Heather Stevens’ mission to educate pet professionals on the Canine Functional Characters


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Can understanding the different functional characters of the dogs you support help you as a pet professional?

Heather Stevens is a dog trainer who is on a mission to educate people in the industry around this topic and she believes it can.

She’d spent her life training dogs and 10 years studying the work of Dr Isla Fishburn around functional characters and helping pet professionals and owners identify the characters of different dogs. 

The process is a little like the Myers-Briggs personality tests you might have taken in the workplace. 

Heather believes this knowledge can help you match the dog you work with to the right activities and environments, improving communication and relationships between the dogs you support.

In this episode, Heather explains about the different characters, how they all work together, and how understanding them can help you as a pet professional.

Listen in on the player link below or head to your favourite podcast provider.

Key topics and timings in this episode:

Episode overview. (0.20)

About Heather and her work in the dog care industry. (2.04)

How Heather came to write a book about the Canine Functional Characters. (4.27)

What the eight functional characters are and the Nanny Guardian, who is an associate character. (6.23)

Heather’s mission and passion for us to have a deeper understanding of our dogs, as regular pet owners and pet professionals. (17.57)

How knowing a functional character of a dog will improve your relationship and understanding. (19.10)

Why Heather wants more pet professionals to know about the different Canine Functional Characters. (26.00)

How it might work for different types of pet professionals. (31.20)

Where you can learn more about Heather’s workshops and how to take part. (36.28)

How to get in touch with Heather. (40.11)

Buy her book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3w4TFfE*

Visit her website for dates and times of workshops: https://www.beyondthebreed.co.uk/

Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beyondthebreed/

Join the Beyond The Breed Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1060551757675722

Learn more about Dr Isla Fishburn: https://kachinacanine.com/

Further listening/reading

Why Jade Statt is on a mission to help homeless pet owners

Why Carla wants every pet owner to be able to have a district nurse to support them

Hannah Capon and her hopes for pet professionals to unite to tackle arthritis in dogs

Marie Yates on why she is helping survivors of sexual violence through Canine Hope


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