Offering a range of pet care and training services
around the Cambourne area since January 2017, ‘The Dog Lady’ is owned and run
by Vickie Arkesden.
Over the last 20 years there has in dog training and behaviour been more instant ‘experts’ arriving on the scene
than ever before, some offering their services for large fees with just a
couple of courses behind them, having never owned a dog but gaining a string of letters behind their name.
Dog training and behaviour management is an
hands on skill not something that can be learnt going on courses and reading a
few book, so it’s a pleasure to recommend Vickie who has 23 years hands on
experience and has gained a wealth of
knowledge in practical training for everyday living with your dog. For those that need a little extra mental
stimulation she can also offer advice on further, more formal training in
obedience and agility but her aim is to make living with your dog fun,
practical and rewarding!
Right from the moment you think about
getting a puppy or young dog, she can provide advice and help based on many
years’ experience as a dog owner and trainer.
From pre-purchase puppy advice to early training before their
vaccination course is complete, she can give you practical advice on how to set
up your home to accommodate the new addition and help you create a
routine. For those active breeds’ she
can also help with basic training to give you a head start before you join a
class! How impressive would that be!
Her approach to training is positive and
practical. Not every method works for
every dog and owner and this Vickie will discuss with you and then adapt any
training or routine to suit you, adjusting things If needed along the way to
suit the personality of your dog. Alan
About Vickie....'The Dog Lady'!
My name is Vickie and I have had a love of
animals for as long as I can remember! I
grew up around rabbits, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters and budgies but I remember
approaching my teens and longing for a dog.
At the time, it wasn’t practical as a family to have one but I do
remember seeing a litter of red cocker spaniels in a pet shop (long gone are
those days thankfully!) and knew that one day I would have a canine companion
in my house. Every time my uncle came to
visit with his Golden Retriever I would spend ages just sitting and holding his
lead in my Nan and Grandad’s garden and it felt completely natural.
wasn’t until my early teens and my sister left home that Mum and Dad decided it
was time to get a dog and along came our first 4-legged friend, a Dalmatian
called Molly! She was a beautiful dog
who taught us so much. When she was
still young we found ourselves also rehoming a Border Collie pup from a family
friend whose circumstances had changed quite suddenly and they were no longer
able to keep him. This dog, Chaz, became
my challenge! At the age of 15, I
started taking him to training classes at CCEG (www.cceg.co.uk)
with my mum and Molly and very soon I became part of the furniture! I obedience trained him, went to agility
classes and taught him a few tricks too.
I went on to help out with puppy classes and became an instructor in my teens. I'm now a senior instructor with CCEG, Alan continues to challenge ideas and current
theories with myself and other instructors which allows development of training
styles to be questioned so we don’t become complacent in our methods!
Since that time of early dog ownership, I
have absorbed all I can about canine behaviour and training through college, books,
television programmes, dog magazines, dog shows (big and small) as well as
working alongside and training with outstanding trainers. I learnt handling and grooming techniques
through work experience in local groomers, have worked in boarding and training
kennels and became a trainer with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Along the way I have experienced how many
different breeds tick; from what they are communicating and feeling to how they
like to ‘work’. I have now 23 years in
hands on experience in practical working with and living with dogs. I have
instructed others for a majority of that time too with great results. I have
lived with all sorts of breeds from that very first Dalmatian and Border Collie
to Whippets, a Labrador, Working Cocker Spaniel, Cockerpoo and more recently a
Griffon Fauve de Bretagne.
Over time I have worked through a range of
techniques in training which has changed in thoughts and theories over the
years to find a place that is comfortable for me and that is right for the
owner and dog that I am working with. In
my opinion, there is no one way fits all, as a boisterous Boxer will need
different handling to a timid Maltese. I
will always use positive reinforcement methods however, as I find this does get
the best results but I don’t feel you need to ‘train’ every single behaviour
you are after as this isn’t always practical, so body language and verbal
communication is incorporated as well to achieve the results you are
after. Of course, I would always speak
to you in the first instance and will always carry out an assessment at the
start of any training visit to see what the relationship is between you and
your dog and to establish what you are after as a result. I can then offer you recommendations and we
would work together to agree on a training programme.
I will not give email consultations as I
find this is too general but I may suggest some recommended reading to start
you off on the right track and to help expand what we do in our sessions. After a session, if needed, I will email a
summary of points that we go through as I find there can be quite a lot of
information to take in to begin with!
As ‘The Dog Lady’, I also offer pet sitting
of other species. My background in small
pet care is not only from growing up with a menagerie of small pets but also
from working in a Pet Shop, running the small animal unit at a local teaching
college and working in Veterinary Practice, most recently gaining a Veterinary
Care Assistant qualification. I am happy
to look after most species including, birds, rodents and reptiles but I may
draw the line at Tarantulas!
'Offering Pet Care In Experienced Hands'
Summary of Qualifications
City and Guilds National Diploma in Animal
City and Guilds in Pet Store Management
COAPE Puppy Class Instructor
Hills Pet Nutrition Advisor
City and Guilds Level 2 Veterinary Care
British Sign Language Level 1
Senior Instructor with CCEG
Vickie was absolutely brilliant
when we needed some help with training our puppy. She was so supportive and
patient even when things got a bit tough for us. Vickie was always willing to
help both in the 1:1 sessions and over the phone. She's got a wealth of
knowledge and experience and is such a lovely person! We could not have managed
without her help. Thank you so so much Vickie!X
Very happy with the service. My
puppy loves the walks and playtime with Vickie.
You are amazing!!! We already feel so much more confident and calm...who knows what the night will bring but with all
we've learnt today we're certainly on are way up!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
The magic of you is that you remind
dog owners that a) they can do it and b) to remain calm and collected….. Everyone is much happier!