Aedan Locke – Work Experience, Dogs and me.
I’ve always been living with a dog as far back as I can remember. They have been there when I needed them most – and because of that I wanted to understand why, and work experience gave me the perfect opportunity to do that.
During these two weeks, I have been walking with and spending time with dogs, and learning how to walk with them without them pulling, and learning how to do paperwork and use websites etc.
I have been working on The Dog’s BFF Course and I then received The Dog’s BFF Award, which was fantastic, and I learned a lot about Positive Force-free training methods, dog’s body language, the life stages of a dog, and how to teach good doggy manners too. This is important for creating a lifelong trustful bond with your dog.
To then be made a lifelong Friend of INTODogs by Andrew was absolutely incredible – just think.. ME.. being part of such an amazing association that works with those furry friends that I have lived alongside for nearly all my life! That is an honour.
INTODogs works solely in Positive and Force-free training, something I whole heartedly believe in, as other methods can rely on “Dominance Theory”, which seems horrible in my mind – yet many people fail to see that. Thankfully now I am a member of a great association that never uses dominance methods. This is brilliant as now our dogs can be confident and trust us never to hurt them, but instead reward them with treats, toys and praise for good behaviour – much nicer!
Also important throughout my work experience has been my trip to the Dog’s Trust rescue centre in Snetterton. It’s when we have seen dogs who have had negative experiences that we might see the effects of mistreating our dogs and of using dominance methods. Some of these dogs might be very cautious towards potential new owners (that are innocent and loving) as previous owners were perhaps not so kind and loving, or just unable to care for their dogs any more, which makes the dogs very sad and confused. This should not be the case and so I decided to sponsor a dog because I want them to lead a good life – every dog deserves that chance.
I guess I want to end this off with a message for other people like me. I was diagnosed with Autism, Dyspraxia and Tourette’s Syndrome, and I find many things hard. But I still went out there and grasped this opportunity to be around dogs with both hands, as just because there are a few things that are different about me, doesn’t mean I couldn’t do anything I put my mind to – and I want to make life better for dogs.