ITS THE DOGS
KAREN McCARTHY MA (Canine Behaviour, Pyschology & Training) MCFBA MGODT APDTNZ
Originally from the UK but being mainly raised in New Zealand has given me many experiences in the dog world that have helped her create a more universal understanding of our four footed friends.
Having been around dogs from a young age, I always dreamed of letting my passion become my life’s work. Breed showing and obedience training since 1981 may have been where I started but over the years this developed into many other activities within the dog world from helping out with rescue dogs through to competing with my own dogs at the highest level.
Having traveled to learn more about behaviour, training and grooming as well as attending seminars and workshops in other countries gave me the opportunity to work in the UK dog industry for a few years. Having brought my dogs with me meant that I was able to represent New Zealand with my Gordon Setter Connor twice at Cruft's Dog Show both in 2007 & 2008 in two disciplines for both years, International Heelwork to Music and Agility competitions - a first for NZ! And Vienna followed in her father's pawsteps in the Crufts International Agility in 2010 & 2011. However being in the limelight isn't new to as I have also been profiled in the NZ national media of newspapers, television and radio in relation to dogs and training, including appearing on NZ’s Tux Wonderdogs and been interviewed by the BBC here in the UK as well appearing in a Polish dog magazine. Connor was also the very first dog in New Zealand to gain any kind of Canine Good Citizen certificate with the NZ Kennel Club, and the first Gordon Setter in NZ to attain Championship status (breed showing) with CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) and ADX (Agility Dog Excellent) titles.
The training and teaching of others in regards to dog training as well as a desire to want to make life great for dogs and their owners led to changing careers and taking a hobby into a professional business. First taking on a mobile dog grooming business I then used her professional business experience to grow the company by adding a grooming salon, all levels of training classes, private consultations and then expanding into the daycare service. Even though I still have the business in New Zealand I have set about creating a similar experience here in the UK and after many years this has now developed into Its The Dogs.
I completed a Master's Degree in Canine Psychology, Behaviour and Training doing my dissertation in dog training classes and I also gained many certificates and attended workshops from study and experience in New Zealand, the USA and the UK. My experience led her to being invited and becoming a full member of the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association, and I continue to add to my certification by working towards becoming a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor. The caring method that I use in my grooming has also meant becoming an internationally published author showing how to use clicker training to teach your dog how to be easily and happily groomed (Grooming Book). A personal dedication and innovative style gives me the enthusiasm to continue enhancing the dog's world and also the motivation to take the human/canine relationship into the 21st century. Although I have trained and competed in many facets of the dog sport's world over the last 40 years I still keep the role of the pet dog firmly in mind as my dogs have and always will firstly be pet dogs.
The Journey to Its The Dogs
(how a lifetime of involvement with dogs developed)
bringing home stray dogs - walking neighbourhood dogs - getting own dog - grooming, showing, breeding & obedience training that dog - joining clubs - dog passing away - getting another dog - more training, showing, grooming, search & rescue, flyball, competitions, club committees (president/vice president/secretary/treasurer/show organiser), instructing in training dogs - another dog arrives - add in agility & heelwork to music/dancing with dogs - leave the corporate world for a mobile dog grooming business - add in taking over a salon in a pet shop - add professional puppy and dog training classes - one dog passes just as another one arrives - add more committees including at Executive National Kennel Club level - bring trainers from other countries - travel to different countries to learn from other trainers/behaviourists & attend dog events - write a book on clicker training a dog to be groomed - expand business into own premises & partnership - daycare added to services - move (incl dogs) to UK - build a grooming & training business from scratch at home - another dog passes - obtain an MA degree in Canine Psychology, Behaviour & Training (Middlesex University) - another dog arrives - buy & develop land specifically to use for dogs - another dog passes & another arrives - expand UK business into a shop to include specialist retail, grooming, daycare & training services - the journey continues.........
Tattiana is one of our main groomers and also helps with the daycare dogs when needed, having a wide and varied experience in handling and working with dogs plus a natural way with them she brings an even more expertise to the team. Her experience in living with and caring for her own dogs during her younger years and knowing that animals were her passion she decided to complete animal care courses so that she could focus her love of dogs into a career. Tattiana is a natural carer and the daycare dogs love her playful and fun attitude. Tattiana has recently welcomed an Italian Greyhound called Binky into the family. Tattiana also looks after our social media especially the instagram photos and videos.
SOPHIE BSc Hons (Animal Behaviour)
Although now working as a Behaviour and Training Advisor with Battersea Cats & Dogs Home Sophie is able to continue working with us in our training classes and keeps her hand in when able in other areas of the business including grooming. Sophie has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Animal Behaviour, knowledge and experience gained from working at animal rescue centres and other animal training establishments plus she has either taught or assisted in puppy and adult classes for many years. Sophie has a love of all animals and this shows as she shares her life with her dog Charley, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets. All the dogs love Sophie and with her quiet gentle manner she is able to work her magic on even the most nervous or shy of individuals.
Emily works with us on most Saturdays and during school holidays and is a great asset to the team as she is a grooming assistant as well as a daycarer. Her love of dogs is apparent and she shares her life with her family and their German Short-haired Pointer Scooby and more recently her new working cocker spaniel pup Sophie. Emily has great enthusiasm and the dogs love her fun attitude.
SAM BSc (Animal Behaviour)
Sam mainly looks after our daycare guests but she is delving into both the training and grooming sides as has a degree in Animal Behaviour so takes a keen interest in how the dogs behave and interact. You will often find her playing with the dogs when she is not out and about picking up our guests for the day or delivering them back to their homes. Sam is very experienced with dogs in a daycare situation and the dogs adore her, as does her own pooch Obi.
Poppie is one of our dog groomers but also helps out with the daycare from time to time. When not working with us Poppie is teaching dance and taking part in shows and cabarets. The dogs love her and it is apparent that she adores them too. Poppie shares her life at home with her labrador Rocky.
Ruth has joined us to look after the daycare dogs, with years of experience in working with dogs from her time at Battersea as well as working within a veterinary environment she has a wealth of knowledge. Ruth shares her home with her yorkshire terrier Chloe and is an avid horse rider.
Lauren is one of our main daycarers and has worked in the industry for many years; her love of dogs is obvious and they adore her too. She shares her home with her basset hound Ozzie.