I’m Josie and I’m the founder of Longridge Alpacas, as well as Positively Pawfect and Peonies & Pooches. Here’s my story...
I originally qualified as a Barrister and got called to the Bar at Inner Temple in London. During my final year of training I became unwell and was eventually diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia which impacted on my ability to practice. It took me a few years doing different jobs and completing various qualifications to figure out what I wanted to do as a career.
My fascination with animal training and behaviour led me to discover the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behaviour. I always enjoyed watching her show ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ and was captivated by how much knowledge and understanding she had about the dogs mind and how she was able to help families enjoy living with their dogs. I trained with the Academy on an intense hands-on course, learning about canine psychology, physiology, behavioural management and lots more. I graduated from the course as a positive dog trainer with a distinction – I was over the moon!
My love of animals doesn't stop with dogs and keeping alpacas has been a dream for my husband and I for a long time. They are such beautiful and calming animals that have amazingly distinct personalities! I began my research by reading lots of books and information on the internet, at which point I was hooked and decided it was definitely time to add to our family! I couldn't wait so I reached out to some alpaca owners not so far from me and asked them lots of questions and I learnt so much from their experience and expertise. We then found a reputable breeder, found our 4 boys and set up their new home. The boys then came home and the rest is history!
As I am a positive trainer, our alpacas are trained using positive reinforcement and are handled daily to ensure they are happy, relaxed and comfortable around people, noises and strange environments.