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Canine Massage Guild

About Me 

 

I’m Anna Willitt and I live on the Somerset Levels near Taunton, with my three dogs Fly, Finn and Florrie.

I started working with dogs in 2010 as manager of a rescue centre, before moving on to first training and then canine massage. My mad Springer Poppy introduced me to the world of agility, and then when she reached competition level a muscular health check at a show found some issues which explained her odd jumping style. I was amazed by the improvement in her mobility and performance following an initial course of treatments, and when she deteriorated again her therapist referred her back to the vet which helped diagnose her Spondylosis at an early stage.anna plus dog

After seeing the benefits for Poppy, I chose to train in clinical canine massage myself so I could help other dogs in the same way. Massage made a huge difference to Poppy as she aged, meaning she was able to enjoy her walks and even continue with hoopers competitions until a few months before she died.

I trained with the Canine Massage Therapy Centre, an extensive two year course with over 800 hours of training including theory modules, practical hands on training, case studies and final written and practical assessments. I completed the course in January 2018 and am now proud to be a member of the Canine Massage Guild, and complete a minimum of 25 hours a year of CPD to keep my knowledge up to date.

I’m also a trainer, specialising in hoopers. Hoopers is a real passion for me, it gave me a sport to carry on training Poppy and Finn in when they could no longer jump, and as I learnt more I saw the skill involved in training different handling techniques and now love teaching a range of dogs from puppies up to golden oldies. Check out my website www.springintoaction-dogtraining.co.uk for more details on my classes and 121’s

My Dogs

Fly is a 12 year old Collie cross who came to me as a 7 month old rescue. Fly is very anxious and can be reactive to various things, although we’ve worked hard over the years so most of the time she copes well with life and appears ‘normal.’ Fly’s favourite things are running through the woods, jumping in muddy puddles and rolling in poo. She’d like to follow up the rolling in poo with cuddles, it’s not appreciated!

Finn is a 9 year old Springer cross. He’s a little bit wonky and highly prone to injury, meaning he spends at least part of each year on restricted exercise while he recovers, he’s an absolute star to treat though and copes brilliantly with this. He was supposed to be my competitive agility dog, but his structure meant this wasn’t sensible so thanks to him I discovered hoopers which he loves and does well at. His favourite things are training with me, tennis balls, and other dogs.

Florence joined me in March 2021 as an 8 week old puppy. She’s an extremely lively Border Collie, with absolutely no sense of danger so I suspect as she gets older I’ll be putting my skills to good use to keep her in good condition. She’s in training for both agility and hoopers, but mostly she’s having fun growing up and learning at her own pace, and being a naughty teenager!

fly   finn

And the dog that started it all...

Poppy Springer - 27/11/2007 - 23/11/2020. My crazy loveable Springer Poppy was the reason I originally started working with dogs, discovered agility and then became a canine massage therapist and a trainer, and certainly gave me lots of opportunity to use my skills to treat her arthritis. She stayed active right until the very end of her life with a lot of intervention, winning the UK Hooper Veterans Plus league and coming 7th overall in the CHUK National finals. Eventually her Spondylosis and arthritis became too uncomfortable, so it was time to say goodbye. The house has definitely been quieter without her, I’m just very grateful that this amazing girl led me to such a rewarding career choice

.poppy