Jo Croft MA qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1994 and was a former RVN working full-time in practice up until 2005. She spent the most exciting part of her career as the head nurse of a busy small animal practice for a period of five years and during this time specialised in surgical cases and rehabilitation.
As a surgical nurse, Jo was also required to perform minor operations known as ‘Schedule 3’ procedures alongside her other varied nursing duties. It was during this time she also studied for a surgical diploma, working alongside a team of vets all with a variety of specialist certificates she gained an enhanced level of knowledge surrounding animal form and function, as a result she often led a team of dedicated nurses treating some of the most distressed animals and helping them cope with pain and disability.
Jo led a team of fourteen nurses and ten vets, scheduling daily rota’s and taking responsibility for the smooth running of the practice, her love of people as well as animals means she has great communication and organisational skills and strives to get the best from those around her.
In addition to the current, one to one teaching of clients and behaviour students in her day to day work as a behaviour specialist, Jo has vast experience in teaching, and has successfully guided in access of 20 nurses through their Veterinary Nursing qualification during her career. This included practical workshops, assessing and offering feedback on written and practical exercises and ensuring students remain confident and focused in their ability and meet the criteria for learning outcomes. Alongside her passion for animals she loves to share her knowledge and watch students and clients develop and thrive with their dog or within their chosen profession.
A two year period working night shifts in London as an emergency nurse followed and provided an opportunity for her to work closely with some of the UK’s top emergency clinicians. Dealing with sometimes shocking cases, Jo is fully equipped to share with you a diverse level of knowledge spanning a career with dogs that now extends 30 years.
This early start to working with dogs in such a detailed way spurred her on to take a keen interest in dog behaviour. Not only was the observation of dog behaviour an interesting field of study but it was an essential skill to ensure personal safety. She coupled her behaviour knowledge with dog hydrotherapy and set up and led the rehabilitation of dogs via one of the first Canine Hydrotherapy Centres in the country. She was an assessor of new Hydro-pools with the CHA (canine hydrotherapy association) and is proud to have played such a huge role in the rehabilitation of hundreds of dogs over a period of ten years, this experience enhanced her practical handling and behaviour observation of dogs.
Jo has a variety of scenarios, environments and emotional observations both personally and professionally from which to educate others. Most importantly her experience of the dog physically and mentally around, anxiety, illness, post-surgery and in emergency situations is extensive and she brings this element of learning into all her courses.
The successful behaviour clinic Jo set up in two Veterinary Practices led to her running her own behaviour consultancy on a full-time basis in 2005. She continues her passion for self-development which is evident in the Masters Degree (MA) she achieved in Professional Practice – Canine Psychology and Training (2012 – Middlesex University) and recent launch of her bespoke puppy owner education project: www.puppycoach.com A first of its kind consistent, real-life, support package for all new owners to ensure they raise their puppy successfully. Jo is a published author and her book “Puppy Coach – A Complete Guide to Raising a Puppy’, is in support of her website and is available to buy.
Jo also writes and regularly presents public seminars on dog behaviour. She has written newspaper articles, spoken on local radio and appeared on a documentary for the BBC, discussing the rehabilitation of dogs.
Jo conducts one to one behaviour consultation’s, treating all behaviour problems and helps new owners understand and communicate with their puppy to avoid future problems and offers bespoke supportive advice. She is a member of the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association and the Guild of Dog Trainers. She routinely works via Veterinary Referral and often works alongside Veterinary professionals to assist in improving medical conditions through behaviour therapy. Jo specialises in stress and anxiety related cases, challenging, life-altering behaviour problems and complex environmental and family scenarios affecting the dog.
In her spare time Jo loves sport and regularly runs, swims and horse rides, competing in a variety of competitions. She owns a horse and two dogs; Marley a golden-doodle who she re-homed from a client during his difficult puppy period and Hogan a working black Labrador and the star of the Puppy Coach project who she has had from 8 weeks of age. She has partaken in obedience, gun-dog training, agility, working trials and scent detection work with both dogs, but her favourite activity is to just spend time with them running or riding her horse.