Hi, I'm Bex! I live on a small farm in Western Bay of Plenty, New Zealand with my animals and young family. I run classes for dogs and their humans, junior animal trainer classes and regular horsemanship clinics from my home property. I also travel around my beautiful country and overseas to deliver clinics and lessons to horses and their passionate and dedicated humans. As well as the "real life" teaching I have a thriving online membership community, and run regular coaching intensives with students from all over the world. In early 2019 I partnered with my good friend and experienced youth worker Brooke Friend to establish a successful youth programme, focused around ethical animal training, life skills and mental health. As of 2023, I am excited to now be supporting other teachers and trainers around the world who have a passion for coaching kids and animals, through our virtual Shaping the Future coaches community.
I first learned about science-based animal training in 2001 and quickly became obsessed with learning everything I could about the science and the art of training and behaviour, and particularly the use of positive reinforcement (clicker training) with dogs and horses. I have been fortunate enough to learn in person from some of the world's best positive reinforcement trainers, including the incredible Dr Susan Friedman, Ken Ramirez, Dr Bob Bailey, Kay Laurence Shawna Karrasch, Mary Concannon, Steve White and Peta Clarke. I also read extensively and continuously on the topic, both published books as well as various online groups and sites. It's been over 20 years now and the learning never stops! I am proud to have passed the rigorous testing process to be certified with Karen Pryor Academy as a KPA Certified Training Partner.
I originally trained as a vet nurse in my early twenties before going on to work with Guide Dogs and then Customs drug detector dogs. Being employed as a trainer was a struggle, to be honest, because I wanted the freedom to explore different methods and non-traditional techniques (find out more about my journey and training philosophy here in blog form, or listen to a podcast interview I did with Come Along for the Ride). I moved on and spent eight years working in senior intelligence roles in government law enforcement and large corporates; this indulged my love of research and gave me extensive experience with teaching diverse groups of adults. All the while I continued training animals and teaching animal-loving humans as a hobby (as well as earning a Master's degree and having a baby!).
Positively Together was officially born in January 2016, at long last allowing me to share my passion on a larger scale. It is my life's work to educate, inspire and empower people of all ages to understand, communicate with and inspire behaviour change in their animals. Positively Together has continued to expand and pivot and diversify and thrive.
If any of this sounds interesting I would love to hear from you! Explore the website to find information on my training philosophy, class offerings, FAQs for those wishing to host a clinic, and don't forget to visit the webstore for all your training needs.
P.S. I have some amazing humans and animals working alongside me, helping me to bring all these dreams to life. Click here to meet the team!