About Us

I grew up with dogs, cats and horses. In fact, as a child and teenager, horses were my passion. An early working life spent in London meant that it wasn’t until after having our second daughter we decided the time had come to get a family dog.  

We then proceeded to make a series of unwise decisions! We not only chose a very energetic breed, a Hungarian Vizsla, but purchased our puppy from a remote farm where the puppies had had no social experience beyond the barn they were kept in. The pups were due to leave home in a couple of weeks, but we had a holiday booked so agreed to pick our puppy up at about 12 weeks old.  We named our puppy Lenke and started out on the long drive back home to Aylesbury; unfortunately she was ill most of the way home. Once home she screamed and howled in her crate every night and had no idea about toileting outside, in fact she usually used her crate as an indoor toilet.  She would frantically run around the living room, sending everything flying, nipped us so badly that we couldn’t stroke her, and tore the children’s clothes to shreds. She also growled if we tried to take things away from her. As she went through adolescence she started challenging our daughters’ friends, and would bark at people in the street, or anyone out walking who didn’t have a dog. I used to lie awake at night wondering what on earth we had done. We had all so wanted a dog to love and how wrong things seemed to have gone. 

Slowly things began to improve and thankfully Lenke turned into a lovely dog who was good with children and adults. Training played a big part in this reform, but the realisation that we had to meet her needs was probably the most important factor.

Our experience with Lenke had a big impact on my dog training journey. I understand the real sense of panic that you might feel when faced with a new puppy or a dog that doesn't fit your expectations. Most importantly I want to help people to avoid making the whole catalogue of mistakes that we made. Getting a working dog puppy from such a different environment to ours was always likely to be challenging and Lenke had missed out on most of her prime socialisation opportunities, shut away in a barn. But you don’t know what you don’t know! My passion is to help people not make the mistakes we did.

The more I learned about dog behaviour and training, the more I realised how much there was to learn! Back then, opportunities for training were much more limited and training methods have also changed over the years. I remember going to classes with our Welsh Spring Spaniel, Brecon, when I was about eight with my mother. The only trainer for pet dogs in our area was none other than Barbara Woodhouse! My mother was ‘Mrs Brecon’ for the entire course. Nowadays there has been a shift towards kinder and more ethical training methods, but Barbara was largely responsible for the advent of pet dog training in the UK. The alternatives at the time were much more punitive and based on sometimes heavy-handed working dog training. 

Six years after getting Lenke we added Bella to our family. Bella was a Standard Goldendoodle from a deeply knowledgeable breeder. She was the easiest, kindest, loveliest dog you could ever hope to meet. The breeder, Jackie, was a mine of information, the parent dogs were friendly and well trained and the puppies were reared in the house. This experience of how important genetics, epigenetics and early experiences can be has left a lasting impression on me. Also knowing how to manage a puppy properly so that they don’t learn the wrong things!

We ended up breeding from Bella, and her daughter Maddie (now 14) and were the proud parents of many wonderful pups who went on to qualify as assistance dogs with Canine Partners. 

I then concentrated on my own training and first qualified as a Gwen Bailey Puppy School Tutor, and then as a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (no. 01523) and the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. I also qualified as a games and concept based trainer in 2017.

I am also an accredited Dynamic Dog Practitioner qualified to carry out functional assessments which can be useful tools in unravelling behavioural issues. This involves not only gait analysis, but also a deep dive to try to identify any potential causes of discomfort.

I work hard to keep my learning up to date, and have expanded my classes to include Fun Gundog Games, some Trick Training, Parkour and basic Scent Work.