Dawn of a new age for dogs

Dawn Ferguson and her dog Katie
Dawn Ferguson and her dog Katie

A dog trainer is making tracks for India, hoping to follow a path that leads to canine enlightenment.

Dawn Ferguson, of Airth, has been a dog lover most of her life and has now turned her passion into a business, starting up as a dog trainer/groomer.

Her quest to become a true dog guru has led to her signing up for a 20-day course in the Indian village of Nilshi with world-renowned dog trainer John Rogerson.

She said: “I was initially going to enrol on John Rogerson’s correspondence course, which would help me work towards becoming a Kennel Club Accredited Trainer.

“I e-mailed John and told him a bit about myself and he asked if I would like to go on his course in India due to my past experience.”

So Dawn is off in the new year to learn from the master, along with 26 other students from all over the world.

“We’ll be learning more about how dogs think,” said Dawn. “Dealing with dog-to-dog aggression, dog-to-human aggression, numerous problems and how to run a first-class training school.”

Dawn has been working with dogs for almost 30 years, showing Dobermans and competing in working trials, winning the prize for best Doberman in the UK in 1995.

She also spent time training other people’s dogs, sorting out problems like aggression and barking.

She said: “Friends always asked why I never started training classes after having such good results with one-to-one training. I’ve always wanted to have a full-on career with dogs and dreamed of owning a grooming business.

“However, family commitments and working life never seemed to give me the time and I was also scared to even take the plunge out of my comfort zone.”

After the death of her parents three years ago, Dawn began taking the first steps to realising her dreams.

She said: “I enrolled on a grooming course with Agnes Murphy’s Scotgroom school in Carluke and loved every minute of it, even the naughty dogs.”

From there Dawn started her Pawfection grooming business, which is now steadily adding new clients, and her first dog training classes started this week at Throsk Community Centre.

She said: “It’s a great venue because we not only have a great hall, but fields and space outside to do other stuff like tracking, searches and agility. I will also be running educational seminars, getting specialists in to give talks.

“I am never happier than when I’m surrounded by dogs, so this is a dream come true.”