Pet Professional Accreditation Board
Companion Animal Sciences Institute
Delta Society (now Institute)
Learning About Dogs
HBA Learning Centre
Board Member of
Debra was born in Adelaide, South Australia where she happily resides with her husband and her two wonderful canine teachers Mace the Bouvier des Flandres and Roux the rescue Griffon Bruxellois. Deb’s first dog, Scruffy, a Border Collie mix was part of her family before she was born and there have been very few months since that time that she has been without a dog.
Having spent 40 years training, dogs, 13 years as an obedience judge and many years in formal canine studies, Deb has a passion for helping others to better understand dogs and how to train them. Establishing her own training centre in 1979 back in the days when aversive training was the only way known in Australia, she was ahead of her time in seeking out new and better ways of building relationships with dogs. Travelling to the UK and Europe enabled her to learn new techniques and the wonderful world of force-free training revealed itself to her. There was no going back to the old ways.
Attaining a Diploma in Dog Training and Behavior Consulting and another in Animal Behavior Science and Technology she consolidated her theoretical skills in gaining perfect scores in the Competency Assessment Program (CAP) Levels 1& 2.
She spent two years as Director of Animals on Course (a registered training organisation within the Australian educational framework), developing educational packages for Animal Studies and Companion Animal Services programs.
She currently is the international Assessor for the practical component of the Pet Professional Accreditation Board’s Canine Training Technician – Accredited (CTT-A) and the Professional Canine Trainer – Accredited (PCT-A).
Debra has spoken at the Pet Professional Guild’s Inaugural Education Summit in Tampa FL and the New Zealand Inaugural Association of Pet Dog Trainers Education Meeting in Wellington. She has also spoken at the Australian Association of Pet Dog Trainers Meetings in Sydney and Melbourne and the 2016 Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) - Animal Welfare Seminar in Melbourne. Debra has run (and still does run) many workshops, both nationally and internationally covering topics such as canine body language, how to choose which dog is right for you, cross-over workshops for those transitioning to +R methods, further education workshops on pet dog manners classes and CAP preparation workshops.
Debra chairs the Australian Committee that created the Pet Professional Guild’s international Pet Dog Ambassador Program which was launched in May 2016. She is on the Lead by Example Campaign Committee for the South Australian (SA) Branch of the RSPCA and has been working with the RSPCA and the SA Dog and Cat Management Board to help better educate the team in this government department with regards to best practice in current dog training.
Debra is currently the Head Instructor of Canine Behavioural School Inc (CBS), a volunteer dog training facility run by professional dog trainers. Over the last several years she has created the CBS Aspiring Instructor program that educates future dog trainers, allowing them to gain experience under the tutelage of professional trainers. This program now attracts people from all over the state and has been instrumental in teaching cross over trainers the ways of force free training.
Although Deb is slowly relinquishing some of her practical dog training pursuits, her interest remains in education and ensuring that as many dogs as possible come under the care and guidance of trainers who have been taught, tested and found competent in force-free training techniques.