Diana Bird

Di's portrait 2014Diana lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, with her patient, supportive husband of nearly thirty years, their 9 year old border collie cross dog, Bounce, and baby border collie, Spring.

Like most people, Diana wants to make a positive difference in the world. Her special interest is in using what we learn through dog training to develop ourselves as people. She has read possibly every self development book on the planet, and especially loves the books by Brené Brown and Martha Beck. Learning about positive reinforcement training started her on the journey and continuous improvement is an ongoing goal.

Diana is a recovering control freak. She has owned dogs for all her adult life, initially training with choke chain corrections and praise. Her understanding of dog behaviour was firmly rooted in dominance theory, but she wasn’t enjoying the training and recognised her dog wasn’t either. Over the years she has read widely; attended seminars; observed and trained dogs and people, learning from them and about them. Questioning what she knew, how well she was teaching and what her learner was experiencing led to a complete change in beliefs and methods. She practised the concepts on her three children and is proud to know them as the thoughtful, motivated young adults they are today.

She has three websites www.wingsdogtraining.co.nz , www.followthepebbles.com and www.wingsbraintraining.co.nz , all with associated Facebook pages, and has contributed articles to the NZKC Kennel Gazette, and Kay Laurence’s Teaching Dogs magazine. In 2005, her book, Clicker Agility for Fun and Fitness was published by Kay Laurence. Diana also administers the Facebook group, Trondogs, a dog walking and discussion group for Hamilton people.

Diana has a degree in Agricultural Commerce from Lincoln University, and a postgraduate diploma in teaching. She has spent the last eight years teaching Year 7 and 8 students in an intermediate school. Her philosophy for teaching people is the same as it is for dogs – provide the environment for them to learn to think, be themselves, develop confidence and self manage, then reinforce generously. In a tiring, fast paced, high pressure world, matching the philosophy with reality is a constant work in progress.

She is always looking for new perspectives, clues and enlightenment; reading new books and articles; investigating new ideas, her own thoughts and behaviour and trying to be the best person she can be. She hopes to inspire others to do the same.

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