Trainer Interview: Get to Know Trainer Kim
Kim Van Der Kley has spent many years behind the scenes working alongside the Found By The Hound team and is now an official Trainer here at Found By The Hound. Trainer Kim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team including a special interest in canine nutrition.
Trainer Kim is a Certified Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist. Her experience in dog training, health and wellness and her positive attitude makes her a valuable and integral part of our team.
Trainer Kim works closely with her clients to help them achieve their training goals!
Let’s get to know her!
Tell us about your journey with Found By The Hound?
Over 11 years ago, I met Anthea whilst training my Neopolitan Mastiff, Bruce in K9 Pro Sport. Five years ago I reconnected with Anthea and met Sarah. I was lucky enough to have them take me under their wing. I began shadowing them whilst they conducted classes, private lessons and behavioural consultations.
Any free time I had, I spent practicing what I had learnt with my own dogs. In class, every now and then Anthea or Sarah would throw me in the deep end and get me to answer client questions until I would just jump in on my own and answer. Sarah and Anthea would always get me to debrief with them after the classes or lessons and make sure I completely understood why behaviours were happening and how to deal with each situation. I was determined to prove to them that I could be a great addition to their business.
Once I was confident enough, I started to help out by running classes when needed. I also do private lessons or behavioural consults to help take some of the work load off of them.
You have a passion for larger/giant breeds, what is the reason behind this?
I guess this comes from my parents. They owned Great Danes and horses. So I was drawn to larger animals and large dog breeds. I met my first Neapolitan mastiff at a friends house and that made me want one of my own.
What was the catalyst for your career in Dog Training?
When I bought my first Neapolitan mastiff I was a little naive in thinking that I could raise one and not have any problems. I guess this is because the Great Danes my parents owned were such easy dogs to live with, but knowing and understanding what I know now, it is very different having a dog when you’re growing up and then owning a dog on your own.
Your parents put in a lot of work, that as a child or teenager you take for granted. So once my Neo hit about 18months of age I was in trouble! I had this huge dog and he would drag me everywhere and not listen to me. It was at this point that I first met Anthea.
I fell in love with the training and got into the world of protection dog training too. I spent every day training him and it was amazing watching him improve out of sight because I had learnt how to communicate with him effectively.
What is your favourite style or method of Training?
Personally, I love protection dog work. I don’t get to spend too much time in this area of training right now but I do hope to own my own Malinois one day and get back into it. My favourite method of training would have to be verbal markers. I love having the focus from the dog and engagement with it.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Trainer?
I love helping people create a better relationship with their dogs. Watching people have that penny drop moment after you explain to them why behaviours are occurring and then watching them progress with their dogs and have real success with training.
What has been your biggest Training accomplishment or highlight?
I think I would have to say competing with my Mastiff x, Hooch and passing the Noseworks ORT (odour recognition test) with her. For anyone that knows Mastiff’s, they aren’t the most compliant of dogs. They can be very aloof and definitely aren’t a scent hound by any means. So to have Hooch indicate on the odour in a variety of situations was amazing. And to think I trained her to do that!
From the dogs you have owned in your lifetime, which dog has left the biggest paw print on your heart and why?
I guess this would have to be my Neo, Bruce. He set me on the path of dog training. He also had the most beautiful nature and was amazing with other dogs, cats, and children.
Do you have a favourite breed or is there a breed of dog you have always dreamed of owning?
I bet you’re already guessing my answer to this question. I have to say that Neo’s will always hold a special spot in my heart. But since working alongside Anthea and Sarah I definitely want to own a working line Labrador. Anthea’s Ziska is the dream dog. I’d love to have one of my own like her and of course my own Malinois one day.