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Behavioural and
Rehabilitation Training

About Andrew

 

Better Dog School is run by Andrew Peterson, a specialist canine behavioural & rehabilitation trainer, Delta Cert IV Qualified instructor - and Siberian husky enthusiast.

Andrew has been involved with reward-based dog training for more than 13 years and is active in the purebred dog community. He served on general committee of The Siberian Husky Club of NSW Inc from 2005 to 2012, and was Secretary 2009-2011.

Through the Club's rescue & re-homing service, known as Husky Rescue, Andrew has also been personally involved with more than 250 rescue cases, and has fostered and re-homed some 38 dogs over 6 years.

It's no surprise then that Andrew is passionate about animal welfare, and in recent years has focused on campaigns to help owners of all breeds enjoy their dogs - through knowledge, education and practical advice, and offers help to owners and animal welfare groups alike.

"Behaviour is a major cause of broken relationships with dogs", says Andrew. "We know owners don't set out to relinquish their dogs, yet many puppies end up as unwanted pets in pounds when their owners face behaviour problems in later life. Behavioural training methods that are based on fact - not myth & media hype; and which work because they address the actual cause of behaviour; and which owners can apply safely without risk of harm to either them or their dog are the solution. And pound dog prevention begins in puppyhood."

Andrew has studied behavioural training methods professionally since 2009 and chose to undertake the Delta Society Australia's Canine Good Citizen™ Accredited Instructor program which provides a Certificate IV qualification in Companion Animal Services. It is believed to still be the only program for instructors in Australia based purely on proven scientific knowledge, also known as 'evidence based methods'. Andrew went on to complete full Delta Accreditation™ with DPDTA Inc and was also invited by Delta Society Australia to join the inaugural executive working group when the Delta Institute was founded.

The training techniques Andrew uses are known as 'no-harm', 'dog-friendly, 'force free', 'positive' or 'humane' training methods, as supported by all peak animal behaviour groups from Australia, U.K., Canada and USA. This is in contrast to other outdated methods still promoted by many based on correction, dominance or punishment which can have dangerous side effects.Happily, studies show positive methods are more effective than the alternatives so staying positive is an easy choice.

In 2010 Andrew studied shelter dog behaviour assessment at the RSPCA Fairfield facility in Queensland, and updated vet behaviour protocols in 2014 at RSPCA Yagoona in NSW. He currently runs behaviour assessments for dogs coming through Husky Rescue, plus workshops for shelter staff, other trainers or owners interested in canine body language and behavioural profiling.

Andrew lives with four huskies, Samson, Ashaki, Ruby and McKinley in Sydney's northern suburbs.

Andrew has run classes for dogs of all ages from puppies through to senior, but now specialises in helping individual owners with dog behaviour problems they may be facing. He also helps owners with training towards Delta Therapy Dog assessment and assistance dog work through programs such as mindDog™. He remains active in the animal welfare community and offers behavioural training advice to adopters of rescue dogs, plus knowledge and resources to shelters on a volunteer basis.

Education & Experience

 Sep 2015   Delta Institute 
   Member (Full) of the Delta Institute  
           
 Mar 2015   Delta Institute    Member, Delta Institute Working Group by invitation  
           
 Aug 2014   RSPCA Yagoona    Updates to Behaviour Assessment protocols - Behaviour Vet Unit  
           
 Jul 2014   Aus Inst of Local Govt Rangers   Featured speaker on Delta Accredited™ training, 2014 Conference  
           
 Jul 2014   Delta Prof. Dog Trainers Assoc
  Achieved Canine Good Citizen® Instructor accreditation  
           
 Apr 2014   For DPDTA Inc   Co-authored Delta Accredited™ Best Practice framework  
           
 Aug 2013   Syd Uni UVTHS Behaviour Service   Understanding and Managing Fears & Phobias - seminar [O'Shea]  
           
Aug 2013   SABS   Vet Behavioural Medicine Update - seminar [Cole, Perrin, Seksel]  
           
Aug 2013   Dogs NSW Magazine - August 2013   Featured expert for "Take the Lead" loose lead walking article  
           
Jul 2013   Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers Australia   "Dangerous Dogs" - seminar [Theakstone, Seksel]  
           
Jun 2013   SABS / AVBIG   "Updates on Anxiety" - seminar [Houpt, Seksel, Perrin]  
           
Mar 2013   Dogs NSW Magazine - March 2013   Featured expert for "Toilet Training 101" article  
           
Oct 2012   Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers Australia   APDTA 15th Annual Conference - 2 day attendance  
           
Aug 2012   Delta Prof. Dog Trainers Assoc   Appointed Secretary of DPDTA Inc for 2012-2013 committee year  
           
 Aug 2012   Delta Prof. Dog Trainers Assoc
  Achieved Delta Accredited™ instructor status  
           
Apr 2012   Delta Society Australia    Completed Delta Cert IV in Companion Animal Services  
           
Mar 2012   Dr Terry Theakstone   Preventing Dog Bites - seminar  
           
Feb 2012   Dr Ian Dunbar   Science Based Dog Training with Feeling - 3 day seminar  
           
Oct 2011   Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers Australia   APDTA 14th Annual Conference - 3 day attendance  
           
Oct 2011   Kay Laurence (UK)   Clicker training for off-lead life skills - 1-day workshop  
           
Oct 2010   RSPCA Queensland, Fairfield   2-day Shelter Dog Behaviour Assessment workshop  
           
Sep 2010   Delta Society Australia   6 Day CGC™ Intensive Workshop  
           
Dec 2009   Delta Society Australia   CGC™ Instructor's Course - Weekend Seminar  
           
Oct 2009   SHCNSW Inc   Karin Bridge Seminar - Positive Training Methods  
           
Jan 2009   SHCNSW Inc   Convene Leash on Life course for manners & problem-solving  
           
2006-2011   Husky Rescue / SHCNSW Inc   Co-ordinator for Husky Rescue fostering & re-homing program - 6 years  
           
2003-2005   Green Collar Visiting Pets Program   Volunteer therapy dog handler for dementia-specific care facility  
           
2003   People-Pet Partnership   Qualify Snowkeli Midnite Samson for Delta Canine Good Citizen™ award   

 

Qualified instructors
Delta Cert IV
 •
 Best practice
 From AVA, AVSAB & BSAVA
 •
 Safe & reliable
Enhancing the dog-owner bond
 •
 Humane, dog-friendly
 No-harm, evidence-based methods

Philosophy

Good relationships don't happen overnight, but living successfully with dogs isn't as hard as you think.

The key is for us owners to meet our dogs' needs, set reasonable expectations, learn the best response to problems and develop good communication skills a.k.a. 'training skills' to teach the behaviours we want. Dogs don't raise themselves any more than children do, so some time and effort is always needed, but effort becomes a joy not a chore once things start going right.

And if things go off the rails, don't despair. No dog (or owner!) is perfect so challenges are part of the deal. Getting good advice early on is critical to avoiding the most common behaviour disorders though. We're qualified and accredited to triage any problem you can think of, and give you the right professional advice and help from the start.

 

...to dog training, animal welfare and how to make dog ownership work in the real world.

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