Getting to Know: Karen Tonge

Karen Tonge runs dog training classes as well as an innovative bite prevention programme
Karen Tonge runs dog training classes as well as an innovative bite prevention programme

We have 14 questions and we want answers!

Karen Tonge, of Water End, runs Karen’s In The Dog House pet school across Dacorum, focusing on positive reinforcement and ‘kind, fair’ training for the animals commonly thought of as man’s best friend. She also runs an innovative dog bite prevention programme.

What is your favourite food?

Anything spicy and garlic-y like king prawn curry

What’s the most played song on your iPod?

iPod? Far too new and techy for me. I just about manage my iPhone

Your favourite quote?

To use shock as an effective training method (on dogs!) you need a thorough understanding of canine behaviour, a thorough understanding of learning theory and impeccable timing. If you have that, you don’t need shock! – Dr Ian Dunbar, vet and dog behaviourist

Favourite thing to do to relax?

With friends and family (including dogs) wine in hand, talking dog!

Thing you hate doing the most?

Admin

Invite five famous people for dinner, past or present - who and why?

1) Poet Lord George Byron – mad bad and dangerous to know – I’d like to find out how bad – also a dog lover 2) Bob Hoskins – warm, funny and brilliant actor – also a dog lover 3) Dr Ian Dunbar – a dog expert – great educator and story teller 4) Richard Burton – the voice – oh the voice. I met him once, my claim to fame!

5) Liz Taylor – for the glamour and drama – also dog lover

Your Favourite place to go in Dacorum?

Early morning on a field in Great Gaddesden training dogs and walking in Water End Water Meadows with my dogs. Lunch at Alford Arms – afternoon film at the Rex – cocktails at the Gatsby!

If the world was ending in 2014, what would you do differently?

If we can’t find a solution live every day like it is your last. Smell the roses and take up smoking again!

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be and why?

I’d like to go back and relive my wedding day – one of the best days I have had and to spend time with family and friends that are no longer here

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First woman police dog handler (didn’t happen)

What was the last film you watched?

Les Miserables

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Learn to keep my mouth shut if it won’t help situation

What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received?

I don’t like gifts – as in people buying you things but if I can say my daughter Katy is the best gift in the world – thank you Mike. Worst – hmm ... a bottle of chardonnay. I HATE chardonnay!

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who wanted to make things better and who wanted to try to have fun whilst doing it