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.
Memberships and Qualifications
As part of my commitment to high standards:
- I am a ASAB-Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (CCAB) (dogs)
- Full member of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians (FABC) (dogs)
- Full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) (dogs/cats)
- ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist (dogs/cats)
- ABTC (Animal Behaviour and Training Council) Animal Training Instructor
- Graduate member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)
- Special Council Member of the Pet Professional Guild
- Certificate of Excellence from Dr Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals course
Hands on Experience
I am an experienced, qualified practical dog trainer, but I train cats sometimes, too! I use positive reward-based methods. Kindness is not weakness. I keep my skills up to date with modern, science-based methods, but I have been a dog training instructor since 1997. I have taught 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, from puppy and kitten stages onwards – and of course, training us owners, too.
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’.
Puppy Class Instructor
I 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. Find out more about my Puppy Academy Classes.
Mentor and Supervisor
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, or find out more here.
An Instructor of Instructors
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-ATI Animal Training Instructor practical assessment.
Teaching, Seminars and Lectures
I present and teach about many aspects of behaviour in webinars and seminars, both nationally and internationally.
In 2021 I presented 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.
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
As well as being the author of 5 books on dog and cat behaviour (see below), I have featured in the Daily Mail with Sarah Vine, on 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
I also worked on a film project for relaxing ‘cat and dog TV’ which was narrated by David Tennant.
I have worked on a wide range of PR Projects with pet care and pet food companies and insurers such as Good Boy, Eukanuba/IAMS, Ceva (Adaptil and Feliway), MoreTh>n, including radio days, national press releases and other surveys on national opinion on everything interesting about dogs and cats. 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!
Contact me here for media enquiries.
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. It’s by far the quickest way to get in touch with me.
I write for Veterinary Practice Today, have written for Veterinary Nursing Times and have a syndicated column with Johnston Press including the Bourne Local/Stamford Mercury.
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.
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. See all my books here!
Need a writer? Contact me to discuss my involvement in your next book project.
How I began
I have an Honours degree in Psychology, and a Diploma in Applied Psychology. I started as an assistant instructor and then class instructor with Hare’s Leap Canine Centre in 1997. Way back in 2000 I qualified as a dog training Instructor (First grade, with Honours) with the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, the only qualification of its kind at the time. This was in the days when the APDT barely existed and methods have moved on a lot since then, I am pleased to say! I have kept my skills up to date ever since and I registered as an Animal Behaviour and Training Council Animal Training Instructor (ABTC-ATI) in 2015.
Methods have changed a lot since I began as a professional trainer, and I used positive reinforcement (reward-based) training which is ethical, highly effective, kind, and most of all welfare-friendly. Animals deserve our utmost respect, and harsh methods are not effective and not necessary. We know a lot more now.