Need someone experienced at working with dog and cat behaviour problems?

Cat and dogs are a huge part of the family. They rely on us for all their care, and we love our pets in return.

How do we know we are doing everything for our dogs and cats have a happy life? That’s where I can help. I guide you to a better relationship wherever possible.

Recently, I apparently taught Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine how to speak dog!

Hands on Experience

I am an experienced, practical trainer as well as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. I use positive reward-based methods. Kindness is not weakness! I keep my skills up to date, and have been a dog training instructor since 1997. I used to teach Obedience, Agility and Flyball classes and ran a successful dog display team. I have also trained in Working Trials competition including tracking and scent work. Now my focus is on family dogs and cats with problems – and yes, you can train them all.

Puppy and Group Classes

I still teach puppy, intermediate and advanced classes every week. This means I see a large number of dogs and owners regularly as well as working with my behaviour clients. My training syllabus ‘Ready Steady Dog’ provides families and their dogs with the life skills necessary to do the tricky job of being a family pet.

I teach other instructors. I have taught practical handling courses to members of the APBC on several occasions, and was lead organiser and assessor for their ABTC animal training instructor practical assessment. I am a mentor and supervisor for other trainers and behaviour professionals and am proud to assist in helping others to build their skills. Contact me here if you are a trainer or behaviour professional and would like support.

Teaching, Seminars and Lectures

I present and teach all aspects of behaviour in webinars and seminars, both nationally and internationally. In 2021 I am speaking for International Canine Behaviourists, and in 2020 I gave two lectures at the Pet Professional Guild’s international Geek Week conference event. I have travelled to speak in Dublin, Ireland and addressed the APBC Annual Conference in 2014. Book for your speaking event here.

I have lectured on Behaviour practice, practical training and consultation for the Dogs Trust and delivered their staff training at a number of their centres in 2019, lectured on Professional Diploma for Clinical Animal Behaviour at Central College for Animal Studies (CCOAS) from 2014, and have been guest lecturer for Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, U.K on numerous occasions. Contact me here for teaching and lecture bookings.

Academic Papers

I was lead author for ‘Clinical Forum: Resource guarding’. Wild, Bescoby, Fry and Hope. Companion Animal Volume : 21 Issue : 9 September 02, 2016 Vol. 21, No. 9 (2016) ISSN : 2053-0889. I have been a peer reviewer for Companion Animal Journal since Jan 2017.

TV, Radio and other Media

I have featured in the Daily Mail with Sarah Vine, TV’s Channel 5 ‘Royal Pets’, and was interviewed by Russell Brand on Radio X about his beautiful German Shepherd Dog, Bear. I once had to direct actor Simon Callow with his narration of a Doggy bedtime story to help with Firework Fear, and worked on a project regarding cat and dog TV which was narrated by David Tennant. Contact me here for media enquiries.

I have worked on PR Projects with pet care companies and insurers such as Eukanuba/IAMS, Ceva (Adaptil and Feliway), and MoreThan, including radio days, national press releases and other studies on dogs and cats.

Media is essential for us to broadcast crucial animal welfare messages and I will always try to be available for comment and support so please email me on [email protected] if you would like my help.

Writing

I was resident training and behaviour writer for Dogs Today for over 12 years, am regular contributor to PETS International, Pet Focus and have written regularly for Dogs Monthly, Pet Product Marketing, Pet Gazette and many other titles. I’m also a guest blog writer for Dr Ian Dunbar’s revolutionary website, Dog Star Daily and Wamiz Pet Care. I write clean, effective copy that is SEO-friendly. Get in touch to discuss my involvement in your next writing project

Books

I have written five best-selling books on training and behaviour, including three published by Hamlyn, translated into eight languages worldwide. ‘What your Dog Wants’, ’21 Days to the Perfect Dog’, ‘Being a Dog’, and the ‘Purrfect Guide to Cats’ and ‘Pawfect Guide to dogs’ co-authored with TV Vet Dr Emma Milne. Contact me to discuss my involvement in your next book project.

How I began

I have an Honours degree in Psychology, a Diploma in Applied Psychology. I started as an assistant instructor and then class instructor with Hare’s Leap Canine Centre in 1997. In 2000 I qualified as a dog training Instructor (First grade, with Honours) with the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers. This was in the days when the APDT barely existed! I have kept my skills up to date ever since and was registered as an Animal Behaviour and Training Counsellor Animal Training Instructor (ABTC-ATI) in 2015.

I am currently a Full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (dogs and cats) and Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (dogs). I am a full member of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Counsellors (FABC) and a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC).

Methods have changed a lot since I began as a professional trainer, and I use positive reinforcement (reward)-based training which is ethical, highly effective, kind and welfare-friendly.

