The Viking dog trainer and his helpers
Stian Berg is the owner, trainer and behaviour specialist at Beautiful Beasts and he has a long and diverse career working with our canine companions.
When he is not trying to avoid getting bitten in half, or teaching owners about their new puppies, he spends his time reading books, practicing new techniques or teaching his resident dogs tricks. He specialises in working with high drive dogs, puppy development, aggression rehabilitation and behaviour modification.
Hailing from the frozen viking lands of Norway, Stian arrived in Australia to continue his career in advertising. He then got his first ever dog – a kelpie named Red – and quickly realised owning such a high drive dog, was trial by fire. Well out of his depth, he found and attended puppy schools and classes, where he soaked up every word, thought and technique he was exposed to. He began working with friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends who were having various issues with their dogs, learning as he went along, and loving every second of it.
Stian quickly realised that what he was doing was working, but he was also painfully aware that he didn’t know why it was working. He signed up and completed the National Dog Trainer Foundation (NDTF) Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training – one of two officially recognised dog training qualifications in Australia.
This provided an excellent basis for understanding classical- and operant-conditioning, learning theory, leash handling techniques, tool appolication, proper puppy socialisation, fear, aggression, anxiety and much more.
But his thirst for knowledge was still not quenched. Working alongside other professional trainers and attending numerous workshops by both national and international trainers, Stian has never stopped training himself. His goal is to learn all he can and to provide your dog the very best care and understanding.
With more than eight years of experience working with dogs, Stian is a well-rounded, balanced trainer with a large knowledge pool and a strong support network. He currently has four students that he is teaching the art of dog training, and he runs seminars and workshops for those who are looking for further education.
Basically, if you have a dog and you need help, look no further! Get in touch today and let’s get your dog on the path to becoming a Beautiful Beast!
OLLIE – The Playful Woofer
LIFE MOTTO; TURN UP THE VOLUME!
Ollie, our 10 year old kelpie, came to our house at 12 weeks of age. He was part of an accidental litter, from two abattoir working dogs. Their owner called a rescue group to get rid of them. He so nicely expressed that; “if they didn’t get picked up right away, he’d hammer them to death”. Sometimes people make us very angry, here at Beautiful Beasts.
As luck would have it, Ollie and his litter were rescued and brought to Melbourne, where we got to meet them all. Most of you may be familiar with the saying; “you don’t choose the dog, the dog chooses you”. Well, I had never seen it in real life until the day Ollie chose us. Without a moment’s hesitation, he walked straight up to me, calm and quiet. While the other puppies barked and played, he fell asleep in my lap. And so we brought him home.
Being of working stock (the kind that vocalises a lot), Ollie loves to bark. When he’s running, playing, watching people walk by the house or seeing other dogs play. Despite his noisy nature, he is a very laid back and playful fellow. He pretends to be tough around puppies, but we have caught him several times playing tug with the little ones (he promptly stops the game and walks away when he sees us).
Ollie is a kind and fun dog, who loves to learn and explore. He keeps Red and other dogs company whenever needed.
AGNARR – The Drive Demon
LIFE MOTTO; IF IT EXISTS, BITE IT!
This 2 year old Belgian Malinois is hard at work most day. He has been a test of skill, patience and skin tolerance to puppy teeth. But he has turned into a beautiful beast – hard working, loving, playful, fearless and energetic!
Agnarr is my decoy dog and he’s with me on the road most of the time. He exudes confidence and is helping many fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs work through their issues, out in the big scary world.
From the day Agnarr came to us (on a plane from his excellent breeder K9 Solutions in WA), we have been developing him on a clear path towards the dog we need for our work. He is raised following our F.A.R.I. principles for puppy development – Fearless. Adventurous. Resolute. Independent.
And it shows. No matter what situation he finds himself in, he is confident, calm and collected, and working his little furry bum off!
He is a big clown who makes people laugh and an absolute maniac, with a never ending love for life, work and play!
RED – The Grumpy Boss
LIFE MOTTO; NOBODY IS PERFECT.
Red is a 11 year old kelpie x koolie, who has been with us since the ripe age of 8 weeks. As a little puppy, he was an absolute terror, and would chew everything in his path. We would take him on very long walks, which would end in tantrums. Tantrums as in lying down, refusing to walk, while squealing, but also crying if we picked him up, type tantrums. But he was cute and funny, most of the time.
He loved puppy school when he was young, but neither we, nor the people running the classes, understood proper puppy socialisation. This lead to him lacking some confidence when out and about. And top that off with being attacked by a big dog when he was only 6 months, he developed a fair amount of reactivity.
We have worked a lot with Red and he is now quite a stable dog. A master in dog language, he will show other dogs his need for private space with posture, fur, growls and sometimes teeth. Most dogs only need a single correction from him, before learning to keep their distance. He does not accept rudeness from other dogs and will try to teach them a lesson if he believes it necessary.
Red is a great mentor, both for myself and others, and while he may never become the friendliest dog, he is the reason I train dogs full-time now.