Meet the Team
Founder & Animal Behaviourist
Laura has spent ten years working in veterinary practice as a registered veterinary nurse and has always had a passion for how animals think and feel.
Being a strong believer in up to date theoretical knowledge, over the years she has completed accredited qualifications in behaviour and training including an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour and achieved Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) status. This qualification is only awarded to people who have proved their ability to be professional, effective, humane and considerate to both animal and owner, whilst taking a tailored and measured approach to each individual case. Taking a more clinical approach to behaviour change means Laura looks at all factors that could influence behaviour, considering health, diet, learning, experiences, neurochemistry and the biology of stress responses.
Laura’s professional experience includes puppy socialisation classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced dog training, gun dog training,, scent work and behaviour consulting. Laura believes all training should be fun for both human and animal. We understand how stressful it can be to have a training or behaviour problem, and take a sympathetic and approachable stance to resolving issues. A veterinary nursing background has provided a good grounding in nutrition and medical factors which may affect behaviour, and Laura prides in a good working relationship with a number of veterinary practices.
Laura believes that horses need to understand what is required of them, be motivated to listen to their human and feel safe, comfortable and happy about this. Using the ‘Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) approach, horse training should be a calm and joyful experience. Many horses ‘misbehave’ due to poor training leading to fear or confusion, insensitive handling, inappropriate management and living conditions and health issues. It is the job of a behvaiourist to untangle the web and understand what is driving behaviour and then how to change it for the better, improving safety and welfare.
Laura believes that the behaviour and training industry should be regulated just as veterinary nursing and other medical and counselling professions are. Currently, it is not a legal requirement to subscribe to a professional organisation or follow any sort of code of conduct. However, Laura is affiliated with the organisations below, supporting industry regulation.
- Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB)
- Full member Association Pet Dog Trainers (01184)
- Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Accredited Practitioner
- Full member The Canine Training and Behaviour Society
- Full member Association Pet Behaviour Counsellors
- Scentwork UK instructor and Judge
Membership of these organisations means Laura has undertaken extensive theoretical and practical assessment to prove that she possess the skills and knowledge required to apply training techniques based on up to date, researched, methods, whilst being empathic and considerate of the animal and owners emotional state.
Laura is covered by professional indemnity cover and public liability insurance.
Sam has been a reward-based dog trainer for over ten years. She has worked as a tutor on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Instructors Course as well as running her own dog daycare and training business. Prior to joining the Minds Alike team Sam worked for Dog Trust, initially as the Training and Behaviour Adviser at their West London Rehoming Centre and then as an Education and Community Officer visiting schools to educate children on dog safety and ownership.
Sam’s professional experience includes puppy socialisation classes, beginner, intermediate and advanced dog training. Sam runs classes for Minds Alike Animal Training and Behaviour, as well as providing 121 training sessions.
- Full member Association Pet Dog Trainers (01177)
- Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Dog Training Instructor
Membership of these organisations means that Sam has undertaken a written and practical exam illustrating that she possess the skills and knowledge required to apply training techniques based on up to date, researched, methods, whilst being empathetic and considerate of the animal’s emotional state.
Sam is covered by professional indemnity cover and public liability insurance.