Hollybarn Dog and Puppy Training was set up in the West of Ireland in 2006 and is run by leading Irish Dog Trainer, Animal Behaviourist and qualified Veterinary Nurse Emma Whelan BSc (Hons), VN, RVN, Dip CAPBT.
Emma has over a two decades of experience in Veterinary Nursing, Dog Training, animal behaviour as well as qualifications in animal nutrition.
Emma qualified from UCD Ireland before going on to study dog training and behaviour in the UK.
“As a child growing up with my own Chocolate Labrador “Rommel” I realised the only thing I wanted to do was to work with animals (I always dreamed of becoming a Doggie Doctor ). As an "grown up" after working in the veterinary industry and with animals now for over 20 years my outlook still hasn’t changed. It has been, and continues to be, my only passion and an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable part of my life.”
Emma has an unwavering passion for animals and their wellbeing and has been involved in canine and animal behaviour, psychology and training since being very young. It is difficult to find anyone as enthusiastic, as dedicated and as knowledgeable as Emma in the Dog Training and behaviour world.
Emma has earned many academic credits to her name including being a degree qualified Veterinary Nurse with honors, an Animal Behaviourist (COAPE), Veterinary Nutrition Adviser (Royal Canin), and an Advanced Pet Health Counsellor (Hills Nutrition), as well as being an advisor to many dog and cat rescue centres and charities both in Ireland and the UK.
This combination of skills and dedication has made her one of the most successful and well respected Dog Trainers, Animal Behaviourists and Veterinary Nurses in both Ireland and the UK. “Everyone should have the chance to own the dog they always wanted - I help families achieve this every day and that's a great feeling!”
Emma travels Ireland providing One to One Dog and Puppy Training Sessions right at the heart of where people’s problems are - in peoples own homes. “I ran dog training classes in the past and never felt people got as much out of them as they should. One problematic dog or several different dogs with different learning speeds and people get left behind or lose motivation. They also run for several weeks and if you miss a week you could miss the part you really wanted. A two hour session in someone’s home is far more effective and better value for money for the owner.”
For the problem dog or families that don't have the time Emma also provides the option of Residential Training. This is a two week course where the dog actually lives in Emma’s home (no horrible cages or kennels) and is trained from dusk until dawn. “I find the intensity of a dog being trained constantly from waking up to going to bed works incredibly well for the dog and family. The satisfaction of returning a dog after two weeks and handing back what the family needed is exhilarating.”
Emma also does dog boarding in her own home so no matter what problem you have even you’re holidays are covered.
"I love running training classes and sessions for any breed or age of dog. Training should always be constructive and fun. If you ask me - I have the best job in the world - I count myself as privileged to be welcomed into every home I go to and help people create the bond with the dog they always dreamed of. "Walt Disney wasn't wrong when he said all those years ago "Dreams Can Come True!"