4-Legs-Good Community Interest Company (CIC) offers specialist advice and kind, reward-based solutions to a range of animal behaviour problems in and around the Midlands.
You can read more about the people behind 4-Legs-Good here:- Claire Kirby, Lesley Thompson and Deb Gallimore - as well as the dogs that help us out!
Moreover, you can find out more about our fantastic facilities and why you should choose us.
Vets, if you are thinking of referring to us, you have your own section, click here for more info.
Having been controlled and manipulated by a larger than life Collie-X for about 12 years, I decided that enough was enough and studied for an Advanced Study Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling (AS/Dip CABC) at Southampton University. Since graduating in 2004, I have been training dogs and sorting out pet behaviour problems in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the West Midlands and the Welsh Borders.
I gained full membership of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) in 2007 and I am currently on the APBC committee. I was made a full member of The Canine Behaviour & Training Society (TCBTS) in 2010. Having achieved the prerequisite qualifications and experience, I was awarded the honour of describing myself as a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist by Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) in 2011. As such, some clients will be able to claim my fee depending upon their insurer and policy.
I have recently been employed as a visiting lecturer at Harper Adams University to deliver lectures on the Animal Welfare and Behaviour BSc. They also employ me to undertake some consultancy work for them within the animal behaviour industry. I regularly attend workshops and seminars to keep up-to-date with new developments in the field.
At the moment, I live with two dogs, a cat and several guinea pigs (as well as my human family) in Shrewsbury.
I have been instructing since 1988,commencing assisting at pet dog classes in 1984. I founded ‘Special Friends’ in 2008, dog walking and one-to-one training in the home, and started pet-dog classes in 2009. My classes were GCDS listed and covered the areas of Newton Aycliffe / Darlington in County Durham.
I have been involved in Competitive Obedience since 1984 as a handler, judge and steward. I currently compete with Kibo (Working Sheepdog bitch) in Novice and A obedience, and Advanced HTM.
Alf a rehomed prison drugs dog (Working sheepdog) also competed and been placed in Agility. As a KC Obedience judge, I have also examined for the GCDS since 2008 Bronze to Gold.
A member of Pet Dog Training Instructors for five years, gaining my Advanced Instructors award in 2012 and also involved as a course tutor/assessor for three years. In conjunction with PDTI I gained a Harper Adams University Diploma (level 5) in Canine Training and Behavioural Management in 2013. This academic study and peer support have given structure and helped to underpin the knowledge gained through my practical experience. I now understand the theory behind the techniques I have been using and how to apply them more effectively.
I am currently undertaking a degree course at Harper Adams University, BSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare, which Claire lectures on.
I love watching the bond grow between the dog and owner, as they begin to understand each other through the pet dog training, it can be the start of a wonderful relationship.
My past life experiences include working for local authority, a local newspaper, also Breast Cancer Care, delivering talks and presentations, teaching horse riding and windsurfing, before starting my own business, also a foster carer to teenage girls,. I have raised money for many charities with London marathons, Great North runs, abseiling, trekking to Everest Base camp, climbing Kilimanjaro and in 2013 cycling Land’s End to John O’Groats in 9 days.
I have been involved in a dog training in various roles for over 20 years, although my passion for animals and especially dogs has been with me for as long as I can remember.
Along with instructing pet handling classes I have been in demonstration teams at Crufts on several occasions, with the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme, I have competed successfully in Agility with both GSD'S and other breeds of dog and am an Agility Club Approved Instructor ACAI (1st class). I am also a full member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) member no 01189. I am currently in the third year of a three year degree in Canine Behaviour and Training and hope to graduate next year.
I have been a member of the Kennel Clubs Assured Breeder Scheme since 2006 when I began breeding, first German Shepherds, and more recently Leonbergers and Working Cocker Spaniels. Puppy development is an area of huge interest to me I believe breeders have an wonderful opportunity to give puppies a great start in life and I enjoy living up to that belief and raising confident well-adjusted puppies that go on to be confident well-adjusted adults. I believe in staring off on the right foot and offer one off new puppy/ rescue dog visits either prior to or just after a new dog or puppy arrives home. Setting you up for success.
Nutrition is another area of interest to me and with my own dogs, puppies and clients dogs I always consider what is going in and firmly believe there is a link between behaviour and diet. I am a great believer in the benefits of a raw diet for your dog. I have been feeding raw for around 10 years and I can honestly say that my dogs have never been healthier and happier. As a breeder I wean all my puppies, large and small, directly onto raw and have never encountered anything but great results.
During my dog training career so far I have learned much from many different teachers, both human and canine and am proud to say that I continue to do so to this day. There is always something to be learned from every situation if you are able to sit back, listen and observe, this side of me enjoys the quiet observation required when learning about complementary therapies such as Tellington Touch and Essential Oil Therapy for animals.
Why choose 4-Legs-Good?
Currently in the UK anyone can practise as a pet behaviour counsellor whether they have any qualifications and experience or not. However, there are moves afoot to put pressure on government to regulate the profession. The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABT Council) is a recently formed regulatory body that represents animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists to both the public and to legislative bodies. It sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer or animal behaviour therapist, and it maintains a national register of appropriately qualified animal trainers and animal behaviourists. The ABT Council imposes a minimum degree standard and supervised experience to practice as a behaviourist. Insurance and an annual CPD (Continuing Professional Development) requirement is expected from the membership bodies.
The APBC, TCBTS (formerly UKRCB) and ASAB are affiliated to the council and members of these organisations fulfill the ABT Council criteria. Claire Kirby is a member of all three of these organisations and registered with the ABT Council.
Exemplary feedback from our clients indicate they are appreciative of someone having the time to listen to them and to deal with their pets' problems. We can offer years of experience, well-qualified, empathic behaviourists, and great facilities. We are able to provide you with the tools and the time you need to develop thorough behaviour treatment plans that are suitable for your pet's individual circumstances. We employ effective, kind, reward-based techniques to resolve behaviour problems in different animal species.
If you choose a properly qualified behaviourist, your insurance company might pay the bill, which is another good reason for choosing 4-Legs-Good*!
*NB: Four legs aren't required! No matter your pet's shape or size, contact us for further information.