Dog behavior and training company in Hursley wins ‘Dog Trainer of the Year’ and ‘Most Patient Dog Behaviorist’ awards in the South East
LOCAL business Maher & Hound was recently named ‘Most Patient Behavior Canine’ in the South East after winning Hampshire’s ‘Dog Trainer of the Year’ award in March.
Last week, Karen Maher discovered that she was the lucky winner of the Acquisition International Influential Businesswoman Awards ‘Most Patient Dog Behaviourist’, with the 2022 award due to be officially announced in July.
Both awards were based on testimonials from Maher & Hound customers. The behaviorist and dog trainer said: “Well it’s amazing and quite unexpected actually because I didn’t know I had been nominated and it’s really flattering because both awards are based on reviews of my clients – on my website, on Facebook and on Google.
“So it’s all about how happy my clients are and not just working with the dogs, but also how I’m with people. Obviously that’s also a big part of that, reassuring people.
“It’s very flattering. I work incredibly hard for my clients because I literally want the best results for them and their dog. I really understand because I think everyone loves their dogs and they come to me because they love their dogs so much.
“Sometimes if their dog ran away or jumped on people in the park, sometimes they come to me and they’re a little embarrassed about it. I don’t judge people at all. I guess that’s where the patience comes from and making people feel like it’s not something they did wrong, it’s just a dog being a dog.
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After 20 years of working in public relations in London, Karen, now based in Hursley near Winchester, has converted into a behaviorist and canine trainer. The 49-year-old has since become fully qualified, vet recommended and accredited as a behaviorist with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT).
The canine behaviorist said: “I always had in mind that I wanted to work with dogs. I’ve always had dogs, even when I lived in London and worked in PR I had a dog that I took to work with me every day, so I’ve always loved dogs.
“But it’s been five years now, my aunt who was 58 at the time, she was only given a few months to live all of a sudden. And I was very close to her and it just made me realize that life can be a bit short.
“I just thought I should do something else that I really want to do. I loved PR but at the same time I had been doing it for 20 years or something. This is my third year in business after studying for a few years before starting to work.
“It was really hard to make the switch because your brain is so used to working one way for years and years and when you’ve done a job for that long it’s almost automatic. And with the studies that I’ve done, especially for dog behavior, there’s a lot of science in it, a lot of anatomy, a lot of biology and so having to go and learn all of that was really quite hard to engage my brain in that way.
“But I succeeded so it’s good!”
Maher & Hound offers behavior modification programs for issues such as aggression, separation anxiety, recall, leash pulling and resource guarding and personalized training of puppies, dogs and hunting dogs. She also has personal experience with anxious dogs: Karen’s own Jack Russell Tiggy was reactive and scared, and it helped her regain her confidence, which inspired the career change.
The 49-year-old is always looking to keep up to date with the latest line-ups. In 2021, she completed a year of mentorship with Steve Mann, the founder of IMDT and author of ‘Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy’ and Dave Brice, canine behavior manager at IMDT.
The IMDT, reward-based training models with all of their trainers and behaviorists using the latest science-based dog training techniques that are proven to be effective and have the dog’s well-being at heart.
Karen has also studied with animal behavior consultant, Sarah Whitehead (BA, MSc) and author of the bestselling book “Clever Dog”.
The award-winning trainer will celebrate his success with his dogs at home. Although Karen has already thanked her clients, she has yet to find out who nominated her.
To learn more about Maher & Hound, visit https://www.maherandhounddogtraining.com/.
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