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About Michelle


  • DELTA Certificate 4 in Animal Behaviour & Training. 2024

  • Professional Force-Free dog training member  since 2021:

    • ​Pet Professional Guild Australia

    • Association of Pet Dog Trainers-

  • Certificate 3 in Captive Animals. TAFE. 2018

  • Masters of Research Biology - Animal Behaviour & Communication. Macquarie University - 2016

  • Bachelor of Science - Biology - Brain, Behaviour & Evolution. Macquarie University- 2013

  • Bachelor of Arts - Psychology. Macquarie University - 2007

  • First Aid - Human & Pet 2021

  • Fully insured


Michelle Vecsei


As long as I can remember I've loved animals. As a child, I had many pets including mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, cats and of course a dog. I rode my friend's horses on the weekends and my favourite excursions were always to the zoo. Like many kids, I wanted pets in my life for cuddles and companionship but what really interested me was observing how they behaved and trying to understand why they did what they did. Animal behaviour absolutely fascinated me.

My efforts to read and learn more about animals as a child were difficult until it was discovered I suffered from a learning disability - Dyslexia. After this diagnosis, participation in a "read by colours" program and purchase of coloured reading glasses, I finally learnt to read at the age of 13. As a positive consequence of these struggles, I became a keen observer of human behaviour as a means to understand what was going on around me. I also became very curious about how different people learned and interacted with the world.


I later applied this fascination to human learning and behaviour and became of student of Psychology after high school. After completing this degree I worked in education, specifically coaching children with learning disabilities.

I continued to work with children while travelling overseas in my early 20s. I visited many countries but always gravitated towards ecotourism that involved animals. It was during a volunteer program at a horse rehabilitation centre/ safari park in Africa that I decided my love of animals had to be incorporated not just into my life, but into my career as well. 

Upon returning home from several years living abroad I enrolled in university for a second time. This time I enrolled in the biological sciences department and majored in a new course called "Brain, Behaviour and Evolution" which included units like "Animal Communication", "Behavioural Ecology", "Animal Structure & Function" and "Learning & Perception". I enjoyed this course immensely and my hard work was reflected in my above 4.0 GPA and acceptance of the " 2012 NSW Prize in Biological Sciences". While completing this degree I supported myself financially by working in pet stores and walking/training people's dogs. 

I completed this degree and was granted a 2-year scholarship to complete a Master of Research in Biological Sciences where I focused on Animal Behaviour & Communication. I completed my Thesis titled "Juvenile song learning in regent honeyeaters, Anthochaera phrygia, at Taronga Zoo, Australia." 

After this degree, I wanted to get my hands dirty and apply my knowledge more practically in the field of animal conservation. I had already been a volunteer zoo keeper so the next logical step for me was to make this a career. I completed certificate 3 in Captive Animals and worked at Sydney Wildlife Zoo and Taronga Zoo for a couple of years, primarily with Australian mammals and birds like the Koala, Platypus and Cassowary. As a volunteer and paid zoo keeper, I  also worked with a range of other Australian animals as well as some exotics including marine mammals, lemurs, capybaras, tigers and bears. 

Since moving to Byron Bay in 2018 for a sea change, I have worked in the local pet store 100% Pets, on and off, and ran a successful business walking, pet sitting and training dogs. It was only when I got my own border collie puppy "Panda" in 2020 that I truly became passionate about making another career shift to become a professional dog trainer. In 2021 I  enrolled in Delta Institute's ACM40321 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training due to its status as the best, nationally accredited course teaching content based on scientific research, rather than outdated, "traditional" methods. 

This course is designed and developed by experts in their fields including Veterinarian Specialists in Behavioural Medicine (Dr Jacqueline Ley), behaviour veterinarians, professional dog trainers, highly successful dog training business owners and talented business communication specialists. Most importantly this course only promotes positive reinforcement, force-free methods which align with the techniques I learned to train zoo animals. Using positive reinforcement, force-free techniques are shown by science to be the most effective and enjoyable ( for the animal and trainer), resulting in happy animals that are motivated to learn and display desirable behaviours because they find it rewarding.

So why have I told you all this, you may be asking?

The answer is to demonstrate to you how uniquely qualified I am to help you train your dog. I have the education and experience in training a variety of animals, not just dogs. I also have the education and experience in coaching people to learn new skills, including those with atypical learning styles. More specifically, my education and experience have shown me the power of positivity, not just as a way to teach and learn, but as a philosophy of life.

This is why I called my business "Happy Dogs".


Training Dogs - Coaching People - Happiness Project

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