Walk & Train Edinburgh
Started up in 2014, we are a family business based in south Edinburgh run by Linnea Lyckberg MSc IACP CDT and Gregor Schmatz. We are licensed, insured, and disclosed (police checked). We carry a canine first aid kit in our van which Gregor has been certified to use. We are fully committed to the dogs in our care and tend to them as if they were our own. We believe that for dogs to be truly healthy, inside and out, they should be provided appropriate mental and physical stimulation, and get to spend time in nature with their own kind. We seek to provide a service where dogs are allowed to express their primal selves. Our goal is to educate dog owners to better understand the true nature of their dog, and to embrace both its strengths and weaknesses in order to achieve training success. We believe that when dogs and human connect on a deep and meaningful level, and learn how to communicate clearly and without hinder, there are few limits to what can be achieved.
The People Behind Walk & Train
Linnea Lyckberg MSc IACP CDT got her first dog at age 11, a Schapendoes called Smulan. Together they did a lot of agility and trick training, and still have a strong bond. Unfortunately, Smulan developed a series of behavioural problems, among others reactivity towards other dogs and people. This led Linnea to learn more about dogs in order to help Smulan. In 2014 Linnea completed her MSc is Psychology (The Human-Dog Bond: Predictors and Possibilities). In May 2016 Linnea was accepted as a Certified Dog Trainer by the International Association of Canine Professionals. Linnea is currently working on her PhD at the University of Edinburgh on the Human-Dog attachment, interactions, and behaviour problems. She is also a lecturer for the MSc programme Clinical Animal Behaviour at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Her aim is to learn to better understand both the dog’s and the owner’s experience of their relationship and what factors affect it. When dogs act undesirably, Linnea believes it is important to look at the behaviour of both the owner and the dog in order to get them to coexist and work in harmony. To read more about Linnea’s research, click here!
Gregor Schmatz grew up with several rescue cats and dogs, with whom he became very close. When Gregor was 13, his family adopted an extremely fearful and emancipated Doberman bitch, Tara. It has taken her many years for her to begin to trust humans again, but is today a wonderful and confident dog enjoying her golden years. Gregor loves being outdoors and runs all of our dog walking and day care services. He has a soft spot for difficult and troubled dogs, and always gives each dog the time they need to build a close relationship. Gregor is also a photographer, and has exhibited internationally. To see Gregor’s work, please click here!
Qualifications & Education
March 2019: Submission of PhD Thesis in Psychology of Individual Differences, ‘The Human-Dog Bond: Personality, Interactions and Emotional Dispositions’ (Linnea)
December 2018: Alba Sand of Sane is Boring, Heeling course, online
August 2018: Hannas Hundhjälp, Socialisation and Rehabilitation Malmö, 3 day shadow
August 2018: Alexandra Ortega, Dogs of Pegasus Leadership workshop, 2 days
July 2018: Craig Ogilvie, Interactive Play workshop, 1 day
April 2018: Ashley Sculac, Canine Resistance Training: Building Blocks (drag weight and more), online course
September 2017: Jay Jack of Next Level Dogs (Pit Bull 101, and Play as the Way), Skype consultation
August 2016: Siv Svendsen, FCI Obedience, Mondioring and Hunting Trials, 2 day workshop
August 2016: Forrest Micke, Teaching Engagement Skills, through Leerburg Online University
July 2016: Measuring Animal Emotions, 1 day workshop hosted in conjunction with the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE)
June 2016: Canine Science Forum, 4 Day Conference at the University of Padua
May 2016: Granted IACP CDT (International Association of Canine Professionals Certified Dog Trainer)
March 2016: Eva Bodfäldt, Kontaktkontraktet för instruktörer, A Relationship Centered Approach for Dog Trainers, 2 day workshop (to be completed)
March 2016: Carina Persson, Puppy Training based on Eva Bodfäldt's approach, 1 Day Seminar
March 2016: Hannas Hundhjälp, Dog Walking and Training Malmö, 3 Day Shadow
January 2016: Tyler Muto, Leash Reactivity: A Comprehensive Approach, through Leerburg Online University
December 2015: Siv Svendsen and Maria Brandel - No Limit Obedience: The Foundations, Online Course (ongoing)
June 2015: Chad Mackin, 4 day Socialisation and Dogmanship Workshop
November 2014: Graduation Master of Science in Psychology of Individual Differences, 'The Human-Dog Bond: Predictors and Possibilities' (Linnea)
July 2014: Canine Science Forum, 4 Day Conference at the University of Lincoln
May 2014: Grisha Stewart, Empowered Socialisation: Behaviour Adjustment Training for Fear, Aggression and Frustration, 2 Day Seminar
May 2014: Canine First Aid Course by Rhodes 2 Safety
December 2013: Claudio Barbosa The Alpha Pack, 5 day Shadow
June 2013: Martin Deeley, Gun Dog Training, 3 day Workshop
December 2010: Hundezentrum Trier-Luxembourg, 1 day Leash Reactivity Workshop
Current Trainer for Staffie Smiles Rescue in the Edinburgh area. Volunteer at Any Dog'il Do Rescue in 2014, walking and training the kenneled dogs. Members of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)
Our Dogs' Stories
Fausto was adopted by Linnea and Gregor from Scottish SPCA in Glasgow in August 2012. He came in as a stray with no background history and was estimated to be between 18 months and 2 years old. As many dogs, Fausto was very stressed in the kennels which suppressed much of his behaviour. During the first few months, many of his underlying behavioural problems emerged. Fausto turned out to be an incredibly anxious dog. Almost anything would make him nervous, from the sound of traffic to the feeling of the wind. Shortly after he was adopted, he was badly bitten by another dog after which he became very dog aggressive. It took a long time to get Fausto to begin to relax outside, and even longer to help him feel safe around specific triggers. Although strange dogs can still be difficult for Fausto, he has now learnt to trust and appreciate dogs he knows and is a great help for us acting as a role model for our day care dogs. During their journey with Fausto, Linnea and Gregor have learnt things about dogs and about themselves which no books could teach them. After having received advice from almost a dozen dog trainers, they have come to one conclusion: There is no one method which works for all dogs and all owners – the approach must always be adapted to the couple in front of you in order to ensure that both parts can work together comfortably and effectively.
Ida was adopted in 2015 as a 4 year old cross breed, supposedly a Staffordshire Bull Terrier x Border Collie. She spent most of her early life being passed between homes and kennels - we are her 6th home. We don't know much about her history other than that her last owner left her crated for extended periods, sometimes several days, and she was poorly fed. When she came to us she had very severe separation anxiety, and was reactive to dogs. She now assists us on all our sessions, acting as a stooge dog or helping me control dogs during off leash socialisation sessions with reactive dogs. Adopting Ida was a really big milestone for us and a testament of how far Fausto has come from being deemed never to be able to be around other dogs, to happily sharing his life with Ida and all of our wonderful day care dogs. If you are committed to your dog and willing to work hard, there are few limits to what you can achieve with appropriate training and time.