Michelle Hayes dog trainer on site in the DSPCA Rathfarnham
Michelle grew up with her older sibling’s pets, so there were always a lot of cats and other small animals in the house. Her sister even had a horse called Mooney for many years.
The one thing that Michelle was missing was a dog of her own.
As soon as she moved into her own house Michelle adopted a young tri-colour Border Collie from the DSPCA. She named him Pacco and the pair were soon inseparable. Unfortunately Pacco was not an easy dog and had many issues.
Far from being put off, finding ways to help him sparked a love of learning in Michelle that has only grown since. Michelle credits Pacco and the many dogs she has had since, as they became some of her greatest teachers.
Michelle spent many years working with her dogs as therapy dogs, visiting various centres and using animal assisted therapy to help improve the lives of people of all ages in care facilities. Michelle is particularly proud of the work she and her dog Shade did with brain injury patients.
Michelle began to volunteer in the DSPCA shelter and it was from there that she joined King of Paws training internship in 2014. The King of Paws Team all mentor and help each other and Michelle would like to thank particularly Head Trainer Nicky Larrigan, Susan O’Neill and Helen O’ Dwyer.
She has been a Canine First Responder for the past six years, has an advanced dog training diploma and has completed the exams to be a professional member of APDT Ireland. When not training she enjoys spending time with her three rescued Border Collies, Shade, Fae and Chance and her Pom cross puppy Benny. Michelle has an addiction to books and going to dog training seminars in her spare time.
Michelle is fascinated by canine communication and wants to help everyone to understand what their dogs are trying to get across to us. Michelle says that she does not ‘command’ a dog when training, but sees that dog as a friend who she is working with and who is teaching her as much as s/he is learning.