FROM FRENCH PASTRY CHEF IN PARIS TO UK DOG TRAINER
How did your puppy’s well-being & safety become my priority? Dogs change our life for the better! Here is my story…
My 1st dog Jason – male Irish Setter and the dog training myths
My name is Isabelle. I am French and have been living in the UK for about 10 years. My English isn’t totally perfect, I confess, but usually, my customers forgive me as I have a cute accent! I am the very happy owner of Goldy, an 11-year-old female Weimaraner and Gigi, a 5-year-old female domestic ginger cat and very soon Gaia, a puppy Weimaraner will join the family!
When I was 21 years old, I got my 1st dog, so quite a long time before Goldy came into my life, and I made some very common mistakes as a 1st dog owner with my puppy Jason, a beautiful Irish Setter. At the time, I knew nothing about dogs, but I thought I knew because in my family we always had dogs (small terriers). Yet, the evidence showed me that I was doing everything wrong with Jason! Poor dog, I wasn’t answering his needs at all and the training I did was based on all the myths that have been conditioned in us since we were born. All the myths you hear and read, written by so-called experts, or watching a TV show, or a friend told you, or your parents were doing things that way, or a neighbour tells you that you have to be the boss of your dog will dominate you. So I ended up with a dog with no manners, no recall at all, frustrated and unhappy. He was starting to show signs of aggressiveness towards me, but I didn’t know at all that it was because he had too much frustration and not enough exercise. I didn’t know the life I was offering him wasn’t at all the life he needed and deserved… so the vet suggested neutering him to solve the problem! 28 years ago, dog training wasn’t as known as today. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to correct my mistakes, asking for help from a professional as he passed away during his operation of castration at 3 years old. From this terrible experience, I have learned that if you want a dog, you need to be responsible and take the time to learn how to teach everything properly to your dog. I then promised myself that when I would be ready for another dog, I would take 121 training sessions to teach everything to my dog, learn how to communicate with a dog and how to make a dog feel safe and happy. 18 years later, I was ready to have another dog and this time to make it right, being guided by a professional. I took a full package of training courses from day one, the day Goldy entered her new home! Every day since then, I have taken time for her and there is not one day that she doesn’t make me smile!
Before changing my life for better and becoming a dog trainer myself, I used to be a Cooking & Pastry Chef for over 20 years. But first, I have to tell you that I graduated from the International Business School (IEA) in Paris. I travelled to Brazil (yes, I speak fluently Portuguese as my nanny was Portuguese) and all over Europe for my internships and I also did a Licence in Psychology from the Université de Medecine Paris V. Starting my career in the 90s, as an Export Manager for a producer of organic delicatessen food. However, my family being in the cooking & restaurant business for more than a century, I grew up in the kitchen of the famous Brasserie “Les Gaufres” in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris, created by my great-great-grandfather in 1875. Quite quickly, I decided to quit international business and open my own Salon de thé/Restaurant in the 6th district of Paris, opposite the Palais de Justice on the riverside of the Seine. Indeed cooking was in my blood! So I did a cooking class with the famous school “Ecole Lenôtre” in Paris and became a chef. After building a nice business, I sold it and went to live in Israel for 1 year (I had an Israeli boyfriend! Love makes us do unbelievable things sometimes, doesn’t it?!), where I learned a bit of Hebrew, before coming back to Paris (we broke up with my boyfriend!) and opening a Private chef business and creating cooking & pastry classes for kids from 3 to 12 years’ old. Then I had the opportunity to move to London.
I had a great career as a chef and enjoyed it but I needed a change and love the challenge of learning new things (as you might gather from my varied career) and for something that will allows me to spend more time with my dog and was looking for a healthier life, closer to true values and nature.
So… One day of spring (always the best season for new plans!) I was enjoying a walk in the park with my dog, fed up with working for billionaire people, who have no respect for others and treat you like furniture (Oups! You are billionaire… well I am sure they aren’t all like that!), and suddenly my dog looked at me and she told me (yes, my dog speaks – I’m sure yours as well, right?) “why don’t you become a Dog Walker? This way, you won’t leave me with someone you barely know and trust…
So, I clearly sensed my dog’s wishes… Did you ever experience that feeling as if a little light switches on in your brain and you can see clearly what was in the shade? Right? Yes! I am going to become a Dog Walker. So the first step was learning about canine science before quitting my job as a private chef here in London. Then starting as a Dog Walker to gain experience with all kind of dogs – then becoming a Dog Trainer as well as a Behaviourist… and the next step? I will let you know soon… maybe writing books to share what I have learned and help more dog owners avoid the same mistakes I made in the past.
