How to learn the secret language of dogs

 

TROUBLESOME terrier? Kleptomaniac kelpie? No matter the canine quandary, a dynamic duo of dog behaviourists know how to help.

Introducing Ryan and Jen Tate.

Armed with more than 20 years of combined experience, these real-life Dr Doolittles and Dogs of Oz ambassadors have worked hard to become two of Australia's most in-demand and respected animal trainers.

WATCH THEIR TIPS ON LEARNING THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF DOGS ABOVE

Dog behaviourists Ryan and Jen Tate with their dogs.
Dog behaviourists Ryan and Jen Tate with their dogs.

"Dogs have so much to offer us," Mr Tate said.

"I thoroughly enjoy seeing the genetics of dogs shine through in their behaviour, whether it's a cavalier giving the best cuddle in the world, a husky pulling a sled, or a border collie herding sheep, there is nothing more beautiful than watching a dog do what they were born to do."

MORE FROM DOGS OF OZ

Do you have Australia's Top Dog? Enter here and WIN!

Given the married couple's critter credentials, it's unsurprising the seeds for romance were sown while working at Sydney's iconic Taronga Zoo - while both independently ran dog training classes.

"We were introduced at the zoo," Mr Tate said. "After my first date I rang my sister and told her I found the woman I was going to marry. I proposed a few months later."

View this post on Instagram

‘Ari...... JUMP!’

A post shared by TATE Animals - Ryan & Jen Tate (@tateanimaltraining) on

Their son quickly followed and the pair started Tate Animal Training.

"Looking back, it was an incredibly risky move," Ryan said. "But it has paid off in so many ways."

They initially specialised in dog training but have evolved the business to offer workshops, online courses, TV and film work and consultations at zoos and aquariums.

The Tates also own and handle a variety of specialised conservation dogs, trained to locate a range of animals such as owls and koalas. The latter saw Ryan make headlines during the devastating NSW bushfires.

While the catastrophe coincided with the birth of their twins, the hard-core conservationists were determined to help the endangered koala population via their koala-sniffing detection dog, four-year-old English springer spaniel, Taylor.

Ryan Tate from TATE Animal Training Enterprises with his Springer Spaniel Taylor the Koala detection dog, searching the fire ground near Port Macquarie for burnt or injured koalas. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Ryan Tate from TATE Animal Training Enterprises with his Springer Spaniel Taylor the Koala detection dog, searching the fire ground near Port Macquarie for burnt or injured koalas. Picture: Nathan Edwards

"Taylor can cover enormous areas very quickly," Mr Tate said. "When the bushfires hit, we knew we had a responsibility to get her out finding injured koalas."

To date, she has found 15 - including a joey - in affected areas and was even featured in overseas media as far as the US and Germany.

For most couples, fusing married life and an ever-expanding business with the demands of two newborns, a five-year-old and a house full of working dogs, wouldn't work, yet Ryan and Jen continue to thrive.

"I don't mean to sound corny," Mr Tate said. "But Jen is some sort of cross between an angel and the energiser bunny. We both enjoy chaos and are driven by passion, so it just works for us. No two days are ever the same and that's the way we like it."

The Tates recognise just how important dogs are in our everyday lives.

"At a chemical level, dogs have legitimate mood altering abilities," Ms Tate said.

"Whether it's resting their chin on your leg or wiggling their butt when you get home from a rough day at work, they genuinely make us feel better about life.

Dog behaviourist Jen Tate training her pooch.
Dog behaviourist Jen Tate training her pooch.

"I am literally surrounded by dogs all the time and know more about them than the average person, yet I'm still amazed at the emotional connections that me and my family form with them."

This is what fuels the duo's commitment to their profession - seeing the positive impact they're making, both to the lives of dogs and their owners, is the real pay-off.

"I think we all have a desire to be part of things that are bigger than ourselves," Ms Tate said.

"We have classes of pet owners that depend on us, regional communities that we do workshops for, and a huge amount of conservation projects that we are able to make a genuine positive impact upon. That is all the motivation we need."

"We're both so lucky to do a job we love," Mr Tate said.

"Genuinely, we wouldn't change a thing."

View this post on Instagram

2020 ——-> 2019 So much change!!

A post shared by TATE Animals - Ryan & Jen Tate (@tateanimaltraining) on

 


Council throws support behind local jobs

Premium Content Council throws support behind local jobs

THE Western Downs Regional Council is offering a one-stop-shop for employers and...

No new Qld cases as Europe wave soars

Premium Content No new Qld cases as Europe wave soars

Qld records no new COVID cases as Europe’s second wave worsens

Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Premium Content Labor accused of giving voters’ private details to unions

Personal details of a number of people has allegedly been shared