About

dog behaviourist devon sally lewis

My name is Sally, I am a Certified Canine & Animal Behaviourist, and a Certified Family Dog Mediator. I first became interested in dog behaviour when adopting my boy sitting with me in the photo above. I wanted to know as much as I could about his behaviour, his emotions, his choices – I owed that to him. I asked questions, I questioned the answers to those questions. This took me down the path that I followed to lead me to where I am today.

I hold a Level 5 Diploma in Canine Behaviour, as well as further qualifications in Canine Communication, Canine Anxiety, Canine Fear, Training, L.E.G.S® Applied Ethology, and Canine Health and Nutrition. I am always reading, researching, and studying so that I can always offer approaches based on the latest studies and findings. I use a holistic approach (where we consider ‘the whole dog’ and all factors in their life) because every dog is an individual, and therefore they all deserve an individual approach.

I am a member of the Association of INTODogs and am covered by the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter – meaning that I have been assessed by, and am supported by a reputable organisation. I am also a member of the International Companion Animal Network.

Myth busting: dominance, pack hierarchy, needing to be the ‘alpha’ – all of that has been debunked by science! I only use methods led by the latest science, and therefore, at no point do aversive techniques appear in my support plans or behaviour modification training. I offer a caring approach based on mutual respect between dog and guardian, trust, and empathy. I do not use force, cause pain, or fear. My aim is to enhance the bond between dog and guardian (you’re a team, after all) to create a greater sense of fulfillment for everyone.

I aim to support you to coach your dog emotionally, rather than punish and suppress unwanted behaviours. By working in the way that I do, we treat the cause, not just the symptom. I also help you understand why your dog is behaving in a certain way, what that behaviour is communicating, and what needs may be behind this.

The risks of punishment: when we punish and suppress behaviour using aversive or punitive methods, or by submersing dogs in environments they aren’t comfortable in until the behaviour ‘stops’, we don’t solve the emotional issues behind the behaviour. That emotion is still there, and will appear in a different capacity – often, one that is worse than the original concern. Punishment and suppression are ineffective and do not have a place in modern day methods – I have never had to resort to using harsh methods with any of the dogs displaying aggressive behaviours that I have helped to rehabilitate, and never will.

What is L.E.G.S® and Family Dog Mediation®?

Applied Ethology is the scientific study the behaviour of animals that are managed by humans, with particular attention to the evolution of behaviour. The L.E.G.S® model breaks this down really easily for you humans, whilst giving your dog a voice in the whole thing, too. Their needs – your needs – and a plan to move forward together.

L – Learning. E – Environment. G – Genetics. S – Self. There’s so much more to what’s going on with your dog than just training!

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