This is how my dog, Goldy, gave me the idea during an afternoon of Spring and the positive energy to change my life for the better and start all over at 43 years old to become a Modern Dog Trainer. I really had to start from the ground up again – I didn’t even have a car (still don’t have one – I like the idea of saving the planet from a disaster!) and was renting a studio in South Kensington. Do you remember the time you had a student job to pay your studies? Well, this is what you have to go through sometimes to make your dreams become true! So, at the beginning, to help pay the bills, I started a student job, working in a pub (The Anglesea Arms) at night washing glasses. Just in case my new business wouldn’t work as fast as I wanted or needed. In this way, I had time during the day to do my walks and study to become a dog trainer!
I will remember forever my first customer. It was spring again, I was in my little studio, studying my canine 1st Aid course, body language and perfect puppy IMDT courses when the phone rang: “hi! Are you Izzy? I got your leaflet at the bakery shop I am looking for a dog walker!” You cannot imagine! I was jumping of happiness in my little rented studio with no more job, no car… but one customer! The most important I had it already… my dog and my cat to motivate me. Such a great feeling when you work hard to create a new business and suddenly it takes shape; the seeds you have planted are growing into a beautiful plant. But there was still a long way to go.
I distributed my business cards to all the shops and vets in south Ken and around and handing it to people with a dog in the park – it was horrible for me to do that as I am a bit shy. It felt as if I didn’t have the right to do that, as I had no experience yet! However, it was a good experience as that made me realise that people with a dog already had a dog walker. So I understood that to develop my business my target was: puppies! Such a great discovery, as this is what I love to work on and what I am good at PUPPY TRAINING!
Very quickly, I had enough customers to be able to stop the pub job and start with puppy training. Never stopping studying to obtain more and more dog training qualifications.
A few years ago, I moved to Fulham in a 2-bedroom flat to be able to evolve from simple dog walk to professional day care and boarding, with the Qualification OCNLR Level 3 Award in Professional Day Care & Boarding.
I have learned all my new skills with the IMDT – Institute of Modern Dog Trainers with dog training certificates accredited by OCN and I became the qualified puppy expert that I am today thanks to my hard work, my tenacious motivation supported by my dog & my cat, thanks to my amazing mentors and teachers Steve Mann, David Brice (to name only 2 of them) but also thanks to my amazing and unique customers who have trusted and supported me from the beginning!
Currently, I’m undertaking the IMDTB Behaviourist Qualification accredited by OCN.
I have moved to Surrey – Camberley recently and seeing how happier the doggies were when having the opportunity to have a weekly break in the countryside, I have created “Izzy Puppy Country Club”, your dog’s 1st choice for a dream day-care; allowing your dog to reconnect with nature and wildness scents which is essential to answer your dog’s needs and have a well-behaved dog. “Izzy Puppy Country Club” is a premium all-in-one formula: adventure walks, training, and best care.
I feel so fulfilled with all the puppy owners I have helped so far! Jason and Goldy guided me to where I am today, and now my destiny is to help you all to start from the right paw, learning about the latest updated training methods that are scientifically proven. To help you to choose the right dog for you, be ready to welcome your puppy, build a strong bond with your puppy, build your puppy’s confidence, keep your puppy safe, teach the dog manners at home and outside, and train your puppy to feel happy to be left alone, in sum, take the best care of your dog throughout his life.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL MY CUSTOMERS; I am very lucky our paths have crossed. Without you and your puppy, all this wouldn’t be possible.
- Career as a dog trainer
- Canine 1staid
- Perfect puppy
- Practical instructor
- The consultation
- Body language
- Resource Guarding
- Separation Anxiety
- Noise, Sensitivity & phobia
- Impulse control
- Abnormal repetitive behaviours
- Predatory Motor Pattern
- Aggression, Management & Rehabilitation
- Abnormal, Repetitive Behaviour
- Membership assessment (in progress)
- Qualification OCNLR Level 3 Award in Professional Day Care & Boarding
- IMDTB Behaviourist Qualification accredited by OCN (in progress)
SOCS – School of Canine Science – UK
- The Puppy Lab
- 30 Days of Canine Science
- Behaviour Bible: Full 3-Year Course
Separation Anxiety with Moira Hechenleitner
- Do It Yourself Separation Anxiety Program
- Separation Anxiety Shadowing – First Season
- Separation Anxiety Shadowing – Second Season
- Separation Anxiety Shadowing – Third Season
- TRAPPED – The effects of Captivity on the Modern Pet Dog with Kim Brophey’s