The Dog Project was founded in 2010 to provide the local community with easily accessible dog training classes and advice.
Founder & Proprietor, Principal Instructor - Jacqui Tourle
My name is Jacqui Tourle and obviously I'm quite taken by dogs! I’ve shared my life with breeds including Labrador Retrievers, Kelpies, Border Collies, Cocker Spaniels, Australian Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
I have not come from a dog breeding or competition background, and my interest in dog training is firmly based on wanting to understand my pet better. My mission is to help you understand and communicate with your dog so that they can become your ideal pet!
In 2008 I adopted a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier X, and it was Pessa who inspired my journey into studying dog behaviour and understanding dog training. I hold a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, which is the most respected dog behaviour and training qualification available in Australia, and is run by the widely respected Delta Society. I'm also a member of the Pet Professional Guild Australia, whose Code of Ethics focuses on providing dog training based on humane and scientifically proven methods that facilitate the human-animal bond.
I'm passionate about continuing to learn, & regularly attend seminars & keep up to date with news from the scientifically-proven rewards-based community.
I, along with the Delta Society, believe in positive reinforcement as not only the most fun and humane way to train animals, but also the most effective. And did I mention fun?!
In September 2012 I undertook training to become an Approved Assessor for Greenhounds NSW - to assess pet Greyhounds with respect to muzzle restrictions in NSW.
I currently live in Wollongong with my husband, daughter, and our two dogs – Pessa the Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross and Miko the Labrador Retriever.
Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong
Certificate IV Companion Animal Services from The Delta Society of Australia
Approved Assessor, Greenhounds
Dog First Aid
St John's Senior First Aid
Instructor - Linnea Akpinar
My name is Linnea Akpinar. I grew up in Sweden and developed a passion for animals at an early age. I basically lived at the local horse riding school and spent many hours training both my horses and dog. I currently live here in Wollongong and share the household with my husband, our two daughters, Truffle the Labrador, and two cats.
I strongly believe that training is an integral part of animal welfare. A well trained and socialised dog is not just a pleasure to live with but can enjoy more freedom and activities when out and about. I train several different disciplines: obedience, gundog work, tracking and agility. Although we have successfully participated in obedience trials, my main aim with training is to build a great relationship with my dog, give it a job to do, and of course have fun!
I have been a volunteer instructor at one of the training clubs during the last three years. I always strive to learn more about behaviour and help people understand and communicate more effectively with their dogs. I regularly attend seminars and online courses from presenters using scientifically proven reward based methods Eg. Ken Ramirez, Susan Garrett, Terry Ryan, Ian Dunbar, and Fanny Gott & Thomas Stokke.
MSc Engineering Biology, Umeå University, Sweden
Behaviour Biology of Dogs, Linköping University, Sweden
Barringtons Senior First Aid
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Australia)
Instructor - Lynn Lavis
My name is Lynn Lavis and I was born and raised in the Illawarra. Growing up in a house filled with dogs, cats, birds and fish I was exposed to both the joys and challenges of being a pet parent, giving me a great understanding of what it takes to have a relationship with your dog.
I am a member of Australian Pet Dog Trainers Australia and have been an obedience dog instructor for 3 years. I am committed to providing the most effective solutions to help people meet their dog training needs; I avidly pursue ongoing education and professional development by attending seminars and training schools with world renowned Dog Trainers and Animal Behaviourists learning about all facets of dog training and behaviour - keeping current on all industry literature.
I believe that the purpose of dog training is to open the lines of communication between you and your dog – it is a process that we do with our dogs, not to our dogs. Dogs do not speak English; therefore, dog training is about pairing an action with a word. It is also about deepening your relationship with your dog and as all good relationships are based on trust, mutual respect, and love - our relationship with our dogs should be no different.
When not helping people to enjoy easier lives with their canine companions, I train my own ball of fun – a beautiful Border Collie named Charlie. Together we have learnt to overcome the challenges of living with a fearful dog and along the way discovered the most effective and compassionate ways to help him and other dogs like him.
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Australia)