Helen Atton

Helen Atton

Canine Behaviourist

Full Member

Helen has worked and lived with dogs for most of her life. She holds an Honours degree in Animal Psychology and Genetics, a PGCE, (working as a teacher at all levels from nursery through to university education) spent some years in IT management, and later became a counsellor and life coach dealing with major life trauma. Having worked part time in the behaviour world for many years Helen finally set up Focused Instruction for Dogs and Owners (F.I.D.O.) (www.fidobehaviour.com) on a full time basis some three years ago.

Her extensive experience of helping clients to deal with diverse life issues as well as a deep appreciation and respect for dogs give her a powerful set of tools to allow her to guide owners in improving their understanding of how their pets think in ways relevant to their own personalities and lifestyles. In this way she works with owners to create realistic and effective strategies to combat and prevent behaviour problems. She has attended many training courses and seminars relating to dog behaviour and human psychology and continues to add to her professional knowledge. Her approach to dog behaviour issues stems from in-depth study not only of the psychology of dogs but that of their owners, and their interdependencies.

She practices through behaviour consultations by veterinary referral or direct, and prefers to visit clients in their own homes in order to better appreciate the issues presented. She also offers one to one and group obedience training for differing experience levels of dogs and socialisation classes for young and under-socialised dogs. Her agility classes, held for fun and exercise, dramatically improve obedience, relationships between dogs and their owners and assist in addressing some behaviour problems.

She is currently working with her local county council to establish funded dog training classes for owners in less privileged areas of the county. She has recently started working with a local family to train their dog as a diabetic alert dog for their young son. She believes that it is important to promote education about dogs in the community and offers advice and guidance at local events, visits schools with her dogs to talk with them about pets and is involved in judging fun dog shows at local and county level all of which help to encourage responsible dog ownership.

In her spare time, she acts as an assessor for Pets as Therapy and also visits a nearby hospital, care home and schools regularly with her own dogs.

Helen has recently started breeding pedigree and pedigree cross puppies as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder.

Helen’s overall philosophy has been developed from the fact that the majority of behavioural problems are hugely influenced by peoples’ preconceptions of what it means to be a good owner. She works to create balance in the relationship between dog and owner and to build on that foundation to overcome and resolve behaviour issues.