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Linton woman sets up dog training equipment company after leaving work due to arthritis diagnosis



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A Linton woman has set up a dog training equipment company after she and her dog were both diagnosed with arthritis in the space of five months.

Emma Filby, 29, was working as a deputy manager in a team of Cambridge University technicians when, in November 2020, she received her diagnosis. Five months later in April 2021, her spaniel Thea was diagnosed with the same condition.

Experiencing pain and needing to stay as mobile and active as possible, Emma quit her desk job and took a leap into the world of dog training, setting up Anglian Dog Works during the pandemic.

Emma Filby, from Linton, with her dog Thea. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120792)
Emma Filby, from Linton, with her dog Thea. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120792)

"I was doing dog training as a hobby and then I started working for someone in 2019," Emma said.

"When the second lockdown hit my other half encouraged me to take my business online and so we did. We started trading more locally and now have customers in Ireland and the Isle of Wight."

Anglian Dog Works sells healthy dog treats, chews and accessories and offers training classes which start from £35.

Emma's dog Thea, who was diagnosed with arthritis just months after Emma was. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120812)
Emma's dog Thea, who was diagnosed with arthritis just months after Emma was. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120812)

Their best-selling item is the dog training place board, a platform which is used for targeted training when teaching a dog commands such as 'sit' and 'stay', and is made of recycled artificial grass.

Emma said she is passionate that their business focusses on being as environmentally conscious and accessible as possible.

"Our ethos is sharing the things that we have seen the first-hand benefit of with our own dogs," said Emma.

Emma Filby with her partner Matt wearing the Anglian Dog Works merchandise. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120855)
Emma Filby with her partner Matt wearing the Anglian Dog Works merchandise. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120855)

"Everything we select to sell complements the training we offer. It was also important for us to be environmentally conscious."

With medication and exercises, both Emma and her dog Thea's arthritis have improved, and they are able to go on long walks and swim together.

Speaking of nine-year-old spaniel Thea, Emma said: "She has been my inspiration all the way along. Because I enjoyed training her so much I was encouraged to turn my hobby into a bit of a career.

"Now, we are both thriving and we are able to continue doing all of the things we enjoy."

The place board is one of their bestselling items and it's made of recycled materials. Picture: Matt Palmer (55120872)
The place board is one of their bestselling items and it's made of recycled materials. Picture: Matt Palmer (55120872)
Emma and Thea are now 'thriving' and can enjoy long walks together. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120889)
Emma and Thea are now 'thriving' and can enjoy long walks together. Picture: Daniel Palmer (55120889)

As well as helping people train their dogs and make the lives of pet owners easier, Emma said she loves how innovative the business allows her to be.

"I love the creative side of our business. Thinking up new ideas like photo shoots and the website is really rewarding to us," she said.