“I’ve been involved with animals all my life; our family always had pet dogs and cats and I learned to ride at the age of three. My aunt and uncle lived on a farm and I adored them both. I spent all my time walking around the farm, watching failing piglets being put in the warming oven of the Aga and brought back to life, lambs being hand reared and Elaine cooking real wholesome produce. With that in mind, I remember that the saying, ‘You are what you eat’ is something that I often heard from my family when I was young as Uncle Sydney had a huge allotment and Aunt Elaine was the greatest cook ever. She started me on the pathway to realising that what we eat plays an important part in our physical and mental health.”
“In 1998 I gained my MSc in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from the University of Southampton studying, as seems very logical now, the effects of nutrition on canine learning abilities by comparing how successfully dogs can be trained to perform specific tasks when fed different dietary formulations.”
“Throughout my school days my passion for animals continued and I went on to compete in Working Trials with my dogs and at County Shows with my horses. Through the 1980’s I ran a very busy dog training club and developed one of the first puppy socialisation classes in the UK. Working with animals isn’t something you can just pick up and put down and I continue to be involved in the training and rehabilitation of problem dogs and horses. After qualifying as a Medical Scientist I went onto to pursue a career in animal behaviour and training, and helped to establish the charity SUPPORT DOGS, which came to be recognised as the world leader in the art of training dogs specifically to assist people with epilepsy and other complex medical conditions. Writing a number of booklets on canine behaviour and training as well as co-authoring several research papers along the way, I was very proud to be elected to the Board of Directors of both Assistance Dogs UK and Assistance Dogs International.”
“I have been at the forefront of teaching students about animal behaviour, dog training and the impact and application of nutritional science in canine behaviour therapy. Naturally, my on-going research and constant interest in how our dogs and cats are the physical and mental shape of ‘what they eat’. breakthrough is the culmination of that lifetime’s interest and study and one that will help develop and maintain the very best shape in dogs in both mind and body.”
Val Strong MSc.