phoned me on my way to see a client, I stopped the car and cried. I have always felt like a small fish in a huge ocean. These things don’t normally happen to me. I have a feeling of impostor syndrome, a feeling that you’re not good enough or capable of reaching that level. So it was overwhelming.
“That someone takes the time to name us is huge. It is a huge privilege. Even be in a category on the training side and make finalists. I had already done it as a winner at that time.
Rachel started with Enriched Dog Training UK as a dog daycare after leaving the police in 2017.
While running the business, she started a dog training course to become a fully qualified instructor and assessor.
Rachel said: “I grew up with dogs all my life, I quit the police because of my kids. I had a dog and went to dog training and loved it. I I felt alive again, there was a burning desire to know more.
“I started running a dog daycare from my house and it got crazy. We were full all the time and had over a year of waiting list for the holidays. During that time I was trying to be credited as a dog trainer, to gain experience.
Just before the pandemic hit, Rachel passed her dog trainer and behaviorist exams and turned the business into a training center.
Rachel continued, “We came out of the pandemic and started doing more training and really because of the home life situation, it was time for a change. We closed daycare and it was full with training and I never looked back. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
“I love helping owners and seeing that magic come to life. It’s not about training dogs, it’s about supporting owners and helping them train their dogs.”
Currently, Enriched Dog Training UK offers 1-1 dog training courses and Canine Hoopers – a sport in which dogs navigate a course of hoops, barrels and tunnels with the help and support of their owners.
Rachel said: “For me it’s not that you have to book a certain number of lessons, it’s about an individual journey. You have to watch the dog alone, as well as the families and find out what they want from the training.
“Most people want a calm, polite dog, but we’ll tailor it to what they need to make it work. There’s no one rule and that’s why I love what I do.
“When the pandemic hit and we couldn’t do Hoopers and it was really weird. Even with the owners they looked like, it’s awful. We were all so desperate to get back into that. t’s like a community, we all support each other, we support each other’s victories and we always seek to aim for progress and not perfection.
The Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards honor small and medium-sized businesses that have proven themselves to be the best in their market over the past 12 months, with companies shortlisted based on customer nominations.
Rachel said: “The nominations weren’t based on how many you got, it was what was written about you. Someone took the time to write something, it just leaves me speechless.
I think it’s about having that really caring side in the dog training industry. Sometimes I charge a client for an hour and the session runs out and lasts 90 minutes. It’s about understanding the customer and that’s very important to me.
At the National Animal Starr Awards ceremony on March 5, Rachel was one of 14 winners of the evening.
Rachel said: “Competing with people who had been doing this for years. Winning this just doesn’t seem real if I’m being honest. It’s just me, I love what I do and I don’t expect anything more. I love it so much, so to be rewarded with something to credit for what we do. It’s like we’re living the dream properly.