Work with wolves leads to teaching dogs to behave

Dr Isla Fishburn with her dogs.
Dr Isla Fishburn with her dogs.

An animal behaviourist who previously worked extensively with wolves is helping dog owners in the North East to gain a better understanding of their pets.

Dr Isla Fishburn started Kachina Canine Communication to increase the understanding of both pets and wild animals.

A qualified zoologist with a PhD in conservation biology, Dr Fishburn returned to her native North East after spending time in the South of England researching and working with wolves.

Now she is holding behaviour and communication courses at Acklington Village Hall.

She said: “I researched how wolves interact, and offered wolf encounter courses where people could come and experience time with them.

“Many of the visitors had dogs and it was seeing people’s reactions to their own dogs, never mind the wolves, that convinced me that a lot of people need help in understanding how their dogs think and communicate with us and how they can work with them to overcome the problems that are all too common.”

Originally from Newton Hall in Durham, Dr Fishburn has based Kachina Canine Communication in Acklington.

She has worked with police and prison dog handlers and used her techniques to address a range of behavioural issues with rescue dogs.

She said: “As I work holistically, my focus is improving the individual wellbeing of each dog and its owner and creating mutual trust and respect.”