Puppy Development Team

Puppy Development team

Our Puppy Development Team(the PDT) comprises of experienced, dedicated, knowledgeable and caring Advisors. They are responsible for recruiting, assessing and supporting families in the Puppy Development Program, as well as monitoring the health, temperamental and behavioural development of pups in the Program. Our Team works closely alongside our volunteer families to reach our mutual goal – raising fully qualified Guide Dogs that will enable people with impaired vision to get around their communities safely and independently. Fortunately for us, our Puppy Development Team has one of the most rewarding positions at Guide Dogs where we can see our pups develop from newborn babies, just learning to open their eyes and stand, through the adolescent stage, to confident young adults, ready to commence their intensive Guide Dog Training. Contact the Puppy Development Team 

Puppy Development Manager

Karen started working at Guide Dogs in 1987 as a Kennel Attendant. She worked as the Kennel Manager for over 15 years before transferring into the Puppy Development Program as the Puppy Development Manager. She is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and has attended many courses in dog training, dog heath/care and dog reproduction. Karen’s passion for dogs is shown in her foster caring for rescue dogs through a Sydney based rescue. She also sponsors a number of dogs through ‘Soi Dogs’ Thailand. Karen is the proud owner of an Australian Koolie named ‘DJ’.

Karen Hayter
Karen Hayter

Puppy Development Advisor

Brett started working for Guide Dogs in 1998. He formed part of the original Puppy Development Team, and has continued to be a prominent member of the Team with almost two decades of experience and knowledge on pup development. Outside of work Brett enjoys spending time with his family and can be found coaching and helping out at his local soccer club.

Brett Smyth
Brett Smyth

Puppy Development Advisor

Kerry has been working at the Guide Dogs Centre since 2011. She started as a Kennel Attendant before moving into the Puppy Development Team. She is a nationally accredited Dog Behaviourist and Trainer, obtaining this accreditation through The National Dog Trainers Federation. As well as working full time at Guide Dogs, Kerry also runs Puppy School and Obedience classes at a local Veterinary Hospital. Kerry is most proud of being owned by her two Boxers. She absolutely adores them, and they assist her with her Puppy School and Obedience classes, and sometimes even get to come along to some of her Guide Dog puppy training sessions.

Kerry Chauncy
Kerry Chauncy

 

Puppy Development Advisor

Lisa joined the Puppy Development Team in 2011. She started working for Guide Dogs a few years earlier as a Kennel Attendant while finishing her studies. Prior to joining Guide Dogs, Lisa completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons I) majoring in Animal Production at the University of Sydney. After a few years of working in research, she returned to university, undertaking her PhD investigating physiological and behavioural predictors of success in the Guide Dog Training Program. Lisa has presented her research at a number of national and international conferences and seminars, and is interested in all aspects of animal behaviour and welfare. She continues to enjoy attending these events, supporting her further education and allowing her to stay up-to-date with current practises. Lisa is the proud ‘mum’ of two black Labradors, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Zeus’, and a senior pet cow ‘Thunder’.

Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams

Puppy Development Advisor

Michelle joined Guide Dogs in 2008. She spent her first year working as a Kennel Attendant before moving into the Puppy Development Team. Michelle completed a Bachelor of Animal Science at Western Sydney University. She then continued her studies at TAFE, where she received a Statement of Attainment in Dog Training. For the past few years Michelle has also volunteered at the local Dog Obedience Club running Puppy Classes. She has two lovable Labradors ‘Denzel’ and ‘Ricky’, who came from the Guide Dog Centre, plus a cockatiel called Spike.

Michelle Conn
Michelle Stoakes

 

Puppy Development Advisor

Page joined the Puppy Development Team in June 2019 to expand our puppy raising program to the Hunter region. She has a Cert IV in Veterinary Nursing and has been working as a vet nurse since 2011. This is where her passion for dog training and behaviour began to flourish and she took on the running of the puppy preschool classes. To further her knowledge, Page gained her cert IV in Animal Companion Services through the Delta Institute. Page is owned by a Labrador, an American Staffy, a rescue German Shorthaired Pointer and two horses.

PDA Page Power
Page Power

Puppy Development Advisor

Tanya joined the Puppy Development Team and Guide Dogs in August 2017. Tanya started her professional career with a Bachelor of Science (Zoology), and worked in Zoos across Australia and as a conservation volunteer in Botswana. With a passion for dogs, she completed her Statement of Attainment in Dog Training and Puppy Instructors Course. Prior to joining the team, Tanya ran a successful dog walking and training business, encompassing puppy pre-school and adolescent ‘manners’ classes. She lives with her beloved cattle dog ‘Jed’ and cat ‘Tonks’.

Tanya Lawless