Who is behind doglinks.co.nz?
Doglinks began early
in 2002 when the author decided to shift careers and head towards
animal care. My dog, Holmes, persuaded me to take him to dog
training every morning for a year. He learned how to find a
objects (and me) by smelling his way, grab a few objects from inside a
square and bring them to me (although he needed to chew them
before attempting to hand them over), walk at a heel, stand
in the middle of a paddock for 2 minutes... just because I told
him to :), jump over hurdles, insides of tunnels, weave around
poles and send him off and redirect him to the left and right
and to sit down when I told him to. He did all this for me for
a few treats (and because he loves me (grin) ). We did lots
together. He mostly understood me, and I learned to talk dog!
|"Why do you say 'woof'
Holmes?" I asked
" Dunno," he said. "It's something my family
has always said!"
My name is Natalie
Perzylo, and I'm a dog lover! I was born in Canada and immigrated
to Christchurch in 1996. Two months later, Holmes came into
my life. Blair, my partner, taught me everything I needed to
know about raising a dog as he has had 6 or 7 dogs in his life--
all well-behaved, and loved. The first day we met, he told me
the heart-breaking story of his dog named Sol. He knew how to
get through to a girl's heart!
Once I learned I
was going to take the dog training course at the Polytechnic
in Christchurch, I started reading all sorts of books about
dogs. I figured I'd get a head start.
BOOKS -- Just
some that I've read....
The most revealing,
thought provoking book that I've read about the origins of dog
is by Coppinger. Dogs:
A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and
Then I found out
from Stanley Coren who wrote many books about dogs and has a
TV show. He's a professor from UBC (University of British Columbia)
in Canada. The one that impressed me the most was The Intelligence
of Dogs. I knew my lad was up there in the smarts... He
also wrote How
to Speak Dog
Other books include
Social Lives of Dog by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas,
and a book written by a single woman who got a dog for companionship
but the dog became her life. She wrote about how the dog transformed
her life. She started to stay home and not go out because of
she didn't want to leave her dog alone! I can't remember the
name, but it hit a cord with me.
The Dog Whisperer
by Paul Owens is another one of those gems..
Other books are
about training... Karen
Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog, the 101 things
you can do with a clicker, Clicker
Training for Obedience by Morgan Spector, Karen Pryor
So You're Dog is not Lassie was written for me! Definitely!
Holmes is an independent thinker, and takes quite a bit of convincing
to get him to do silly things like having an interest in a dumbell
and bringing it to me (that was an achievement!). Betty
Fisher, the author, convinced and reassured me that
my dog will do the tricks and to not get frustrated. A great
book for me. Without
her, I would have had a hard time completing my dog training
Relevant Life History
My background is
a teacher, and so dog training actually taught me a lot in terms
of understanding the 'now' of life. Many of the kids that I
taught were somewhat like this too. I love them all dearly.
My teaching has
brought me to many corners of the world.
But I will say that
I have taught primary school kids in a little village called
Te Hapua in the Far North, travelled around New Zealand with
the Science-Technology Roadshow (helped financially by Telecom)
showing the benefits of computers to community groups, school
kids, and teachers. I taught Computer Studies at Wellington
High School, and helped Korean kids improve their
reading and writing skills. In 2003 I took a course in Online
Teaching and Learning from the Chch College of Education. For
my practicum, I did a two week online dog course on doglinks.co.nz
It was great fun. But I learned something valuable. When it's
free, it's worth nothing!
My present situation
(2005-present): I'm an Orientation and Mobility instructor for kids
as well as a Adaptive Daily Living Instructor for the Foundation
of the Blind in Christchurch.
As of 2008, Blair and I started a dog training business called Naked Dog Training- Less Leash, More Control. We have also started a very small Homestays for Dogs. I say small because we can only care for one dog at a time
(minus one course in cats) 2001
National Certificate in Dog Training from CPIT 2001
Certificate from Massey Principle of Canine Behaviour
Member of CATS
(Canine Agility Training Society) in Christchurch 2002.
See more here
I have one dog.
I try to understand dogs and why they do the things they do,
but my training has only been for personal use. And so, I am
a closet trainer still learning about the trade. I still have
a lot to learn, but what I have learned, I want to share with
the ordinary dog owner. And what I don't know, you can read
Barry's Corner on the Problems
page. He says what I want to say, but better! (He's
a teacher too!)
Why indeed! I searched
the web for information while taking my dog training course.
I decided to keep the information in a website form. Then it
started to build and build more while studying about the lives
While I walk and
run my dog, I talk to many dog owners (like you do!) Through
our conversations, I'd add a bit of information about the dog
world. I felt that they were surprised with what I said. Sometimes
I think that it is common sense to know dog body language, but
I realise that no everone *does* know this.
And so, I thought
I'd make my website for those dog owners! The ordinary kiwi
dog owner wanting to know more about who their dog is.
I'm also very interested
in teaching pet care in schools. The amount of children not
owning dogs in their family seems to have risen, and dogs can
be a bit frightening experience for them if their parents have
'taught' them to fear dogs. I would like to break down the barriers...
It was only the
fifth year of being a dog owner that I discovered the sport
of agility. I saw Tux WonderDogs on TV and I didn't realise
that ordinary dog owners could partake in this. Perhaps I was
naive, but so are many other dog owners. It's a bit daunting
for some owners to go to a dog club. I hope I can reach out
to these dog owners.
I am avid dog news collector, and some time I comment on the dog news.
Who is doglinks?
is a two person effort. Blair is the behind-the-scene supervisor,
ideas generator, suggests website design ideas, offers suggestions,
and is a flyer distributor!
am the instigator, the front end person, the web designer and
maker, the collector of news, the shaping of the Dog Blog, will-be
the database set up and running person, the person of contact
in emails, the person working hundreds of hours to bring the
best possible kiwi kanine website in New Zealand! So
Naked Dog Designs
I have also helped organisations with their website. I volunteered as Dogwatch's webmaster from 2008/09 and elevated their profile in Christchurch, ranking them #1 on Google as a dog rescue center. By starting their mailing list, they now have a huge following.
All good things must come to an end especially when I started bringing out Overseas Dog Experts. I just had no time to devote to their website. Since late 2009, Dogwatch's new webmaster is
Sighthound. Well done to Sighthound for creating a better looking site.
Check out Dogwatch and Dannevirke's SPCA