My name is Anna Björk, I was born in Finland but have as well lived and studied in Sweden. I have a Bachelor of Biology from Stockholm University and will soon be finished with my Masters in Ethology, i.e., Animal behaviour.
I first came in contact with Yannick early 2018, when he did a seminar in Sweden. I got so inspired by Yannick’s dog training philosophy I did my internship course for my Master’s studies at KayserDog as an intern, beginning in September 2018. Since the internship course only lasted nine weeks, I chose to drag the course out on ¼ speed because I was convinced to stay as long as possible in order to learn as much as I could about his training methods.
My academic background in ethology, i.e. the scientific study of animal behaviour - including learning theory -, has proven to be of great assistance when working with animals in practice. In my bachelor thesis I compared dominance behaviour between wolves and dogs. Moreover, I was involved in a research project where differences in social behaviour between dogs and wolves were studied. My job in the team was to raise and socialize the dog and the wolf puppies. From this project I gained a lot of knowledge in canine behaviour, but I especially got experience in handling wild, reactive animals.
I have always had a great interest in animals, especially dogs. Already at five years age, I was walking my neighbours dogs daily, and begging my parents for a dog of my own. Finally, at the age of eight, I got Nelli - a stray dog from a shelter. She was all but an easy or cooperative dog, but she taught me a lot. I took her to dog school and we even competed in unofficial obedience classes, with variable success. When Nelli was motivated we could win the competition; when she wasn’t, I had no way to even get her attention.
At the age of nine I was getting familiar with Belgian shepherds by a family acquaintance who was a breeder. I was amazed how cooperative and easily motivated these dogs were, and immediately fell in love with the breed. I decided that my next dog was going to be a Belgian shepherd, and so the tervueren Dino (BH Dubion Cocos) moved in when I was 14. With her I competed in obedience, trained agility, searching and tracking. Our greatest success was winning the Finnish championships in obedience class 1, when Dino was only two years old. Unfortunately she was scared for loud noises and had epilepsy, so she retired early as a family dog for my parents.
My next dog, Elgos (Agi Ch BH Dubion Elgos), came from the same breeder and was half working line groenendael and very different from Dino - self-confident, independent and had a great drive for work. We trained in obedience, tracking and search, but agility was our favourite sport. He became an agility champion and we competed many times in the Finnish championships and nationals. I loved to compete with him because I could always trust that he was doing his bests. Now he is 14 years, living with my parents ever since I moved to Germany. There he lives relaxed life with much of attention and love.
Currently I have two German shepherds, both owned by Yannick, that I train for IGP - Urs (Urs von Prevent) and Catch (Catch me if you can vom Haus Vax). I also own a working line tervueren, Vita (BH Tarkatan Muskotti), which I have competed in tracking in the Swedish working dog trials. Unfortunately she has spondylose and therefore will no longer be used for competition or any demanding training.
Today I live here in Germany and work for KayserDog. I am especially interested about solving problematic and unwanted behaviours in dogs. I also give private trainings and preparation trainings for “Begleithundprüfung” (BH). Regardless of the goal, I always put much attention on building a good relationship between the dog and the handler. I believe a fluent communication, where the handler can affect the emotions of the dog, rises the motivation to cooperate which allows effective and enjoyable learning.