Hi there! My name is Edit Ratkai, founder of Activity4Paws.
Dogs have always been a big part of my life and, from a very young age, dog training always came very naturally to me.
My passion for dogs started to have a bigger impact on my life while I was studying at university. It was at that time that I volunteered at the local rescue center and would spend most of my free time there. I would spend that time with the dogs, playing, training, and observing their behavior.
During this period, I ended up fostering more than 30 dogs so they could learn how to live inside a house after living on the streets. One of these dogs ended up winning a special place in my heart so I adopted her. Her name is Szimpi.
Taking My First Steps in Dog Training
It was with Szimpi that I started learning about dog training. I started learning about clicker training which gave me a huge understanding of how dogs learn. You can see our videos on our Youtube channel.
It was also with Szimpi that I started learning about agility training. She taught me everything about agility training. How to teach the equipment, jumping, motivating, and most importantly, how to be critical with existing methods.
My biggest struggle with agility training at first was not having a place to do it and the right equipment. I had to find a way to do agility training with minimal equipment. Because of all this, our progress was a bit slow as you do need to have real equipment to do this training properly.
How I Became a Dog Trainer
Szimpi and I moved to the UK in 2012 where I worked in an office for 3 years - which made me feel like I was dying. At the same time, I was doing some dog training courses so I could become a certified dog trainer. And, after those 3 years in an office, I quit my job to start my own dog training business.
Because I didn’t have a training venue, I started by visiting clients in their own homes. At first, it was mostly due to behavioural problems. And, although I liked it, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to teach people how they can understand their dogs and have fun with them!
So, in January 2019, I rented my own training field and started doing other types of training where people and dogs could learn how they can have fun!
Today, I specialise in agility training which I absolutely love!
After some years in the UK I adopted Monkey, a rescue from Croatia. I started training agility with him and we won the Olympia ABC - the biggest agility event in the UK - at the end of her first competing year. She wasn’t even 3 years old!
Monkey was also selected to be a part of Team GB for the FMBB World Championship which, unfortunately, did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, I would just like to include here that I passed the KC Judge Exam in 2019 and am a trainer for DOG A.I.D.. DOG A.I.D. is where I train people to train their own dog to become a service dog.