Mike Allen

Mike Allen General Purpose Level 2.

“In October 2011 my world was shattered by being made redundant from a job that I had held for the last 15 ½ years. I needed to look at a new career and pretty damn fast if I was to keep afloat in these uncertain financial times. I have worked dogs for over twenty years in the hunting field following various disciplines using spaniels, terriers and lurchers and thus began to think along the lines of choosing a career doing something that I liked that would also be lucrative in the current climate. I have had quite extensive experience with obedience training dogs having been coached by an ex-police dog handler many years ago in these skills and putting them to use out in the field whilst hunting, with this in mind decided that I would like to investigate the field of security dog work, going towards the General Purpose Security Dog section of the various professions. I began to look at where I could learn the skills required for this work and also what would be the best type of canine companion to do this job, my various internet searches eventually led me to the NASDU site which I read getting more enthusiastic as I did so. The next day I rang NASDU and spoke to Dianne who was extremely helpful and sent me a list of approved trainers for me to choose from, the nearest to me being Malpeet K9 Academy. I rang Simon (The Director) and had a chat with him about the course and decided that a visit was in order for me to see what was going to be involved. Luckily the NASDU Trials were coming up so it was agreed that I would go down on the day and have a look at what was on offer.

I needed to find myself a dog now and after chatting to a mate he told me that another friend of ours had a dog that he was selling and to give him a ring, I promptly did so, and after a visit and “interview” by the seller who also turned out to be the assistant trainer at Malpeet (small world eh!) I provisionally booked the said dog. The very next week saw me down the NASDU trials arriving early, I had travelled down with the seller of my new dog; as it turned out, he was helping Simon organize the event. I was introduced to Simon and had a look around the venue throughout the day, whilst taking in the sights and sounds of the G.P.Trials day. At the end of the session, after we had put everything away, we retired to the pub for a quick pint and chat. I was fortunate enough when made redundant to be eligible for REACT funding and it was whilst we were having a chat Simon and I completed the necessary paperwork for this funding to be approved. I booked my place and drove home happy that I had found my new career and confident that with the help and support on offer I would succeed in my new venture. Over the next few weeks the funding was secured and I completed my Door Supervisors course to gain my SIA license, I also picked up my new partner “Jess” a well trained two year old blue malinois bitch from Lyndon so that I could begin bonding with her before I started the course. Lyndon also very generously helped me with some pre-course training to give me a start in my handler training and also techniques for handling my new partner.

I began my training at Malpeet in November, and over the next week was taught various skills in G.P. handling, I found the course exceptionally enjoyable and very informative, being delivered in an extremely professional manner in the well equipped venue at Malpeet. I was the only student on this particular course but found this to my benefit as I was given one to one training which I relished, and enjoyed all the various training scenarios and tasks that were thrown at me. It was soon nearing the end of the week and on Thursday Lyndon joined us at Malpeet to put me through the mill with a whole host of scenarios being thrown at me, finishing off with an interesting tracking task at the end of the day. The final day of the course involved the NASDU exam which I had been studying for all week, after getting this out of the way first thing, I was then informed by Simon that I had passed the course (pending exam result) and could now relax. I left Malpeet that day tired but extremely pleased that I had achieved what I had set out to do. Over the next few weeks I received all my certificates and started to put myself forward to gain some employment. I am now self employed and have started 2012 well with my new career and hope to continue in the same vain throughout the year. I would like to thank Lyndon Mallet for all his help and advice. Oh! And also for selling me Jess because without him and her I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thanks mate, I owe you big time! I would also like to thank Simon Mallin for his help, advice and continued support, even after completing his excellent course. Again, without his help I wouldn’t be where I am today. You’re a top bloke. If anyone is thinking of doing this course, I can whole heartedly recommend Malpeet K9 Academy. It is an excellent venue and set in the beautiful Welsh countryside to boot.”