The DogSmith is the unrivaled Dog Training, Dog Walking & Pet Care Franchise in the United States. Established by Niki Tudge, a Certified Dog Trainer and Dog Behavior Counsultant with extensive corporate experince in Executive Management. Niki is also the Founder of The Pet Profesional Guild, the only force-free pet professional associaion in the United States. Niki has combined her "people" teaching and dog training skills with her commitment to animal rescue and substantial business knowledge to create a proprietary system of education known as ARRF® supported by an operational implementation process called MTR®. Niki is equipped with a unique combination of business experience, dog training and dog behavior expertise, a background in exceptional customer service, certification as a trainer of trainers and many years consulting to animal rescue groups. She has combined these essential skills and experience to create an unrivaled business opportunity that is designed to provide pet owners with the absolutely most effective method to train and care for their pets while giving back to the community in real and measurable ways while providing a dream life for DogSmith business owners.
Today, The DogSmith stands alone as the only national franchise that offers both Force Free, learning-theory based dog training services coupled with professional pet-sitting and dog-walking services. Whether you're a dog owner looking to solve a specific behavioral problem, a dog lover simply wanting to gain more control and clarity in your relationship with your dog, or a family burdened by the question of how to take care of your pets while you're away from home, The DogSmith is the only call you'll ever need to make.With Niki's extensive credentials leading the way, we established a dog training and pet care company that would completely redefine what you can expect from your relationship with your pet dog.
Throughout her travels and career, Niki Tudge has pursued her passion of animals. Wherever she worked, she always became active rehabilitating abandoned and abused animals. In 1996 while working in Africa, Niki spearheaded a project, in cooperation with Fauna & Flora International - the world's longest-established international conservation charity working to save threatened species and ecosystems worldwide - to rescue endangered and protected species from poachers and transition them back to their natural environment. This project resulted in successfully saving numerous orphaned chimpanzees, and endangered drill monkeys and preuss monkeys.
It was also in Africa in 1998 where Niki began developing her skills as a Family Pet Dog Trainer. Working with the local Police K9 unit, Niki took German Shepherd puppies, deemed "unsuitable" for police work, and trained them to become wonderful family pet dogs suitable for adoption. Her favorite ex-police dog was adopted by a family in Oregon USA, where she lived out a very happy life on a Christmas tree farm.
In 1998 in South Africa, Niki's next career assignment, she became even more interested in animal behavior and their interaction with human society. Applying her previous expertise in hotel services, and business operations and recognizing the growing need for effective management of the animal-human relationship in our increasingly crowded society, Niki provided consultation services to several large and small animal enterprises on improving their operations and training techniques. She also volunteered and sponsored the Sundown Ranch Lion Research Park. She still carries a small scar from her work with an overly affectionate lion cub.
Though her work with Africa's wild animals was fulfilling, Niki's first love was always the family pet dog. In 1998 inspired by research on Cape Hunting Dogs at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust, where Niki was a regular visitor and contributor, Niki established a personal goal of working with local communities and animal rescue centers to improve the relationship between families and their pets. By teaching families to communicate with dogs and dogs to understand humans, Niki believes we can significantly reduce the number of stray, abandoned, neglected, abused and unwanted pets. Niki committed herself to support, through training, rescue facilities and shelters to improve the adoptability of dogs and educate pet owners so that dogs remain a happy, contented, loved, and fully integrated member of the family. "A trained dog is a retained dog" says Niki. Niki believes that there is nothing more delightful than a pet who can participate in family activities and understands how to cohabitate with humans.
In 2000 after leaving South Africa, Niki settled in Hawaii. Still a senior executive manager with a large prestigious hotel chain, but with a more stable lifestyle, Niki was ready for a pet of her own. It was also in Hawaii where Niki recognized that the US was emerging as a world leader in progressive Pet Dog Training. Niki began training her own pet Kelpie in obedience and agility with great success. Her elderly beloved Kelpie, now retired, remains ever anxious to please off and on the agility course. It was during this period that Niki earned her certification as a Dog Behavior Counselor , Pet Dog Trainer, Veterinarian assistant and Pet Groomer.
It was also in Hawaii that Niki finally decided to combine her passion for Dogs with her professional business skills. With a partner, Niki founded the Hawaii Dog Training Academy where they focused on training dogs for agility using all positive methods. The school thrived for two years but Niki was once again transferred with her job. Now in Florida Niki was able to purchase an ideal property to start a full time dog training center and boutique boarding facility. Her new facility also allowed her to rescue a variety of ducks, geese, peafowl, miniature horses and donkeys and she regularly fosters and trains homeless dogs and cats. Through numerous private consultations and group classes Niki has refined her training techniques and has combined her exceptional skills of teaching people how to teach with over a decade of dog training. This combination of expertise leaves Niki uniquely qualified in her field of positive Pet Dog Training.