Career with canines is the ultimate reward for this Fairy Dogmother
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Gemma with her English Spriner Spaniel, Ozzy, named after Chelsea legend Peter Osgood.
STARTING up a business at any time is a daunting experience, but this is exactly what one 20-year-old who is still in education and is holding down a part-time job, has done.
Gemma Knight, from Bracknell, has always had a passion for animals and she is currently studying a distance learning course in Canine Behaviour and Training at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire.
Inbetween travelling north twice a month for practical lessons and tests, and working at clothes shop, Republic, in Reading, Gemma has set up Fairy Dogmother, a dog and owner training business.
From a young age Gemma had a passion for animals that was clear for everyone around her to see and she says that has helped her in working towards her goals.
Gemma said: "Everyone always used to say I was going to be a wildlife ranger or a vet or something similar. At school I knew what I wanted to do for work experience so I worked at a vets for two weeks and the rest followed on from there."
Now studying at Bishop Burton, Gemma is enjoying combining her learning time with real-life and practical experience.
The start of her own business has was a logical progression, Gemma said: "It came about by training one of my friend's dogs, which was successful, and I just thought why don't I do more of this alongside my course? I have started training one dog who always barks when the doorbell goes so I have been able to try out some techniques and they are working well.
"It is scary because I am only 20-years-old. I go into people's houses and as well as training their animals, I am also training adults. But they realise I know my stuff and it is really rewarding and great to see it working. "It gives me the confidence to carry on. It is daunting but that is why I am taking it slowly, going to build up testimonials and see where it goes from there."
Gemma has recently started offering hour long sessions at people's homes where she trains not just the dog, but the owners in how to deal with their pet.
Gemma said: "I believe it isn't the breed, it's the deed. Owners have a big influence on their dog and its behaviour so I work with both."
On advice for others who have similar ambitions to follow their passion at a young age Gemma says: "Don't let anyone knock you back. If you know what you want to do then go for it. In the past I had tutors telling me to do something else and focus on all animals for example even though I was clearly saying I wanted to focus just on dogs and specialise in that. I knew what I wanted to do and that is the most important thing."
For more information on the training that Gemma offers contact her on 07769 691 804 or email email@example.com
This article appeared in Peeblesshire News 27 Sep 11
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