My name is Toni Stevens, BCCSDip.HthNut
I enable you to maintain a balanced relationship between you and your canine companion. I achieve this through a combination of coaching, myofascial muscle release therapy and diet.
Symbiotics was born from my passion for dogs and the relationship that develops between owners and their dogs from the positive effects of balance between Training, Diet and Mobility. Dogs and humans are complex and yet they develop these wonderful relationships. When humans provide a dog with the balance for it to thrive, they in return give affection, trust and happiness.
It is run by myself as a head trainer, nutritional adviser, and an Emmett Therapist. I am offer Reiki therapy for people and animals, including horses, dogs and other pets.
A lifetime dog lover, I started observing and training dogs from a very young age, training a snappy family Jack Russell to be less reactive and happier in its surroundings, at the tender age of 8. This was achieved from observation and an intuitive understanding of the dog's reactions to people, environment and other dogs.
As a young adult, I started owning and training my own rescue dogs, in a number of disciplines suitable to their breed and temperament. This passion for dogs, together with frequent research, study and volunteering opportunities, developed into a deeper understanding of how dogs react and perform in different environments and different training methods. During this time I started to offer 121 treat-free training, focusing on basic obedience and behaviour.
I started to notice how diet and general well-being affected behaviour and a dog's ability to learn and so began to study further in this area. I decided to compliment my by now already extensive knowledge by adding further updated professional qualifications in Canine Psychology, Canine Nutrition, Human and Animal Reiki, Emmett for Dogs and their handlers. having recently gained the BCCS Level 3 Diploma in Canine Nutrition and Health (2023)*
In 2012, my family and I relocated to another part of the country, I was lucky to come across another well-regarded trainer, who is also an advocate of treat-free training, and took the opportunity to train with them, whilst further developing my own training approach to expand to offering courses.
So in 2018, with the growing number of social media posts highlighting issues with dog behaviour, and with the increasing number of dogs and puppies in the area, at the request of many who would were interested in treat-free training, Mutts about Manners was established and is now the training arm of Symbiotics to provide instructor lead courses and 121 consultations.
*Until very recently, it was not possible to formally study canine nutrition in the UK unless you were a qualified vet. Fortunately, that has changed and I am able to offer nutritional advice on raw feeding