After a corporate career in the city I decided to pursue my passion and work with dogs full-time.
Since then, I have used my vast canine knowledge—along with years of studying many different dog training methods from around the globe—to become one of New Zealand’s, and the world’s, most respected dog trainers.
Growing up around dogs in the UK
Living in the UK in the early 70’s I always loved dogs and found them no matter where we were. Although my mum was terrified of them it never put me off, although it’s the reason we never had a dog in our home growing up.
Lots of jobs, but not the right one!
The 90’s saw me graduate from the University of Birmingham, UK with a degree in Civil Engineering. I tried my hand at several jobs but none of them fill me with the passion I was looking for (although working the streets as a British Police officer was certainly exciting at times!) After a short stint as a math teacher I found myself in the corporate IT industry.
A move to New Zealand
The start of the century saw me arrive in beautiful New Zealand. I arrived having never visited before, yet somehow I knew it would be my new home. In fact I was so convinced that my future lay here that I only ever bought a 1 way ticket. I landed in Auckland and set up home with my wonderful wife to be Jenni.
Peanut enters our lives
After Jen and I got married and purchased our first house in Auckland our first dog Peanut came into our lives and literally changed us forever. I immediately became a very proud dog owner, helped by the fact that Peanut was constantly referred to as “the best behaved dog in the world” by friends and strangers alike.
I quit corporate and become a full-time dog trainer
Finally I made the decision to quit the corporate world and follow my passion for dogs. I set up as Doggy Dan and the rapid success that follows is more than I could have dreamt of. Within a short time I find myself flying around the country and even being flown to overseas islands to work with people’s dogs. I also continue to develop my dog knowledge and gain experience working with large packs of dogs at K9 Heaven, a doggy daycare close to where I lived. I found my second dog Inca at the SPCA shelter.
The Online Dog Trainer is born!
To help support clients and to cope with demand from not just New Zealand but also overseas I set up The Online Dog Trainer, an online dog training video website designed to walk dog and puppy owners through the same training they could experience in a personal consultation. At present it has been used by over 27,000 people worldwide.
My 1-on-1 consultation work as a dog trainer leads to me working with many well known people including All Black world cup final try scorer Tony Woodcock.
TV, Radio and Speaker
An increase in speaking events including schools leads me to being invited as a key note speaker at the NZ SPCA National conference, a great honour indeed. Later that year Moses joins the pack and stars in the video diary of raising a puppy from 8 weeks to 8 months, one of the courses inside The Online Dog Trainer.
“What the dogs taught me about being a parent”
The launch of my first ever book by Random House Publishing, creates a very busy year with promotions including TV shows, 7 Sharp and Good Morning TV, and magazine appearances such as with Woman’s Weekly. Stan and Sage my two children join me on the front cover.
Consultations come home
Due to high demand on my time I start running consultations out of my home property here in Muriwai. Providing owners a safe and controlled place to visit with their dog where we can walk through the training in a relaxed setting. With my pack of dogs close at hand to assist and the large open space, the 1 on 1 consults are proving a huge success.
My new dog Jack arrives in my life. A powerful teacher and being, it’s time for me to take my learning up to a whole new level to connect with this strong boy.
The Doggy Dan Podcast Show begins
TV Show: Auckland Housewives
I’m approached by TV show Auckland Housewives to appear on the show and make an appearance. Not the only thing that I did that year but certainly worth a mention and of huge entertainment to friends and family alike!
The Dog Trainer Academy is launched!
In 2017 I launched the Dog Trainer Academy (DTA) program. Teaching students all over the world how to successfully set themselves up and become dog trainers. Able to watch consultations, share in webinars and learn through multimedia online and become dog trainers in their own right, it is proving to be a huge success!
The Passing of Peanut
One of the most important moments of 2018 was the passing on my dearest dog Peanut who died of kidney complications on 29th April 2018.
As one of my greatest teaches in life she taught me so much of what I now know and share with people. Just before she left, she looked into my eyes and she gave me one final message… “Be Here Now and Experience Love”
Over 50,000 dogs helped!
In the spring of 2019 we helped dog owner number 50,000 using the online training program TheOnlineDogTrainer.com (UPDATE: we are now at 71K!)
When we launched online back in 2009 I never dreamt that a decade later we would have helped so many people. With success stories from Japan to USA, Malta to Algeria and Scotland to Argentina the site has been a huge success story and something that continues to grow.
Dog Almighty TV series
A highlight of 2020 was being asked to appear as the judge on the reality TV show Dog Almighty.
Working with some of New Zealands most talented dogs and their colourful and highly skilled owners was both fun and exciting.
Over the course of many weekends we finally got down to the winner of the Golden Dog Bowl! For those of you who haven’t seen it you can find it on TV2
And into the future…
“At the same time Jenni, my amazing partner of over 25 years continues to
do very similar work with horses and riders around the world. Our kids are
growing up and who knows what the future holds for us all.”
“Join me on a journey of wags, licks, smiles and LOVE…”
Join Dan on a journey of understanding your dog. Find out what really makes them tick, how you connect with them at the deepest level and what that will mean to your relationship with them and your life. Prepare to be amazed!
There are 5 ways I can help you develop a calmer, more behaved dog—without the need for more ‘training’…