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I'm Alyssa.

A scientist at heart and a dog trainer by design.

I'm on a mission to change how we live with dogs, using a whole-animal approach to help people fall back in love with their dogs and restore harmony to their home. 

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Spending most of my life working with (and living with) aggressive and reactive dogs, there are a few rules I live by

~ Approach EVERY dog and person with kindness and compassion

~ ALWAYS looks at the full picture; every detail matters

~ Training is a lifestyle, not an activity

~ Wanting change means making a change

At A Glance

Here's what you need to know, but you can read on to learn more about the human behind it all.






Full Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the APBC (APBC-CAB) and ABTC (ABTC-CAB)

MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law

PGDip Canine & Feline Nutrition

BSc(Hons) Zoology






Coached hundreds of people to successfully rehabilitate their reactive dogs

Trained >100 assistance dogs

Helped >1000 owners raise puppies into perfect family dogs

Reformed zoo animal management

I had a phobia of dogs when I was a kid. 

Weird, when you consider what I have now dedicated my life to, right?

The journey started for me when I was 7, and my parents decided that, to get me over my fear, our family needed a dog. They brought home the most terrifying yet adorable puppy, an Airedale Terrier called Maisie who loved socks.

And, after a few months, I started to bond with her. All of a sudden, I bloomin' LOVED dogs and everything about them. 


My mum did a stellar job of raising Maisie but, after a few years, she started growling at us. We were told that she was trying to dominate us, to show that she was in charge, and that we needed to keep challenging her to “keep her in her place”. We would be sure to go through doorways before her; eat dinner before her; always win the games of tug.


Things got better for a little bit, but then got so much worse.


It wasn’t until later in her life that we joined up the dots - she had hip

dysplasia, and the growls directed at us were simply her way of trying

to stay pain-free. She was afraid that we would make it hurt, and she was growling to let us know she needed space.


If we’d known this at the start, we would have tackled this growling so differently. But this experience means I now make sure to approach EVERY dog with kindness and compassion.


We can’t ask our dogs how they’re feeling, but it’s our duty, as their family, to work it out and help them to feel as well as they possibly can. This spans every aspect of their well-being, which you can read more about here.


I helped zoo animals lead happier lives

After leaving home, I got my degree in zoology and landed my dream job. I became a Zoo Animal Welfare Advisor, working every day to improve the wellbeing of zoo animals. I worked alongside a team of vets, vet nurses, and animal managers, analysing how these animals behaved, and what that meant about how they were feeling. By guiding environmental and nutritional change, as well as designing training plans, I was able to help these animals become happier and healthier. 

When you're working with such a diverse range of animals, all with their own individual needs and who we know very little about, you become an expert in problem-solving. It opened my eyes to the huge impact of nutrition and environment on our animals' welfare, and I carry this with me to this day. 

I still use this method when I'm working with reactive and aggressive dogs. I will ALWAYS look at the full picture, because every little detail matters.


This way, we can truly tackle the cause of the aggression, rather than the symptom. This gives you and your dog longer-lasting change, so you can live a peaceful life and not worry about the problem coming back. 


I returned to my roots, but with a twist

A little part of me always knew I'd end up back with dogs. And, after a few years of incredible experiences with zoos, I couldn't ignore that little voice inside, telling me to go back. 

There's something so magical about the bond we share with dogs, and I decided to embrace that with both arms - I started training assistance dogs.


This really lit a passion in me for helping both dog and owner thrive together. It's not a case of dog well-being OR human well-being - the two are intertwined and, to unlock a better way of living, we need to support both. 

This was when I created The Energy Rollercoaster, a model which explains how our and our dog's energy levels need to align for us to live happily alongside each other. And, for this to happen, we need to understand that we cannot simply train our dogs in 10 minutes per day. Instead, we need to recognise that training is a lifestyle, not an activity.


We can have a much bigger impact on our dogs by changing small things about how we interact with and live alongside them, rather than only working on training exercises for a minuscule portion of the day. This kind of partnership training is crucial for crafting a truly wonderful companion. 


Then I met Dougal.

In 2018, I knew it was time to grow my family, and bring a dog into my own home. I decided to rescue, and I came across Dougal. 

When I met him, Dougal had been passed from pillar to post, and I was his fifth (and final) home at only 18 months old. He'd bitten multiple times, but the rescue centre couldn't tell me much more than that. 

When it came to me bringing him home, he was emotionally distressed, riddled with fleas, with red-raw skin and covered in muddy matts. It didn't take long for me to discover that this dog struggled to handle anything and everything.


Plastic bags, cardboard boxes, the breeze through a tree on a warm spring day.


Fast dogs, slow dogs, barky dogs, quiet dogs.


Men, women, children, Zimmer frames, pushchairs.


If you can think of it, Dougal would yell at it, charge at it, or run away from it. Every now and again, he would become like a possum and throw himself to the floor instead. 

I gave it some time before actively working on him, thinking he may settle in and grow out of it. But then I realised that if I wanted a change, I had to make a change. I couldn't wait around for him to magically understand the world. I had to help him get there. 

Dougal was, without a doubt, the hardest dog I'd worked with at that point. But he's also been the greatest teacher. 

Because of Dougal, I've learned more than I could ever have imagined. I've tried every training technique under the sun, and discovered what actually works. 

Nowadays, we've crafted a beautiful life together.


And those lessons he taught me? With them under my belt, I've been able to help HUNDREDS of other dogs, just like him, to leave their bad behaviour behind and lead a wonderful life with their humans by their side. 


Join me and other reactive dog owners in a supportive Facebook community

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