MEET TAMIKA

  • Shares her home with Luna, Aussie Shepherd (and Hope, Cattle X when Tamika's mum can bare to hand her over for a sleepover)

  • Nationally recognised Cert IV, Companion Animal Services - 2017

  • Associate Nose Work Instructors (ANWI) of K9 Nose Work® - 2019

  • Lemonade Conference 2020

  • International Dog Behaviour Conference 2020

  • Completed many various online courses such as Denise Fenzi Sports Academy

  • Professional member of Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Australia, Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT), International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC).

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Growing up Tamika was always that kid you could find around animals and it helped when you grow up around dogs, cows, horses and wildlife. You could say that Tamika loved animals before she could even comprehend what love was. She would tackle someone right before they were about to squash a spider or a cockroach and then quickly scoop it up and put it outside in the garden. Tamika didn’t have a choice of being born human and neither did that animal for being born into that species but she believed she did have a choice of how she could treat animals and influence others. Tamika made it her mission in life to help them, so that is just what she did and continues to do.

When Tamika finished school she studied marketing, advertising and business. She was always the creative type so she thought that this direction would give her the inner satisfaction she was looking for. Once she finished studying she was offered a creative content job at an advertising agency but very quickly realised that it wasn’t all that it cracked up to be. The ridiculously long hours and glued to a desk, mentally exhausting work only left her feeling guilty each day for leaving her dogs at the time, Hope and Shep, and lorikeet, Honey, alone for long periods and then being too exhausted to do anything with them. 

It is funny how life works though. Tamika can honestly say that she believe things happen for a reason, and for her, it was when she became very sick with a rare bladder disease. She spent a lot of time in hospital and then when she was at home feeling lousy, her animals were there to get her through it - they knew what they needed to do at just the right moment to make her day bearable and even enjoyable. When stuck at hospital each week for treatment you have a lot of time stuck in your head with your own thoughts. For Tamika, she was constantly asking herself “what am I really doing with my life?”. Yes she liked what she was doing and she was good at it, working in the advertising world, but she didn’t love it… she loves animals, particularly dogs. Being unwell really made Tamika appreciate the gift of life and not take any of it for granted. It really opened her eyes and see things for their true importance. For Tamika she always wanted to work with animals but never thought it would be a viable option (the cost of living in Sydney) but this was her chance and she wasn’t going to miss out on this opportunity life was handing her. Her passion is dogs, so why couldn’t she turn my passion into her everyday "job". So she went back to study and became a qualified dog behaviourist. She is also currently undertaking studies to become one of the very small handful of Certified Nose Work Instructors in Australia.

Tamika's animals gave her love, patience, acceptance, loyalty, respect, and so many more things when she needed it the most so now she feels it is her time to show her gratitude by helping dogs be better understood for the intelligent and sentient creatures they are and by helping people understand their dogs. It is not just about us teaching our dogs. Tamika is here to help educate you and show you how to open your eyes and hearts and let our dogs be our greatest teacher. Nothing makes her happier then watching a person and their dog’s relationship flourish and bloom into a positive and fulfilling friendship. So that is the story of how Goin’ Muttz was born and our mission moving forward.

MEET LAUREN

  • Dog-Mum to two beautiful dogs; Tiger, whippet and Shona, Ridgeback x Boxer (nicknamed Shonasnorus for her cute snoring)

  • Holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Distinction), majoring in English Literatures - originally intended to teach in human schools, but has found her true passion in teaching within doggy schools

  • Currently completing the nationally recognised Cert IV in Companion Animal Services

  • Owner and Founder of 'Walkies? Sociable Pack Walking & Pet Care' (former UK business)

  • Owner and Founder of 'The Dog Walker - Sutherland Shire' (current), a business specialising in dog-to-dog socialisation via group dog walks

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Lauren is a natural born leader who grew up exploring the vast bushland surrounding Woronora Heights, Sutherland Shire, with her favourite stuffed toy dog 'Pup Pup' tucked under her arm. Pup-Pup was her faithful exploring buddy until her family welcomed into their lives Tommy (show name Bowfox Winsome Cowboy), a sweet and beautiful Fox Terrier and retired show dog. 

Lauren graduated from Heathcote High School and continued her learning across various disciplines including Biological Sciences, Psychology and the Arts. Lauren graduated in 2009 from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Arts and began dedicating her life to the recruitment, support and graduation of Indigenous students through the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, University of Wollongong, a centre which had provided her with invaluable support throughout her own studies. 

In 2013, Lauren gave away everything that didn't fit into her suitcase and bought a one way ticket to Europe, where she travelled her way through more than 26 different countries before establishing herself in London, United Kingdom. Over the next 6 years, Lauren enjoyed working across many different workplaces and in many different capacities but finally found her calling whilst working in a quirky little business, Paws For Coffee - a Dog Friendly Cafe located in the leafy South-West London area, just down from Hampton Court Palace and across from the second biggest Royal Park, Bushy Park. It was here that Lauren realised her natural aptitude and passion for working with dogs and began her professional career within the Dog Walking and Training Industry. She has been lucky enough to work with some incredible breeds including Whippets, German Shepherds, Labradors, Chinese Crested Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Cavoodles, Border Collies, Cattle Dogs, Kelpies, Staffies, Jack Russels, Schnauzers, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Pomeranians, French Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, King Charles Cavaliers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Border Terriers, Boston Terriers, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Flat Coat Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds and even a sweet gentle autistic English Bull Terrier named Ned!

 

Lauren has since returned to her original stomping ground in the Sutherland Shire and is continuing her work with dogs through her business The Dog Walker Sutherland Shire and via her role as a Dog Trainer and Behaviourist with Goin' Muttz.

Lauren feels truly blessed to work with the animals that have made her life so purposeful and enriching. Dogs have always played an important role in maintaining balance within Lauren's mental health and she has dedicated her life to teaching dogs and their humans how to understand and appreciate one another. Lauren hopes that her work and continued dedication to working with dogs and their humans will allow others to recognise and be rewarded with the incredible potential dogs have to enrich all areas of our lives. 

 

Favourite quote: "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Roger A. Caras.