© 2019 Petra Edwards. 

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Building Better Behaviour: Force Free

About me

I've been training dogs professionally since the age of 12 and have worked extensively as an instructor for both private and volunteer-based organisations. 

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide where I am investigating how dogs experience their veterinary visits, and strategies that can be used to facilitate stress-free visits.


I love tailoring my approach to each unique situation.  I ensure that my training and management plans and educational programs are practical, realistic and specific to you. 

Few people have the time or energy to devote hours per day to training or changing behaviour, so I will work with you to ensure both your pet's needs and yours are met.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic Qualifications

PhD Candidate (Animal Science) (Current)

Bachelor of Science (Animal Behavior)

Hons. (Animal Science)

Cert IV (Training & Assessment)

Professional Certifications

Professional Canine Trainer - Accredited (PCT-A) (Pet Professional Accreditation Board)

Fear Free Certified Professional

CAP 1 & 2 (Clicker Training Competency Assessment Programme)

TAG Teach Primary Certification

Employment background

  • Dog behavioural trainer and instructor  (2007-Current)

  • Seminar presenter on behaviour and training (2015 - Current)

  • Beach Education Officer (AMO), City of Charles Sturt Council (2015-Current)

  • Course tutor and demonstrator, Principles in Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics, University of Adelaide (2015-Current)

  • Kong Advisor (training and enrichment education) (2016-Current)

  • Dogwise Tutor, WEA (2017-Current)

  • Seminar Co-Host (Collaboration with Nic Bishop, Behaviourtects) (2017-Current)

 

Scientific Publications

Edwards et al. 2019, 'Fearful Fido: Investigating dog experience in the veterinary context in an effort to reduce distress', Applied Animal Behaviour Science, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.02.009 

Professional Development​​

Highlights of the last few years

  • PPG Summit (2018)

  • Learning Safari, Wouter Stellaard (2018)

  • Becoming a Proficient Professional Seminar Series, Petra Edwards & Nic Bishop (2018)

  • CAP Workshop, Deb Millikan (2017)

  • Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Aus) Conference (2017)

  • Terry Ryan Chicken Camps (2017)

  • Shaping Workshop, Peta Clarke (2017)

  • Bob Bailey Down Under (2017)

  • K9 Noseworks Seminar, Peta Clarke & Marion Brand (2016)

  • PPG Educational Summit Conference, USA (2015)

  • Contemporary Animal Training and Management, Natural Encounters Inc., USA (2015)

  • Living and Learning with Animals, Susan Friedman (2015)

  • Animal Training Seminar for Zoological Professionals, Shedd Aquarium, USA (2015)

My training approach

I use positive reinforcement (rewarding behaviour we want to see more of), without the use of aversive consequences or physical compulsion to build better behaviour. Positive reinforcement is well established in the scientific literature as an effective and compassionate training method with no observed behavioural fallout.

We can work together to find ways positive reinforcement will work for you.

Remember we are teaching animals brand new and unnatural skills (e.g. don't chase, bark, or pull on lead) in a language that they don't speak - it's important that we are patient while we teach them the ropes. After all, their quality of life is reflected by how well we care for them.

Training assistants

My partner Chris and I share in life's adventures with two gorgeous Rottweilers. Gus and Gwen are so fun to learn from and to teach, and make us laugh every day. They help keep me mindful, grateful and in the present. I hope every pet parent is able to share such a strong and trusting relationship with their dogs - one of the many wonderful reasons I'm in the industry.