As part of my commitment to high standards:

I am a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) (dogs)

Full member of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians (FABC)

Full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) (dogs and cats)

ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist (dogs and cats)

ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Animal Training Instructor

Graduate member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)

Certificate of Excellence from Dr Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals course

More about Karen

Always a Way

I strongly believe that there is ‘always a way’ and am fully committed to uniting families with their dogs in the gentlest way possible. At Pawprint we do not use harsh training methods. We use positive reinforcement and reward-based training. I am pleased to be a Special Council Member of the Pet Professional Guild which upholds the standards of force-free animal training.

My work with dogs and young people included a programme to bring more dogs into schools in the UK as well as a heavy focus on children and safety around dogs. See our ‘Safety Around Dogs’ film developed by schoolchildren in the ‘Coco Academy’.

Promoting a Healthy Life

I helped research and design a calming film to help dogs and cats through sound phobias, narrated by the amazing (and best Doctor Who) David Tennant. I also helped develop the world’s first Doggy Bedtime Story to calm dogs around fireworks, both with MoreTh>n Insurance, read aloud by actor and fellow dog lover Simon Callow. Those are my dogs being lulled to sleep on the video. I also write for Veterinary Practice Today, Veterinary Nursing Times and have a syndicated column with Johnston Press including the Bourne Local/Stamford Mercury. You can often hear me on BBC Radio as well as giving pet advice on Rutland Radio, and I once took Eamonn Holmes to task on Sky News about banning shock collars! I was also featured on Channel 5’s ‘Royal Pets’ programme, speaking about their many dogs.

Connect on Social Media

Why not connect with me on Twitter or here on Facebook or subscribe to the hugely popular show ‘The WildPaw Podcast’ free on iTunes. On the show I’veinterviewed all the dog training greats, such as Jean Donaldson, Grisha Stewart and Nicole Wilde.

Qualifications & Affiliations

I hold an honours degree in Psychology and a
Diploma in Applied Psychology from Nottingham University, UK.

Certification as Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB)

Certification is administered by the ASAB Accreditation Committee, including representatives from the British Psychological Society, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the International Society for Applied Ethology as well as members appointed by ASAB Council.
Certification constitutes recognition by ASAB that, to the best of its knowledge, the clinician meets the educational, experiential and ethical standards required by the Society for professional clinical animal behaviourists.

By consulting with a certified professional clinical animal behaviourist (CCAB), you can be assured that the behaviourist is suitably qualified, has experience of treating behaviour problems, and adheres to a Code of Conduct.

Full Member of the APBC

Full members are practising behaviour counsellors who have achieved at least a higher degree level education in companion animal behaviour and related subjects, obtained relevant practical experience, and who have been in practice for a minimum of one year’. Assessment by the APBC deems suitability for full membership. Link: APBC

About the APBC
The treatment of behaviour problems in cats, dogs, horses and other companion animals is a highly specialised field that requires qualified professional help. The APBC represents a network of behaviour counsellors that have achieved the highest proven academic and practical standards available in the field of companion animal behavioural therapy. APBC members abide by a strict code of conduct and continually develop their professional knowledge in the light of new research so that clients and the veterinary surgeons who refer them can be assured they receive the latest expert advice.

The APBC are members of the:
Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) ABTC

ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist
ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Registered Animal Training Instructor.

“The ABTC is regulatory body that represents animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists to both the public and to legislative bodies.”
It sets and maintains the standards of knowledge and practical skills needed to be an animal trainer or animal behaviour therapist, and it will maintain the national register of appropriately qualified animal trainers and animal behaviourists.

It also promotes the welfare of animals in their interactions with humans, lobbying for humane methods in training and behaviour modification, and for the education of the animal owning public’.

British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers –

First Grade (Hons) Instructor

About the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers
Founded in 1974, the BIPDT is a register of bona fide persons suitably qualified as trainers of working dogs and to establish the highest code of conduct for all persons connected with the use of dogs in the service of mankind. By means of training courses and examinations for instructors, trainers and handlers, it aims to raise the standard of training, management, welfare and usage of working dogs.

Instructors are assessed at a practical, week-long residential course. The BIPDT pre-dates the APDT-UK by many years and at the time of qualification was the only dog training course and assessment available to assess instructors to the high standards needed for professional dog training.

Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)

UK applicants for graduate membership and the GBC require an undergraduate honours degree at a minimum lower 2nd class honours level which is accredited by the Society or alternatively an accredited conversion course. Link: The British Psychological Society

TESTIMONIALS

“Huge kudos to @wildpaw (Karen) for her wise words regarding our troublesome pooch… Thanks Karen.”

– Chris O’Dowd, Actor ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Thor II’, ‘The IT Crowd’
Contact Karen